Ken Burgin

How Your New Restaurant Training Supervisor Can Make it Happen!

Once you have more than a few staff, training needs multiply – different skills needed for different people, and various stages of development. Appointing someone as a training supervisor takes it out of the manager’s hands and ensures it will be handled, not forgotten. Training is one of those ‘important but not urgent’ projects that is easy to put off…. yet again.

Make this a part-time job for an enthusiastic employees – for you it’s just one more thing on a long list, and for them it can be an honour and a source of pride. So what will they do?

  • Organise the training calendar – one of the simplest and most effective ways to get training actually happening. You know how it’s been in the past – other priorities take precedence. Use a simple diary, or Google Calendar, and plot out the next 6 months.
  • Gather training material – copies of your menu and wine list, take photos of menu items, Profitable Hospitality articles, other relevant articles, YouTube videos – there are many options.
  • Run ’10 minute’ training sessions – focused on chunks of practical information and skills. Short menu tastings, handling a difficult customer (with a role play), review a video together, learn a selling technique, review of last week’s sales numbers, safety procedures, product knowledge quizzes etc. Keep them focused on short, single-topic sessions to start with.
  • Maximise the use of online training – services like Typsy have excellent short courses and videos for online training in a wide variety of areas. Find and review the best modules for your venue, and organise for staff to sign-up and do them. They have an excellent free membership offer available before 30 September 2020.
  • Organise induction for new staff. The training supervisor can make sure the necessary policies are explained, menu training happens and questions answered. Ticking them off a checklist so nothing is missed.
  • Organise suppliers who can offer training e.g. cleaning chemicals, the coffee roaster, fish and meat suppliers, vegetable suppliers – it’s surprising how many  offer this, but it’s often not taken up. Sales people definitely get brownie points from their bosses when this happens.
  • Organise regular performance reviews – they’re easily postponed, and then another 12 months has passed. The supervisor is the person who will make sure these appointments are in the manager’s or head chef’s diary, with plenty of reminders for all parties.

Praise their work – give regular feedback, and see what they need to develop the program. Little by little the business culture is getting stronger, and fewer people are leaving…

Once you have someone in the swing of training and enjoying the process, you can encourage them to develop their training skills, perhaps pursue some qualifications and take on more detailed tasks like a training needs analysis for the business and for individual employees. Find your enthusiast and get them started on the diary!

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