It is very true that a restaurant’s servers can make or break the operation. They can properly represent the brand, setting the background for customers to come back. However, they can also leave a bad impression and have customers take their choice elsewhere. Either way, you, as a manager or team leader, have a huge take on your employee’s motivation flow.
In order to keep them going and to improve their skills, there are several employee training programs to invest in. Sometimes it does not matter how sure you are on the quality of your product if your staff cannot communicate it well to guests. This is a sign that they need your attention to develop their skills further.
You may think that with one training in customer service, staff may have gotten it all right, and they will implement what they have been taught. However, consistency in training is what drives employees to succeed. It is also efficient for managers because, while keeping the training regular, they get to keep track of how much employees have improved and where they still need a boost of performance. If you cannot do that personally, there are plenty of employee Learning Management Systems that you can use to track their progress online.
The skills to teach your employees are many; however, focus on their level of empathy, understanding, and communication skills. The perfect scenario would be if you would lead them by example. After all, the communication chain between your employees and customers is sometimes no more than a mirror of the communication between you and your employees in the first place.
Of course, seeing your staff perform their skills in real situations is different. However, that should not stop you from improvising those situations and practicing possible scenarios. So, you can ask so-called “mystery diners” to come and evaluate your staff’s customer service skills, how much it has improved during training, and other relevant data.
In the restaurant industry, mystery diners are people hired to eat and evaluate the restaurant’s service and food quality. Third parties can act in different ways, like ask dull questions several times, complain about their food to simply test the attitude of your staff. They can provide you with valuable insights on them that you, as an employer, might be missing out on.
It is very important to note down just how much your staff has improved and which aspect of the training helped them most. Through this, you can also figure out their best assets and traits, or the opposite—the worst. However, you will have a clear image of where you need to further invest in them. Make sure to point out what you notice about them, praise their efforts, and motivate them for striving to achieve your goals. This will let them know that they are being appreciated, not just evaluated.
Having a specific goal for each of your training sessions can help keep you more organized. This way, you can maintain clear strategies and clear goals, and your employees won’t be left confused, thinking which aspect of the training should they adapt first. Narrow down your discussions into focusing into one or two aspects of performance. Digestible bits of information are easier to be swallowed.
By the end of the training, you can extract conclusions and see how your strategy of communication impacted their performance and whether you need to change the way you approach your employees. Training them to an outstanding level takes time and patience, from both parties, so keep that in mind when you are making your training plan – which is also a must have before actual practice.
Valmira Rashiti is a practical mystic, book worm, and very much fond of words, whether written or spoken. She currently writes for Kiwi, which is a restaurant LMS that aims to help restaurant owners train their staff in an easier and more effective way.