Three Challenges in Restaurant Training

Posted on April 14, 2012


Anyone who owns or manages a restaurant knows training is important.  Having the best training program possible can be difficult.  Most training issues result from scarce resources, the hiring cycle and lack of employee incentives.   Before improving training efforts, you must look at your business to determine where to improve.

Training Takes Resources and Resources are Scarce

The best way to improve training is by devoting the proper resources to it.  Spend more time developing curriculum, hiring training executives, and managing the training processes from the top down.  And if you are an owner or on the front lines, spend more time on it yourself.  As a front line manager or owner you can get more involved in the process.  You have the power to increase the rigors accountability of the process.

However, as we all know, restauranteurs do not have unlimited resources.  They are a no show, no call dishwasher away from chaos.  The thousands of dollars to hire a training professional or consultant may be diverted away from money for payroll or produce.  Resources are scarce, and time and money are at the top of the list.  However, it may be worth stretching yourself.  Making training a priority could generate more revenue and profit for your restaurant.

Hire, Fire, Rehire Cycle     

Most people hire too quickly, and restaurants are no exception.  The cycle starts with being short staffed.  Restaurantuers end up in a “I’ll hire whoever” or “I will take a ‘less than perfect’ candidate, just to keep the lights on.”  And then your good people leave for one reason or another, your mediocre employees stick around and you have to hire again.  And you again hire quickly and recklessly.  Before looking at training, take a look at your hiring process.  Your training may actually be fine.

Offering Incentive for Employees

Consider the reasons people leave restaurant jobs:  low pay, lack of career advancement, hours and quality of life issues.   To increase retention, consider ways to counter these problems.  Should you be able to increase the salary or tips of your staff while maintaining or increasing revenue and profit, go ahead and do it.  If there are ways to give employees more responsibilities to help them develop, do that as well.  Also consider ways to accommodate personal and family needs while staffing, whether it be by offering a set schedule or having a holiday schedule.  Talented people are looking for a few perks here and there.