The Future of Restaurant Staff Training

2 minute read

We all remember the inglorious past of restaurant staff training - either stuffed into a cramped backroom, leafing through a paper manual that didn’t have much relevance to what would happen out on the floor; or we were paired with a seasoned server or cook who had little time for doing their job in addition training the new employee (which meant they were short on patience as well). So what does the future of restaurant staff training look like? Come with us and find out!

It’s mobile

This should be no surprise, as mobile devices are already everywhere. Your younger staff will expect to learn on their phones or tablets (or those provided by the house). We already talked about the sad legacy of backroom training, and no one from Gen X through to post-Millennials will sit in that environment to try and learn. If you’re not planning for mobile training, you’re already behind the curve.

It happens where they’re working & continually

This is known as “performance support,” but the concept means learning at the place where the work is happening. Think about learning in our backroom example and then having to retain the information until you get on the line. (It makes me tired and stressed just writing about it!) Performance support gives answers in the right place at the right time to the right person. Instead of breaking away from a customer or the cooking line, a mobile device loaded with training materials can keep your staff close to the task at hand.

It’s video

The brain processes video exponentially faster than text, so it makes sense to leverage video whenever possible. While it’s not always the best or most appropriate solution, it’s a natural way to deliver training sessions on plating, food prep, and even recipe refreshers. The potential of Virtual Reality (VR) training also looms on the horizon - imagine learning how to cook at a virtual workstation!

It’s short & to the point

When you’re on the line, you don’t have time for a deep dive into food chemistry or a lengthy description of the history of why this recipe is so popular. Short content (between 15 seconds and 3 minutes) is perfect for a quick review or refresher right there where the work is done so focus isn’t lost and they don’t have to interrupt someone else. This “microlearning” content is the next wave of targeted training.

With the exception of VR training, all of these examples of “the future” are here today in leading-edge training software, at reasonable cost. When you look at how expensive it is to hire and re-train new employees, it starts to look cheap to implement a learning system that appeals to your staff instead of alienating them.

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