Restaurant Training is something that every restaurant does, but not every restaurant takes full advantage of it as a tool for increasing profit.
Think of restaurant training as much more than teaching the server staff how to set a table, take an order or serve a meal. You can’t separate restaurant training from marketing.
If you’ve made a good marketing plan, but neglected effective restaurant training, great marketing will just kill a bad operation faster. If you send people into an operation that is performing below par, people will have a bad experience and your money will have to be spent on operations improvement rather than marketing.
The restaurant training department should report to the marketing department to make sure the brand, positioning and marketing is reflected back by the people actually on the front lines.
Restaurant training isn’t just a cost center or a cost of doing business, it’s an investment into a higher return on profit. It is vitally important to the success of a restaurant. Most restaurants use servers to suggest dishes management wants to promote, but how the server is trained to offer the suggestion makes a big difference.
Absent or weak restaurant training is worse than not marketing at all.
A server is also a far more effective marketing tool than any sign or billboard. For example, if you’re running a birthday promotion in your restaurant, a server can pass it along to his customers, who, in turn, will tell others.
Your restaurant training will have to go beyond just employee orientation. You’ll need an ongoing program that constantly improves and evolves your staff competencies. It’s also a good idea to include a restaurant marketing component in your restaurant training program so that you have a staff of ambassadors to help your sales-building efforts.
The age old restaurant training program of giving out a large three ring binder employee manual and doing a few days of follow-the-trainer just doesn’t cut it in today’s competitive restaurant business. There are new tools such as Intranets, interactive learning tools, picture books, and customized restaurant training books that we can help your operation develop.
How important restaurant training is can be demonstrated by America’s largest take-out operation and the world’s fastest-growing franchiser. Any way you look at it, Starbucks is doing an awesome job. They spend more money on restaurant training than they do on advertising.