Service that Sells| Restaurant Management and Training Articles
Service That Sells is a full line of training, marketing, and management tools designed specifically for the ever-changing world of hospitality. Read restaurant management and training articles from Service That Sells for tips on how to increase restaurant sales and improve service.
New restaurant managers are also new restaurant trainers. In this role, you may not be responsible for creating an overall training plan, but implementing your restaurant’s plan definitely falls under your job description. If you’re new to restaurant management, you already have your hands full, but be careful not to fall short on your training responsibilities. Follow these tips for restaurant trainers:
at multiple levels. To effectively manage an employee training program,
new restaurant trainers need to be able to see the program from different
angles. In the big picture, training
goals should be tied to overall company objectives. At a more micro level,
trainers must also consider the benefits individual employees will gain from
the training. For example, say you want to increase
appetizer sales. Your big picture goal is to make more money by
having every server recommend an appetizer to every table. For that to happen,
though, servers must first complete training
on topics such as sales skills and product knowledge. You can’t
success if you don’t approach the program incrementally.
the bells and whistles in your LMS. You may be a skilled
mentor and on-the-job coach,
but managing online courses is a very different prospect. One mistake many new
restaurant trainers make is to overlook critical tasks in online
learning management, such as scheduling, tracking, and reporting. Make
sure you put your company’s investment in a learning management
system (LMS) to good use. You’ll quickly find the benefits of online
training make the rest of your job as a trainer much easier.
training principles. While some new trainers may not use a
learning management system to its full potential, others may rely on online
training too much. Successful employee training requires a balance of online
training, and ongoing mentoring.
with trainees. New restaurant trainers should ask employees for specific feedback
about training topics as way to both improve the process and recognize any
learning gaps. All training requires follow up to ensure that it is being
People learn best by doing, there’s no doubt about it. That’s why on the job training is such a critical component of your restaurant’s overall learning management strategy. Keep in mind, though, not all training that happens on the job will work. It’s not enough to just show an employee a new task and walk away. While that might fit the loose definition of “on the job training,” it simply will not stick.
Five Strategies for Effective On the Job Training
Coaching focuses on tasks. The role of a coach is to ensure employees have the information, skills, and support they need to complete a task or set of tasks. Effective coaches observe employees as they’re working and give continual feedback to help them improve. Coaches keep their eyes on overall goals, watching how individuals affect the success of the entire team and making adjustments as they go.
Restaurants that value the collective knowledge base of their workforce have a solid mentoring program. Mentors don’t necessarily need to be an employee’s direct supervisor. Often, a more experienced employee who is on a strong career progression track makes a great mentor. The strategy of mentoring focuses on growing an employee’s overall skill set, fostering a positive attitude, and setting the employee up for success in general, not with just a specific task.
There are elements of both mentoring and coaching for employees who are put in the role of having another employee shadow them. In addition to teaching valuable job skills, this strategy can promote the culture of the company and foster teamwork. One word of caution, though: pick the right employees to be shadowed. If you’re not sure, shadow a person yourself before you have new employees follow along.
You may not think of promotions as a form of training, but they are. When you have a strong career progression program, you’re encouraging your employees to pursue on-the-job opportunities and excel as mentors and trainers themselves.
Training is never a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. Any effective training requires assessment and follow-up. As a manager of learning, trainers have a responsibility to track on the job training efforts and record them as part of an employee’s overall training plan. A good online learning management system allows trainers to integrate on-the-job-training with their online courseware with manager sign-offs and tracking.
You’ve probably already heard about tuning servers in to WII-FM to increase sales and raise tips. When you show servers “What’s-In-It-For-Me?” to improve performance, everyone makes more money. You can use the same WII-FM strategy to improve training success. Designing your training program from your staff’s perspective will help employees see that training isn’t something they have to do, it’s something they want to do.
For training to be reciprocal, it must benefit both parties equally. This isn’t always spelled out clearly for trainees, so part of your job as a trainer is to clarify the benefits of training success for employees. How will it make their jobs easier? How will in increase their income? How will it help them move up in the company? How will it protect them from injury or compliance penalties? Spell out the benefits.
From compliance training to career development, your restaurant trainees want (and deserve) to know how their training impacts their day-to-day jobs. Training success is rooted in real-world application. All training should include scenarios that would happen in trainees’ actual jobs. If trainees can’t connect the dots between what they’re learning and what they’ll face on the next shift, they’ll tune out.
Respect for Time
You may think that since you’re paying your hourly employees to go through training, they shouldn’t care how long it takes them to complete it. For tipped employees, though, if they’re not on the floor, they’re not making any real money. And even for non-tipped employees, no one enjoys feeling like their time isn’t respected. Training should be as succinct as possible while still providing ample real-life examples and knowledge assessment.
Training success comes when trainees are allowed to take a range of courses. While some restaurant training is mandatory, leave room for employees to create a custom learning path and acquire skills that correspond with their career goals. Not only does that give them a sense of ownership in their own training, it gives you insight into their management potential.
Happy hour can be a big draw for both your regular guests and new ones. But with the steep discounts you have to offer to get people in the door, is there really any money to be made? Of course there is! The key is to make the most of the people who come in during happy hour, and give them a reason to come back another time.
Happy Hour Training
Improving the profitability of your happy hour starts with staff training. Focus on these areas to help your entire staff generate more sales (and tips!) during happy hour.
Product knowledge training: Test the knowledge of your staff members on your bar offerings and food pairings. Everyone should be prepared to describe the ingredients of every drink and special on the happy hour menu, as well as the 4 Ps of product knowledge: Portion, Presentation, Preparation, and Price.
Appetizer sales training: Train your staff to use descriptive words to describe appetizers. This gives guests a visual image that triggers their taste buds and makes the suggestion hard to resist. Not only are they more likely to take servers up on a well-described offer, they’ll feel good about the level of service they’re given. Bartenders and servers should know what extras and add-ons they can suggest with your appetizer specials to improve the guest experience and increase check averages.
The 7 steps of service excellence: If you’re promoting your happy hour well, your place should be packed. The busier you get, the more tempted you and your staff might be to skimp on important service steps. If you do this, though, you’ll jeopardize your reputation and your chances of creating loyal guests. Train your staff – and remind yourself – to follow the 7 steps of service excellence with every guest, no matter how busy you get. Those steps are:
No train? No gain! Here at Ready Training Online, we develop online restaurant training programs that increase sales, improve service, and support teamwork. In the past year, we launched some new programs and continued to enhance our flagship Service That Sells! restaurant training philosophy. Check out our top five most talked about topics for 2018 below.
Many restaurant servers don’t like to think of themselves as salespeople, but the profitability of your restaurant depends on changing that mindset. When servers have the skills they need to suggestively sell, guests have a more enjoyable dining experience, sales improve for the restaurant, and servers make more money. Everyone wins! Preview server sales training here.
The restaurant industry, unfortunately, is no stranger to harassment. In fact, some reports suggest that ninety percent of women in the restaurant industry report being sexually harassed on the job. More women from the restaurant industry file sexual harassment reports with the EEOC than from any other single industry. Training is the key to preventing harassment in your restaurant. Learn more about online harassment training here.
Throughout a guest experience, you and your staff have multiple opportunities to create a positive experience. We call these the “Moments of Truth” that occur from the time a guest pulls into your parking lot to the minute they walk out the door. Cycle of Service training covers all these details, and pulls them together by creating strong restaurant teams. Learn the steps in the Cycle of Service here.
Restaurant industry experts estimate that a foodborne illness outbreak can cost a business about $75,000. The news is full of stories about foodborne illness outbreaks that make every restaurant operator cringe. Food safety training is a must-have, and presenting it online is the most effective and affordable way to deliver it. Click here for a food handler training option for your staff.
Service is your restaurant’s invisible product. Guests will choose to come back to your restaurant instead of going to the competition based on the service they experience. To deliver exceptional service, you have to train your staff on service basics and problem solving. Check out the Service That Sells! approach here.
The end of the year is a good time for reflection. Here at Service That Sells!, we’re reflecting on the articles our readers we’re most interested in throughout 2018. If you missed them the first time around, take a look now!
Do you manage the floor, or do you work the room? Do you ask, “Is everything okay?” or do you expect more than just “okay” from your staff? As a restaurant manager, how you interact with guests throughout a shift impacts their overall perception of their visit. Read the full article for specific ideas on how to provide exceptional service as a manager.
Working for a boss is very different from playing for a coach. The first difference is that bosses overlook the true beneficiary of their leadership. Coaches know that the way they treat their employees is the way their employees will treat their guests. Check out our full list of 10 ways coaches are better than bosses.
The year 2018 marked the beginning of the #metoo movement. If you followed the news, you probably heard a lot of stories about high-profile people who made some very unethical – and in many cases, unlawful – decisions. While some harassment is over-the-top obvious, other cases of harassment are less so. Harassment is any behavior that creates a hostile work environment. Keep reading to learn specific harassment examples that could happen at your restaurant.
In today’s digital world, a guest can complain about the service or food in your restaurant before they even leave the table. With a few clicks, the public perception of your restaurant can rest in the opinion of one unhappy guest. This article gives you some ideas on how to use online restaurant reviews to your advantage, even when they’re negative.
Training is not a one-way street. For your restaurant to deliver exceptional service to every guest on every visit, your training program must encompass everyone on your team. Leadership values trickle down to managers. Manager styles trickle down to employees. And whatever your employees know (or don’t know), directly affects guests. Read the article to learn more about restaurant training from the top down.
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