Jul 18, 2022
Restaurant Training Manual: Why Should You Have One?

The restaurant business is notorious for high attrition rates. This can partly be attributed to the fact that most restaurant staff are comprised of college students who pick these jobs on a temporary basis to meet their expenses. But what about those who are in the industry to build a career? Why do they leave? 

Perhaps it’s time that restaurant owners focus their energies on creating a better work environment and invest in their employees and their skill development. This helps them achieve two things, high-employee retention, delivering a good customer experience, and delighted customers. But the big question is, how do they achieve all of this? Having a robust training plan in place can help achieve this. A restaurant training manual is the starting point and a strong foundation for any restaurant employee training program. 

Decoding a Restaurant Training Manual

A restaurant training manual is basically a resource of materials that your staff can refer to. It contains information with regards to the restaurant's dress code, etiquette, safety policies, and the kind of language they are expected to use. A training manual helps ease the overall onboarding process for both the employees and the employer. Basically, it is like an encyclopedia of restaurant operations that the employees can refer to for any guidelines, procedures, and policies they are expected to follow. 

A restaurant training manual helps you, as a business owner, to establish various roles and identify the people best suited for your restaurant. A training manual is the most effective way to document and communicate training opportunities, keep employees engaged, and motivate them to pursue learning and development initiatives.

Importance of a Restaurant Training Manual

 An employee training manual has a lot more benefits than you can imagine as an owner. 

  • It enables you to build a financially healthy organization 
  • A robust training program culminates in an efficient, future-ready workforce
  • Employee turnover is significantly low which in turn helps reduce recruitment costs
  • Additionally, it also brings about an overall positive change in the organization, along with long-term benefits

Making diverse and easy to access training and development opportunities available to all employees helps forge trust and a long-lasting association between an employee and an employer. 

Why is having a training manual a non-negotiable?

  • An encyclopedia of all your policies and training programs

A training manual typically has answers to all questions related to the day-to-day functioning of your restaurant. It includes a list of all training modules accompanied by a detailed description and schedule. It clearly defines courses that are mandatory for all, and optional for others. For example, safety training and soft skills will usually be mandatory training for all employees irrespective of the department they are working in. However, other aspects like kitchen duties, bar duties and so on will be applicable only to employees performing those duties, and optional for others. If you own a chain of restaurants and offer multiple training programs each targeted at different tiers of management, list courses department and level wise for easy navigation. 

A restaurant training manual has a schedule of when training will take place. Usually, mandatory training applicable to all employees takes place a couple of times during the year. The manual helps employees plan in advance to attend the sessions of their particular interest. This way, they are able to plan and manage their workload better and attend training without upsetting their schedule. The manual is a ready reckoner as well, which the employees can refer to when stuck, even after the training is over.

  • Sets a work culture that values Learning and Development

A training manual is a testimony to the fact that you, as an organization, strongly believe in the well-being and skill development of your employees. It also encourages employees to voluntarily take up courses as they are aware that acquiring new skills will be recognized and rewarded with ample growth opportunities. Let’s understand this with a use case.  

Jemma is a front-of-office staff member who recently joined your restaurant. She saw a training module on bartender duties in the training manual as an option for employees who are willing to learn. She sees this as a good value-add and somewhat related to what she is already doing, and of course, the better pay and perks that follow. What’s more, there are links to videos to complete the training, which means she can learn it at her own pace. Her manager too encourages her to take this up, and just like that, at no additional cost, she has acquired a new skill. As a business you have an added back-up resource for the bar to step-in on those really busy Friday’s.

Do you get the bigger picture here? Your restaurant training manual is a reminder to your employees that they have easy access to learning and acquiring new skills and you as an organization are supportive of this. They want to have a long-term association with you as you are offering ample opportunities for their career and personal growth. 

  • Smooth and streamlined onboarding

With attrition rates at an all-time high across industries and employees leaving within the first six months of joining, getting your onboarding right is now more important than ever. An HR personnel’s hands are full when new employees join with paperwork, orientation, and onboarding activities. A training manual becomes handy for both HR and new employees, with the manual acting as a guide which they can refer to at their own convenience. The manual gives new hires detailed insight on what is expected of them in their new role and also helps them understand the workplace culture better. They also get a fair idea of the opportunities that lie ahead after they complete their basic training. It reassures the employees, forges trust and makes the initial settling down period a breeze.

Closing thoughts

The end goal of any training program is to better return on investment in the form of outcomes such as enhanced productivity, better efficiency, better employee retention, and happy customers. A restaurant training manual is your first step towards it. However, be open to modifying and expanding your manual and training programs as your business grows and evolves. To know how to create a restaurant training manual read here. So, are you excited at the thought of having a training manual for your restaurant? Why else do you think a training manual is important for your restaurant business? Let us know!

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