Posts Tagged ‘training’

3 Major Influences on Employee Performance

October 9, 2012

There are literally thousands of theories and studies presented to explain why restaurant employees behave the way they do, especially when it comes to negative performance. Some blame depressing work environments, under appreciation of employees, or even failures on the part of the public education system.

The truth is, however, that there are only three main factors that cause employees to perform poorly: they either do not know how to do the job properly, they are unable to do the job properly, or they do not care about doing the job properly.

Don’t Know

If an employee does not know how to do carry out their tasks as expected, it simply means that they lack the proper instruction or have forgotten their training and need a refresher. There is no shame in needing additional training throughout a career, so management must be willing to provide this training when needed.

Sometimes new employees receive inadequate training when they first start, due to short staffing or ignorant superiors. Other times new practices must be implemented and some key staff members miss out on the training. Occasionally, instructions for tasks that are not regularly undertaken may be forgotten. In any case, training is not a one-time activity, but rather something that should be ongoing and frequently reevaluated for efficiency and accuracy. Management should take care to ensure that all employees receive adequate, consistent training that reflects the evolving needs of the restaurant.

Can’t Do It

Even with proper training, employees may be unable to complete their tasks well due to various circumstances that are out of their control. Whether employees lack the proper tools, the organization of the kitchen or dining room creates obstacles, or staffing issues complicate the workload, employees may find it difficult or impossible to do their jobs to their best of their abilities. Again, the responsibility falls to management to ensure that employees have the proper tools and are set up for success as much as possible.

Of course, employees should also be able to communicate with their superiors in order to notify management of whatever problems they might be having. These types of issues can easily be prevented and quickly remedied by management when they occur, so productivity need not suffer long.

Don’t Care

Unfortunately, there is one perspective affecting employee behavior that management can do very little about. If an employee simply does not care about his job and is not invested in the outcome of his endeavors at work, then it is unlikely that any amount of training or well established working environments will help him be a productive member of the staff.

In these circumstances, when the employee refuses to modify his behavior, it is best to let him go and invest in training a new hire who is ready to put in the needed time and effort in the company. The little bit of extra effort that it takes to train a new person is well worth it to have an employee who cares about the success of the company.

Setting Up Servers for Success

June 12, 2012

While restaurant patrons may be drawn to a particular establishment for the great food, the one thing that will almost certainly turn customers away is the experience of bad service. Not only do the slighted customers tend to avoid the offending restaurant, but those who hear negative reviews from their peers will avoid them as well. After all, word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertising tools, but it can also work to the detriment of any restaurant. To avoid this, restaurant owners and managers must take steps to ensure that all employees are sufficiently skilled and trained to represent the restaurant well.

A Wait Staff Needs Training

Because so many young job seekers tend to gravitate toward the food service industry, people occasionally believe that when it comes to serving, anyone can do it. This, of course, is not true. Those with hiring authority can sometimes be too careless in hiring new wait staff, and occasionally hire friends or family with the idea that the job is too simple for them to mess up. When hiring new wait staff, managers and owners must be patient in finding the right employee.

For instance, restaurants with ethnic-based menus should hire servers that are already familiar with pronunciation of menu items and specific preparation methods. Even if experience is not required for employment with a particular establishment, new hires should still exhibit the predisposition to learn quickly and have a good attitude for friendly service.

Whether hiring brand new servers or experienced ones, managers should still be prepared to allow for plenty of training time. New servers will need to be shown the very basics of waiting tables, even things that may seem like common sense to experienced servers. As an example, servers should greet their tables promptly, even if the server only has time to tell the patrons his or her name and say that they will return as soon as possible to get their drink orders. It is better for the server to at least acknowledge a new table if they are unable to attend to them immediately, than to make the patrons wait and wonder where their server is.

New Servers Need Learn the Menu

It is absolutely imperative that new servers are fully acquainted with the menu and with the operating style of the kitchen. Again, whether the new server has years of experience or is totally new to the industry, they should be allowed ample time for getting to know the particulars of the restaurant. Without this training, both server and restaurant are setting themselves up for failure.

Something managers and owners alike should keep in mind is that today’s job seekers in the service industry are not necessarily just looking for something to “get by,” so to speak. Cameron Mitchell, the founder of a very prominent restaurant group, claims 85% of management positions are filled by previous hourly wage employees who were promoted. Even younger employees are becoming more proactive in their quest for professional growth, and they want to know that they are contributing to the success of their company. Adequate training and selection in hiring fulfills this need and ensures that a restaurant may provide the best service possible to their customers.