Today’s restaurant chains —also known as Quick-Serve-Restaurant (QSR)— hire workers at an incredible rate. When a restaurant is considering expansion, it is critical to have effective training in place that streamlines the onboarding process, provides consistency across locations, and minimizes the amount of in-person training.
Finding the time to train new employees can become a daunting challenge. If the QSR has locations internationally, another layer of complexity is added if you need support for multiple languages. To help meet these types of challenges, many QSRs have turned to eLearning resources.
While properly training your employees can be challenging, many eLearning resources empower companies to create custom learning plans and facilitate self-paced learning to meet those challenges.
Last year I had the opportunity to create a custom employee training eLearning portal for a large QSR in the U.S. Here are some of the key challenges my team came across prior to deploying their training platform.
Unlike schools or offices, fast food restaurants typically do not have a dedicated location for employees to be trained on the job. While a QSR may have one or two computers in a small office, they may not be available for employee use.
This issue can easily be resolved by deploying online training via mobile tablets. Tablets are less expensive than PCs but are still powerful enough to run multimedia-rich training courses. Because the device is mobile, employees can do their training at multiple spots in the restaurant.
While wifi is available at most fast food restaurants, I have noticed that the connection tends to be relatively slow compared to the speed at most offices. Because of this, you may need to be more mindful about designing courses with this limitation in mind and implement extra techniques to compensate.
For instance, you can reduce the download time by optimizing the multimedia assets. Another option is to preload content before the employee starts the course. You can also turn on your cache to capture various multimedia content —such as audio, video, graphics— in order for courses to run smoothly on a slower bandwidth.
QSR locations are typically required to have training materials, such as the employee handbook and operations manual, at each of their locations. When updates are made to hard copy versions expenses quickly add up because of the printing and shipping involved.
To cut these costs, find an eLearning platform that can digitize the materials and store them in the cloud. All future updates to the materials can simply be managed in the cloud, which means they will be available instantaneously across all restaurant locations.
QSR workplaces tend to be very busy and fast paced environments. Employees are likely to be interrupted repeatedly when reviewing their training materials. When employees experience interruptions, they have to backtrack to figure out where they left off and it may take them longer to get certified for their courses as a result.
To solve this, make sure the Learning Management System you choose has a built-in tracking system that can monitor employee activity as they progress through their learning plan. When an employee returns to their course, the system will prompt them to start where they previously left off. Also, in the event they were interrupted during a quiz, the system will save their answers and allow the employee to answer the remaining questions.
With employees constantly being hired, let go, and transferred —and franchises opening and closing on a regular basis— it can be difficult to maintain a current employee database.
To keep your database up-to-date, make sure your Learning Management System is equipped with a schema that retains your employees’ learning records and can handle multiple roles, locations, transfers, and terminations.
When implemented correctly, eLearning helps reduce the employee training cost for QSRs and creates the consistency restaurants need to for successful training, especially as it applies to their franchisees. Due to the challenges that are unique to QSRs, meticulous planning is necessary to deploy a truly successful employee training solution. If you are diligent to address these 5 areas, you are already ahead of the game.