How to Reduce Turnover with Innovative Restaurant Training Programs

By: Bob Paulsen on October 21, 2015

Young cook learning from innovative restaurant training program

The job turnover rate in the United States is still high, at 44.4 percent in the private sector across all industries. For the restaurant and accommodations sector, however, the rate is much higher, at 66.3 percent. And though that number isn’t as severe as it was a decade ago, it’s still a stark reality that restaurants must deal with—and an area many companies hope to improve upon.

The restaurant industry, by its nature, is prone to turnover simply because of the number of part-time and younger people it employs. Getting workers to embrace their jobs, fully engage with their duties, and think in terms of the long term rather than something temporary is a challenge, but one many training specialists and managers are willing to accept. Restaurant training programs hold a key to developing and retaining the best employees. Ultimately, this can reduce turnover and increase productivity; here are some ways how:

Training that Isn’t Boring

A constant battle restaurants face is keeping their employees engaged—ensuring they aren’t continually bored or disillusioned by their jobs. Yet with some restaurant training programs, boredom sets in before a worker ever dons a hairnet or writes anything down on an order pad. Many hires are subjected to dull, ineffectual learning processes that give them a negative impression of their new jobs on Day 1. Mobile training solutions are emerging that are reversing this boredom. The learning on tablets and other portable devices is more dynamic than standard training manuals. Restaurant training programs via this technology actually capture employees’ attention rather than make them wish they had never taken the job in the first place.

Effective Learning

Staying engaged during restaurant training programs is one thing; actually emerging from it with skills ready to apply in the kitchen, at the register, or on the floor is another. Employees who don’t quite get the training require more handholding from managers and other workers, and are also likely to get something wrong—possibly to the chagrin of a dissatisfied customer. Mobile training software improves the quality of training, both for new hires and established employees. For example, if a restaurant is rolling out a new menu item, a cook could watch video on an iPad or Surface—right in the kitchen—on how to prepare the dish. This visual method is far more effective than just reading about the recipe, and it increases the odds employees will get the menu item correct from the outset.

Familiar Technology

Because mobile solutions employ tablets and other devices younger employees are familiar with, the training is more readily accepted. And as demonstrated, when it’s accepted, hires and veterans alike derive more value and knowledge from it. Moreover, millennial workers recognize when restaurant training programs use the latest technology rather than previous approaches, and appreciate that their employers are so forward-thinking. This may seem like a minor consideration, but if an employee is pondering leaving for a new job, the prospect that the next employer may subject him or her to “ancient” training methods could be enough to stay put.

On the Floor Faster

New employees don’t want to spend hours or even days in a back office learning their jobs without even practically experiencing it. Get them in the action faster, and they can fully engage with their duties before forming a negative opinion of their jobs. Restaurant training programs on mobile devices speed up the process so that hires are productive sooner, which benefits the employee and the company.

How has your company dealt with high employee turnover?

Setting Up Your Staff for Restaurant Success

 

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