There is no doubt that staff training is both an important investment into your team and your business. Well-trained, skilful and knowledgeable staff work faster, provide better service and up-sell more than those that lack skill and knowledge. Combined, these things should lead to a higher retention of staff, more return customers, increased word of mouth recommendations and a healthier P&L.
As such, training should be considered an investment into your business, more so than a cost.
Review your Reviews
Take a moment to browse through your reviews, whether they are professionally written or left online by customers, the vast majority, whether positive or negative, relate to your team and their performance. Reviews generally consider:
- Was service fast and friendly?
- Were the staff knowledgeable about your products and menu as well as about the area in general and what to do next?
- Did staff display exceptional skills and create amazing food and drinks?
If the above ring true with your guests, chances are you are reading some awesome reviews, as well as enjoying repeat customers and a healthy P&L.
In the opposite case, where people are complaining about wait times, poorly made drinks, undercooked food and unfriendly service, chances are your reviews are poor and the bank balance low.
Invest in your Team
What makes or breaks any hospitality business is the quality of your team and the product that they deliver for your guests. It’s not your fit-out - Sure, an amazing design and a beautiful view go a long way to complement your business, and it may even be what has drawn your guests to your venue in the first place. However, if the service and the quality of your food and drinks are not equally impressive, it’s all for naught.
Your guests will enjoy a great location, a beautiful view and a well-designed and comfortable venue, but in the end it’s the service and the product itself that determine whether they had an awesome time, and whether they will return again, recommend your venue to friends and leave a positive review online for your business.
Most operators know this
Yet few invest into training their staff
Ditch the paper
In most bars and restaurants training is ad-hoc and unstructured. New and junior staff are often left to learn on the job, and often from senior staff who themselves have not been properly trained.
Internal procedures and processes are most likely to be found buried in a large tomb of paper, handed out on the new-starters first day, and quite likely not referenced again. Service can be inconsistent and simple drinks such as a G&T might arrive once in an old-fashioned glass with lime one-time, the next served in a highball with a lemon wedge.
Training staff can be hard, and this is why most venues don’t do it. Writing scripts, doing research, not to mention testing, all takes a lot of work, both in terms of preparation, as well as execution; And of course, knowing stuff, and teaching stuff are two very different things. Education is a skill, and being a great bartender or waiter, or even being a great manager does not mean you necessarily are going to be a great teacher or trainer, nor does it mean your public speaking game is going to be on point.
In addition, most venues will have a pretty high turnover of staff meaning that there are constantly new people joining the team. Often these newcomers work in a venue or organisation for weeks, sometimes months before they are properly on-boarded and trained.
This no longer needs to be the case
Learn to earn
Online training platforms, make on-boarding and ongoing training a breeze. Ananas features the most comprehensive online training materials for the bar and restaurant industries and has been created by a collective of some of the world’s most well known and awarded industry experts.
In addition to the vast database of industry specific training content, Ananas also includes an environment for businesses to host their own organisation-specific training materials such as Sequence of Service, cocktail recipes, food menu, your company vision and values etc; All of which can be assigned by job role, loading your your entire team with the role-specific training they need to work in your venue the minute they are invited to join your business.
The future is online
Online solutions allow staff to study wherever and whenever that suits them best. This means higher compliance rates, faster on-boarding and a better trained and more knowledgeable team. As an owner or manager you can easily see who has done what training, and who has not, as well as their individual pass rates and scores.
This type of learning also costs a fraction of developing and hosting 100% of your training in-venue. With Ananas, for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per person, per week, you and your team can have access to the most comprehensive training platform for hospitality existing at current.
Sven Almenning is the founder of Ananas, and online training and management platform for the hospitality industry. He is also the founder and CEO of the Speakeasy Group, a multi award winning bar and restaurant group in Australia that includes Eau de Vie, Mjølner, Boilermaker House & Nick & Nora’s. Recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2009 Bar Awards, and named one of Australia’s top ten most influential people in the Australian bar Industry at every Most Influential Award since 2009.