Training is one of the most vexing of all Chef’s and Manager’s responsibilities. It isn't glamorous; it isn't fun; it takes time and money, but it IS important. Vitally important. Employees are an essential part of your operation; they deliver the positive attitude and respect that create a memorable experience for dining guests. Just as a manager should expect a top-notch employees, employees need solid training and ongoing support to succeed.
When employees first start in a restaurant, training is essential. Even if the newly hired employee has prior experience working in a restaurant, they will need an orientation to the new environment, new procedures and a new management team. They may even have acquired some bad habits in their past jobs. Train your new employees right from the start by educating new hires in the following areas: restaurant concept, restaurant layout, and menu knowledge. A bit of marketing, salesmanship, safe food handling and etiquette wouldn’t hurt either.
Back of the House employees are the workers who are actually handling food so it is important that they do so in a safe manner. This protects both employees and customers from harmful bacteria. ServSafe training and Allergy Awareness/Gluten-free training are increasing fundamental skills for both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house employees, as well as Chefs.
There are many reasons to invest in training. The FDA Food Code stipulates that all restaurant staff need to have a working knowledge of food safety to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Person-to-person contact is the number one method for transfer of harmful bacteria. Workers who are properly trained in safe food handling practices will be less likely to be the source of bacterial contamination. Training helps with quality control and food safety is a huge part of quality control. Less food will be wasted due to spoilage or contamination when staff is properly trained, leading to greater profitability.
Front of the House employees need training also. Menu knowledge, service standards, food and beverage training and customer service are all fundamental skills for a server.
Training and regularly applying food safety training principles will eventually change the way staff handle and look at food to the extent that safe food handling just becomes second nature.
Remember, training should not be viewed as an expense of time or money; training is an investment in your employees and customers. Continual and regular training gives Employees a better appreciation for their jobs. Food safety training teaches workers why safe food handling is important. Once they realize that they are directly responsible for the health and safety of the customers, their jobs may feel a little less monotonous. And a well-trained employee allows them to concentrate on your primary purpose: creating memorable experiences.