As a restaurant manager, you know that your employees are the backbone of your business. They are the ones who interact with customers, prepare food, and keep the restaurant running smoothly. However, keeping your employees engaged and motivated can be a challenge, especially in the fast-paced, high-pressure environment that is the restaurant industry. That’s where Continuous learning comes in, continuous learning is all about having a "never-stop-learning" attitude, staying curious, and always striving to improve yourself. Implementing continuous employee learning and development programs into your restaurant can be the key to enhancing productivity, safety, and customer service (among other benefits). In this post, we will explore the features and benefits of these programs and how they can address the unique concerns of restaurant managers.
Continuous learning refers to the process of continuously acquiring new knowledge and skills throughout one's lifetime. It involves actively seeking out opportunities to learn and improve, whether through formal education, training programs, on-the-job experiences, or even self-directed learning. In short, continuous learning is an ongoing process of acquiring new knowledge and skills to adapt and thrive in our ever-changing world.
In traditional forms of learning, individuals typically undertake structured courses or programs for a specific period to learn new skills. In contrast, continuous learning is an ongoing process that involves seeking out opportunities to learn and improve outside of formal education. With the ever-changing demands of customers, technological advancements, and shifts in the market, continuous learning has become increasingly important in the restaurant industry.
Statistics show that over fifty percent of cooks do not receive more than their standard onboarding training (TalentLMS 2019). Therefore, investing in continuous learning and development can set your restaurant apart from the competition. Investing in your employees' learning shows that you value your staff and that you are committed to their growth and success. This can also promote your employees to stay motivated and engaged, creating improvements in your restaurant processes.
Continuous learning and development are crucial for optimizing restaurant operations because an educated workforce results in stronger and more skilled employees. Bringing new and improved skills to the “kitchen table” 😉, your employees can take on more responsibilities and develop into other, more challenging roles (such as management). This leads to several benefits such as higher rates of productivity and employee retention.
Investing in restaurant staff training can lead to a more productive, efficient, and successful restaurant. By providing customized training programs for kitchen staff, you can improve restaurant productivity, while also unlocking employee potential. Additionally, staff training can result in a safer workplace, consistent customer service, and better compliance with industry regulations.
Turnover rates in the restaurant industry can be alarmingly high, with a study by the National Restaurant Association finding that the rates can reach as high as 75% (2018). Investing in restaurant staff training can help address this issue by providing a clear career path and opportunities for self-improvement. When employees feel supported and valued, they are more likely to stay with your restaurant, leading to a more stable and productive team.
Restaurant productivity solutions refer to strategies implemented in a restaurant to optimize operational efficiency, reduce waste, and maximize output. A customized training programs for kitchen staff is an example of this. As it can significantly improve restaurant productivity and is applicable for employees at various stages of their development. Investing in training can help struggling employees unlock their potential and increase the overall level of your kitchen team. Training is designed to elevate the output levels of individuals, turning line cooks into fully-fledged chefs and leaders, resulting in a more efficient and productive restaurant team.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that these are the most common injuries that take place in the restaurant industry: slips, trips, and falls. Implementing restaurant safety training and protocols can help prevent these accidents, as well as other safety hazards in the restaurant industry, such as burns and cuts. This results in a safer and more efficient workplace. By investing in continuous restaurant staff training programs, your staff can learn best practices for restaurant process improvement and restaurant efficiency solutions, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. This protects your employees' health and safety and helps maintain a positive reputation for your business and avoid costly legal issues.
Staying up to date on industry regulations and laws is essential for avoiding penalties and legal trouble. Employee training management software for restaurants can help you track employee certifications and training, ensuring compliance with regulations and promoting a culture of accountability. Compliance with regulations and laws such as food safety regulations, labor laws, and health and safety regulations is essential to avoid costly penalties and legal troubles.
A positive customer service experience is crucial for any successful restaurant. According to a SalesForce survey in 2020, 91% of customers said that a positive customer service experience makes them more likely to make another purchase (in the future). Investing in restaurant staff training, specifically in customer service, you can ensure that your staff is equipped with the skills and knowledge to provide friendly and attentive service to your customers. This, in turn, can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased revenue and repeat business for your restaurant.
Starting points include:
Now that you know how beneficial continuous learning could be for your establishment, we can discuss how continuous learning can be implemented into your restaurant business. There are many steps a restaurant manager or operator can take to facilitate more employee learning. You can provide a restaurant staff training manual to be read by all employees, or you can motivate your workers to learn by themselves with online tools and resources, however, our suggestion is to incorporate technology tools, such as an online learning management system designed specifically for restaurants. Either way you slice it staff learning should be considered necessary nowadays.
Training materials deal with the possible platforms you can use, in this case training is a broad term, and we will cover on-the-job training, online training, and workshops.
On-the-job training is an effective way to ensure that employees learn the necessary skills to perform their roles effectively. There are a couple of ways to facilitate this in a restaurant. One is through “shadowing” another more experienced employee, this is useful to see an expert at work, seeing their kitchen flow and how they gracefully move from one task to the next. Asking questions and being inquisitive is recommended during this type of training.
Another is having a more structured, step-by-step training module put in place. This will help the employee in question to build knowledge and skills progressively. The restaurant I work at has a training manual in place, this is handed out and distributed to new employees, within contains useful information such as the layout of the kitchen, our kitchen values (such as a high level of cleanliness and teamwork), and the new recruit's checklist for learning. This checklist shows what skills are necessary to learn, and what we expect the person to learn within a certain frame of time, e.g. “First week – understand and operate the Pizza Station by yourself with no trouble.”
Online training is a popular method of continuous learning that allows employees to learn at their own pace and convenience. Leveraging technology is a very sensible and intelligent method for enhancing your employee’s skills. Such technology includes using software tools such TalentLMS, Trainual, or spoon.tech. Online training programs can be tailored to meet specific training needs and can include interactive quizzes, videos, and readings. This is an excellent option for employees who prefer to learn independently or have a busy schedule.
Workshops can provide more specific and specialized information for employees to learn. Workshops are another form of interactive training that focuses on specific skills or topics. This type of training typically involves a more structured approach, with a trainer delivering a presentation or hands-on instruction. Workshops can be conducted in-person or online and can be a wonderful way to introduce new skills or techniques to employees. In the context of the restaurant industry, specific cooking techniques, and different cuisine styles are fitting examples of what can be learned attending a workshop.
Incentives and Feedback can be an effective way to engage your employees to learn more and perform better. In this case we will discuss using incentives, providing constant feedback, and offering career advancement opportunities.
Incentivizing your restaurant employees is a crucial factor to consider when you want them to complete a certain training or learn a certain skill. Incentives can be a powerful motivator when the training you want your employees to complete is secondary. For example, going through medical first-aid training by giving your staff members a bonus or a raise when they do so can be a powerful motivator and will create more opportunities for them to complete the training. First-aid training might not be the most vital piece of training for all employees to undertake, but it still provides a lot of value to the team, that is where incentives should be leveraged the most.
Providing a constant feedback session over time can be a fantastic way to provide honest, and constructive feedback for your employees. Regular performance reviews are something we personally do at the same restaurant I work at. Every three months, all members of the restaurant have a private review, where we see how well staff members performed and if there are any areas where they still need to improve upon. Understanding where they stand with the training, while recognizing important developments and successful strides, is also important to mention.
One of the best ways to motivate employees into engaging in continuous learning is to provide career advancement opportunities. This can include offering your employees the chance to expand into new roles and responsibilities. Providing a clear career path and growth opportunities can help employees see the value of continuous learning and encourage them to take advantage of training opportunities. Career advancement is a strong value to incorporate into any restaurant business, having a comprehensive career plan in place, explaining which stage each employee is ranking them from a “Rookie” at level 1 for example, all the way to “Management” at level 6. This helps convey to the employees where they stand on the ladder, and what new skills they need to learn to “level up.”
In conclusion, to implement the benefits of continuous learning into your restaurant, you should provide training opportunities, as well as provide incentives, feedback, and career advancing opportunities. Making use of these methods can help your restaurant enjoy many benefits such as reduced employee turnover, enhanced restaurant productivity solutions, increase in safety and efficiency, improved restaurant compliance, and a better delivery of customer service.
If you found this blog helpful and would like to discuss or learn more about how spoon.tech can help you to retain your staff better and reduce the employee volatility in your restaurant, please fill out our contact form, alternatively, you can reach out to us via phone at (+43 670 655 56 82) Or email us at email@example.com.
Hi, I am Nikita, a Vienna-based chef who has been successfully leading and teaching restaurant teams for the past several years. I am passionate about both cooking and people development and love to write on both topics. Get connected with me on Linkedin, and I will be happy to chat!