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“If only we could act more like a team.” It’s a common mantra of restaurant operators. But saying it and making it happen are on opposite banks of the river. And if your staff still isn’t working together effectively, you have a bit of paddling to do. Training restaurant teams is an ongoing process that takes time, planning, and dedication.

At great restaurants, training is a philosophy, not a department. Your employees are your most important resource. Recognize them by training and re-training them monthly, daily — even hourly, customizing your approach to suit every greeter, server, bartender, busser, cook and dishwasher.

Training restaurant teams improves hard skills, like operating kitchen equipment, bussing tables and mixing drinks, and soft skills, like communication, leadership, and trust. Which, by the way, are the essential elements of restaurant teamwork.

Effective training begins with preparation. Decide what your sales, service and productivity goals are, then use your training sessions to communicate those goals to everyone on your staff. Base your training on the behavior you expect and not just attitude. Your staff can have the best attitude in the world, but if their behavior doesn’t match your objectives, there’s no improvement.

They say it takes 21 days of different behavior to change a habit. That’s why training daily is critical. Use online restaurant training and monthly staff meetings for broad topics. Implement daily pre-shift team meetings by department for quick refreshers and mini-training sessions.

Everyone on your staff should be involved in training restaurant teams. And stop ranting about “acting more like a team.” Until you show your staff how, you won’t get the results you’re after.

Restaurant Service and Sales Training

A solid foundation for training restaurant teams starts with online courses developed just for restaurants. The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.

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