Think back on your last restaurant training session. Did you just talk about the specials and the broken cooler? Did you mention service or just remind waitstaff to smile? Did you tell team members exactly what you expect from them… and how they can deliver it? Are you sure? What were your restaurant training goals?

Most managers form meetings and waitstaff training programs without any real concrete goals. And when restaurant training goals are vague, it’s impossible to use them to create specific actions. Instead, before you train waitstaff, create objectives that are…

  • All encompassing — What do you want your servers and other team members to be able to do after they’ve completed the training? Whether it’s a pre-shift meeting or an entire program, write the outcome of what will happen after the training. For example, when training other managers on diversity, one of your outcome objectives could be “managers will recruit, interview, hire, manage and, when necessary, terminate employees in compliance with anti-discrimination laws.”
  • Specific. Then, think about how you’ll end up at those restaurant training goals. Break it down into specific segments of bite-sized learning objectives that team members must master before they can accomplish the goal of your training. Learning objectives for your management diversity training might be “the manager will be able to identify appropriate workplace behavior” and “appropriately respond to another team member who is discriminating, harassing or being prejudicial, given a series of scenarios.” Then, design your training to meet each one of these specific goals.
  • Easy to evaluate. As your training continues and team members accomplish each of your specific learning objectives, evaluate them (with quizzes, role-plays, and “what if?” scenarios) to make sure they understood and retained it. When they do, go on to the next one. Soon, your goal will be achieved… and you’ll be ready for the next one!

If you need to create a restaurant training program, or re-vamp the one you have, click here to check out the easy-to-read restaurant management book, No Train? No Gain!