Restaurant Staff Training Solutions: 8 Critical Tips

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Managing restaurant staff is a full-time job. Whether you’re a restaurant owner or floor manager, ensuring your staff is trained and ready for any customer interaction is a crucial component of the job. Hiring the right staff is the place to start. From there, implementing regular restaurant staff training keeps you primed for brunch hours, dinner rushes, and everything in between.

Culinary Staffing is here to help! Utilize these restaurant staff training solutions and support tools to prepare your staff for every customer request. Hire from our pool of qualified front-of-house and back-of-house staff to fill your employee roster with skilled workers with verified training.

Restaurant Staff Training Requirements

Among your restaurant staff training solutions, these requirements are a must:

  • Food safety standards, encompassing food handling, storage, and proper serving procedures.
  • Customer service skills, ensuring your staff are prepared to deliver high-level consistent quality customer care.
  • Restaurant maintenance practices, making sure your staff are trained to maintain your restaurant standards of excellence in design and organization.

When you start with these foundational staff training requirements it sets the table to save time and effort when it comes to effective training.

Restaurant Staff Training Goals

When you implement our restaurant staff training solutions they allow you to achieve team goals with ease. Some of those goals to work toward include:

  • Self-sustaining employees who can run through a shift with minimal administrative support.
  • A streamlined customer experience codified in a service plan that is both detailed and leaves room for personalized customer interactions.
  • Opportunities for advancement to keep your best employees, encouraging them to take initiative in training and all other aspects of their roles.

Ultimately when your staff training is disciplined and precise, it gives you the freedom to create a better customer dining experience. These improvements benefit your staff, your customers, and your bottom line.

8 Tips for Restaurant Staff Training

Use these eight tips for restaurant staff training to build your training program from the ground up:

1. Provide Access to Training Programs

Your foremost task is providing access to training programs that align with your restaurant’s vision. Ensuring you have in-house access to training and connections to required food handling courses bolsters your ability to fine tune your training program.

2. Organize Specific Front-of-House and Back-of-House Training

Your front-of-house staff needs training in customer service, managing front-of-house duties, and maintaining professional presentation. These tasks include learning your restaurant’s best practices for keeping work areas neat, practicing how to best handle complicated customer situations, and processing monetary transactions such as splitting checks, or how to accept multiple forms of payment on a single bill. 

Back-of-house staff training complements front-of-house work but is a world away from customers. For your back-of-house employees, focus on training that emphasizes food and health safety standards, meal preparation, and top-tier plating techniques that match your restaurant’s aesthetic. 

The final component for keeping your back-of-house staff cool when the kitchen gets hot is ensuring consistent training with clearly defined expectations for each position. Within that practice, include cross-training for when staffing is tight, and how to communicate under pressure if a situation is less than ideal to keep everyone working in sync.

3. Empower Your Best Employees to Assist In Training

Delegation is a fundamental rule of management and training. The more you can trust your restaurant to run smoothly, the more time you have to work on new customer acquisition strategies.

Promote a self-contained training program by empowering your best employees to help onboard and assist in training new hires. One way to do this is by selecting your most efficient, hard-working staff for supervisory roles. 

4. Designate Training Time for Aesthetics and Design

As you integrate restaurant staff training solutions one task that can be easily overlooked is dedicated training time for ensuring consistent delivery of your restaurant’s aesthetics and design. These questions will get your head in the design space:

  • How often do you think about how your staff plays a role in the look (and feel) of your restaurant? 
  • Is your front-of-house staff prepared to maintain table designs?
  • Are your back-of-house workers paying equal amounts of attention to plating as ingredients? 

Ensuring your brand guidelines are clearly defined in your employee training manual with specific time set aside for practice is the ticket to success. Doing so guarantees all employees can follow your restaurant’s recipe for perfect design etiquette. 

5. Be Thorough In Your Employee Training Manual

Be concise with the information you include in your employee training manual. The more thorough you are, the more helpful the manual will be for you and your staff! Foundational sections are the most important to start with, including opening and closing procedures for front-of-house and back-of-house staff as well as the protocol for guest greeting, seating, and times for eating. 

Be precise about uniform rules and professional presentation. Include information on how staff scheduling is planned, how your POS system operates, and the correct order for customer inquiry and delegation of management responsibilities.

6. Educate Your Servers on Food and Beverage Pairings

A key selling point throughout your guest’s dining experience is your staff’s ability to pair any plate with a complementary beverage, be it a glass of wine or a perfect craft cocktail. Servers do not need sommelier-levels of knowledge. An in-depth understanding of the menu and your patron’s palate, however, adds greater depth to the customer experience and is an easy way to generate additional revenue. 

Make sure your staff are knowledgeable about your seasonal menu items that highlight specific, unique ingredients and their perfect pairings. 

7. Utilize Customer Feedback In Training Plans

Emphasize the customer experience by placing value on their feedback. By consistently incorporating customer feedback into your daily operational practices you demonstrate a commitment to the highest level of dining experience. Things to consider:

  • Adding an additional nightly special if feedback has been positive.  
  • Incorporating better ways to receive and submit requests about special seating arrangements and table layouts. 
  • Listing a corkage fee if customers consistently request to bring a bottle of wine that signifies an important milestone in their lives.

When you receive customer feedback that can be immediately implemented by your staff, update your training plans to reflect your customer’s needs and incorporate it into regular staff communications. Your customer’s experience will improve and so will your profits!

8. Use Technological Support

When it comes to training your staff, there is a delicate balance between quality instruction and your profit margin for time spent. Implement technology when applicable for standard practices that do not affect your restaurant’s aesthetic and enjoyment of the customer’s experience. 

Training modules on a staff computer to learn how to run your restaurant’s POS system or 

required food safety courses are examples of tech implementation to help make training more efficient.

The Schedule of Restaurant Staff Training

The schedule of restaurant staff training includes a few timelines: Initial training for new hires followed by regular training sessions each quarter for your more seasoned staff. Quarterly training could include refreshers of the basics. It’s also an ideal time to roll out any new restaurant plans and incorporate customer feedback in addition to implementing updates for the service industry as a whole.

Frequently Asked Questions About Training for Restaurant Staff

The more deliberate you are about how time is spent training staff, the less time you will have to spend on staffing solutions later. Our answers to these FAQs provide additional foundational support for designing a training program that covers the basics with plenty of room for customization.

How Do You Train a Restaurant Employee Effectively?

Training restaurant employees effectively encompasses general practices and nuanced restaurant-specific tricks and tools. Train your staff for food and safety standards, ensure they know your restaurant’s clientele to solidify service skills, and clearly define roles to support efficient task management. 

Provide training on where unique ingredients or specialty menu items come from, highlighting the ingredients’ quality and handling–such as farm-to-table distribution. Practice giving tasting notes that give drink and dessert pairings a delicious story, and include tips suited to your location to help staff navigate your unique clientele’s needs. These higher standards of training keep your restaurant standing out from the rest of your competition.

Which Type of Training Is the Most Important for Restaurant Servers?

There isn’t one single most important type of training. Any servers that only have experience with a single form will have lacking customer service skills with a lot left to be desired. Several of the most important training subjects to cover are:

  • Food handling practices
  • Cleaning and sanitation
  • Customer service
  • Food serving and presentation
  • Cashiering and money handling
  • Bussing and bar backing 

Servers help facilitate the perfect dining experience. Emphasizing customer-based practices for these employees that revolve around creating an immersive dining experience, knowing the menu in detail, and maintaining the correct dining atmosphere are at the top of their training list. 

How Do You Plan a Staff Training Program?

The best way to plan staff training is with the vision you have for your restaurant in mind. Start by running a SWOT analysis as it pertains to your staffing and customer service. Doing so can help prevent staffing shortages in a busy season or help mitigate waste. Define your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Then you can determine how your staff can best enhance your strengths, eliminate weaknesses, and help your restaurant reach its potential. This could include training floor supervisors to delegate tasks and explain specific standards. Make sure to include your restaurant’s specifics in your training program’s design first. 

After you’ve organized the program with what you need, you can fit the food and safety standards and business-specific needs where they belong. General training for safety standards is for everyone. Management and technology tasks will be specific for supervisors. 

What are Six Ways to Smoothly Manage a Restaurant?

Six techniques to master managing a restaurant are:

  1. Work with customer feedback to adapt and keep customers coming back.
  2. Define your employee roles so everyone knows what part they play in restaurant success.
  3. Market your restaurant in your location to bring in new guests.
  4. Streamline your menu items for serving and recommendation purposes and to ease the work of the back-of-house staff.
  5. Stay on top of your money management.
  6. Keep motivation high by empowering your employees and treating them well.

These practices will improve the restaurant experience for you, your employees, and your customers! 

Mastering the Key Staff Training Solutions for Restaurants 

Incorporating these eight restaurant staff training solutions into your training program helps to ensure your restaurant is managed by the best staff for the job. Hiring the right people will aid in that initiative. Culinary Staffing can help you there! Contact our staffing experts today to bring in pre-interviewed, qualified professionals to raise your restaurant standards.