One of the industries with the highest turnover rate happens to be the hospitality industry. The year 2018 was the year that recorded one of the highest staff turnover percentages ever—74,9% of the staff decided to leave the sector. This percentage can partially be attributed to the demographic of the employees working in the industry. One-third of the hospitality industry workers are youngsters and students who choose to temporarily do these kinds of jobs so that they can cover their school expenses.
However, this doesn’t entirely justify the high number that seems to only increase over the years, not to mention the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry during both 2020 and 2021. This situation can be translated as an issue that needs an immediate and urgent fix. While there isn’t a definite solution to this kind of issue, those who are part of the industry can start this revolution by providing better work conditions and investing in the employees and their skill development. This can help with the reduction of recruitment costs as well as improve guest service and guest satisfaction.
What is something that can help you kill two birds with one stone, as they say? The answer is simple, a restaurant training manual. Let’s dive into it.
As the name suggests, a restaurant training manual is a resource of materials that the staff can refer to to get information about the workplace dressing code, etiquette, safety policies, and the language that is to be used there. This kind of manual aims to make the onboarding process easy both for the employees and the employer. It can also reduce the number of individual questions employees might have regarding the guidelines and the procedures they have to follow to uphold the restaurant policy. You can consider it the Mecca of the answers related to restaurant serving.
Considering the fact that no two restaurants are managed similarly, employee training is a must. A restaurant training manual would be a great asset as it would ease the training and lead the participants to definite success. While you could choose the approach of letting the staff learn from their mistakes, they would do so at the expense of the guest experience. Yet with a superb restaurant training manual, you lead your team to perfection as they won’t need to second guess their actions and will have total clarity on every aspect of their duties.
But how can you create a staff training manual that fulfills the needs of your eatery? You start by creating some steps that should be followed. A training manual requires of you to:
This first step guides the training participants into what is expected to learn in this training. You should set a number of objectives, giving neither too much nor too little information, always having in mind to keep it clear for them and not make a daunting task for them, or force them to find other sources to find support for this training.
The second step is dedicated to the people for whom the training is getting compiled—the training participants, i.e., the restaurant staff. You’ll be thinking about the needs that they might have depending on their position within the establishment, always considering the workplace culture and demographics.
Once you’ve identified your objectives and the participants, you can start to select the tools you’ll be using in training. Thanks to technological developments, we’ve come a long way from the traditional training manuals, which at times were considered unappealing and dull, to restaurant LMSs that provide interactive training manuals.
Sure, you can use several methods to present training materials but first, you have to create those said materials. You can use both text and visual aids to deliver the information, providing real-life examples to make it easier for the participants to grasp certain concepts. You can also include discussion topics to spice up the learning experience and quizzes to each learning section so that the staff can test themselves and see where they’re at.
A score of 80% is considered the benchmark that each training participant should reach so the trainer can conclude you reached a satisfactory level of understanding of the materials provided. However, you can decide on the way you want to assess and evaluate your staff.
Feedback is a useful way to improve the training manual. Fresh eyes can help improve mistakes of different kinds, from simple typos to improving the training methods. That’s why you should be open to accepting feedback and suggestions others might give you.
When it comes to what the serving training manual includes, there isn’t a single answer and a concept you can choose to be part of. In fact, there is a list of things to be included in. Let’s take a closer look at them.
A mission statement or your creative vision shows the staff what you do and why you chose to do it. You can express it simply in one or two sentences, and the staff should know these two sentences by heart and always have it at the back of their minds.
Not one restaurant management wants their service to be poor or for their guests to get sick due to poorly-stored and cooked food. That’s why you have to make sure that all your staff obtains a license in food handling, through which they get informed on keeping themselves and their guests healthy.
Guest experience is directly related to the mission statement. At the end of the day, they are the main reason why you’re still on the market. This section is all about the way the staff greets guests; what you want them to say to guests, should they follow a script or be spontaneous. In other words, this section centers around the time your guest decides to spend in your place and all you can do to make it worth their while.
The name gave it away, but the section of dress code focuses on the attire that the staff depending on the role they have should have it on while on the job. Each restaurant has its own dress code; that’s why you ought to create it from scratch.
Sanitary instructions are an important part of the manual. Here are included tips from personal hygiene tips like showering regularly, keeping the hair covered, washing your hands regularly to the cloths that should be used for wiping utensils, and many other aspects of workplace sanitation.
Training new and current restaurant staff can increase stress levels to the training provider. However, a training manual can act as a guide by alleviating the pressure that comes with training. The best thing is that not only will it make your job easier, but it can also increase the chances of your staff achieving success. Creating a restaurant training manual by considering all of the employees as new hires, you will be extra careful with the way you present processes and the systems put in place that it will be almost impossible to overlook any important step.
All those who invest money in training want to see positive results and a return on investment through improved productivity and performance levels. A restaurant training manual can be a great way to increase the chances of the training being successful and impactful. What do you think? Are you willing to give it a chance?