Training Restaurant Staff is Like Staying in Shape

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Training to stay in shape is not a one-time thing. You don’t just achieve great athletic condition and stay there. In fact, just the opposite is true. Once you stop working out, your fitness starts to immediately deteriorate.

The exact same thing happens with staff training. You have a big initial push. You get everyone onboarded and on the same page. And then, slowly, over time, things start to slip. This eventually leads to the weakening of company culture, poor service, bad food quality and high employee turnover.  If there is no system in place for tracking and checking how your employees are doing, you won’t notice until it’s too late. 

The good news is that ongoing training can keep employee engagement levels high, promote your culture, values, knowledge and skills. Additionally, there are tools that check to make sure things are going in the right direction.

The research is clear: ongoing training improves employee engagement and turnover. Well-trained employees are three times more likely to stay – which is a huge benefit – since each turnover costs the average restaurant thousands of dollars in lost revenue and additional costs to the organization.

So what do you do? Well, if you don’t do it already, focus on your initial training. Even if training is just doing the work, shoulder to shoulder – and it’s working. If you have a large organization or multiple locations, this approach can start to get a bit shaky – it’s difficult to maintain the messaging. But once the initial training is done, then what you do? Pre-shift meetings are good, if you can keep them rolling. It creates an atmosphere of transparency and helps maintain the restaurant culture. But there is a lot of information that’s best learned by reading or watching, rather than in a meeting.

Beyond in-person training texting and e-mail are both useful. Short snippets and reminders of topics that you cover in your onboarding training are easily drafted and sent out. Also, you have to keep your lists up to date as your employee base changes. And tracking is also not that easy, unless you have an expensive content managment system or marketing solution you can use.

Many of the scheduling and POS apps have some kind of instructional messaging included. It’s a bit of an afterthought, but is still useful for communicating basic engagement messages. There is no way to lay out a campaign or regular training flow, though.

The best possible solution is to have an app dedicated to knowledge sharing, training and engagement.  Ideally, you get professional help in creating your initial onboarding training.

Below is a training module created by ExpandShare for Burgers 2 Beer, which has four locations in the Cleveland, Ohio area. This level of training only costs between $300-$500 to create.

If maintaining employee engagement is a priority, then you should also consider a platform where you can quickly share info with your team at the push of a button – one where you can track everything that’s going on, so you don’t suffer the training deterioration that inevitably happens over time.

Ideally, you should work with a company that has a full suite of services, to help you create and distribute the knowledge and skills that are so critical to the health of your business.

About ExpandShare: ExpandShare powers staff training as part of CHECK® Business Tools. ExpandShare helps simplify staffing processes to save operators time and money. Onboard new employees, increase performance and improve employee retention with a proprietary online learning system. Learn more about ExpandShare by visiting Staff Training in CHECK Business Tools.