How Top Restaurants Focus on Training During Chaotic Times

Car dealers don’t have cars to sell; we’re waiting until October for the furniture and equipment we ordered back in April.

And your trainers can’t find time to train.

Welcome to 2021.

Training and education are one of the many unanticipated down-line issues associated with the current labor shortage.  

It’s making it a lot harder to live up to your standards and make guests happy. 

Trainers Feel the Same Way You Do

As you compete for staff, you may be cranky and overwhelmed.

Stop and consider that trainers feel the same, but for different reasons.

With staffing levels low, trainers experience less time to train.
Why? Because necessity – once the mother of invention – is now redeploying trainers to serve, seat, or cook. 

With market forces causing you to lower your hiring standards just to get employees in the door, your new people need more education than ever – at a time when you can offer them less.

Your trainers, who have tremendous career-boosting wide-smile fulfillment with their role in your restaurants’ success, become frustrated because they can’t do the job they take pride in.

They worked hard to become trainers. They were chosen.

But now they don’t have the impact.

Don’t Forget Them

Assemble your trainers in each location, then:

  1. Let them vent.
  2. Show your appreciation for trainers (and the rest of your team, too) in that meeting and every day.
  3. Lead a conversation about re-interpreting how they can impact new recruits, on the fly. Even a side conversation with a trainee here and there – like before or after a shift – can make a difference.  
  4. Let them know that training and education still reign supreme. Get creative as you strengthen your organization’s education and training.
  5. Share the results of this process in your periodic GM meeting, to spread best practices across your system.

And, if you have not paid attention and invested in short-form video training – the kind that meets your employees in the format they prefer 24/7 – focus on that too.  

An Adjustment Period

During my career, I have heard so many false prophecies of restaurant doom that I can’t count them – and I’m pretty good with numbers.  

Right now, our industry is transitioning to a new workforce reality.

And, unfortunately, just as we need it most, our ability to educate and train is at a low point. 

On the other hand, experience tells me we will adjust and be fine (eventually), with higher wages and menu prices following close behind.

Then restaurants will be a more attractive place to work again.

It’s coming, and it’s just a matter of time.

Over to you. How will you stay on top of education now and support training and education to be the best it can be?