Today, we ask the question, “Are you doing enough to train your café employees?”
Now, if your answer is, "I don't know," or “I don’t need to train them, they know what to do,” or “I’ve already taught them what they need to know,” we encourage you to keep reading.
We’re going to first highlight the reason you should provide ongoing, active training for your café employees.
Why Provide Training?
First and foremost, if you don’t train your employees, you’ll lose money.
When you don’t train your café employees, the quality of their work is subpar.
What’s more, untrained employees have no connection to your café, and they certainly won’t have any allegiance to you or your business.
By training your employees, you show them that you care about them and their success at your café. After all, why should they invest in your café if you don’t invest in them?
According to the Restaurant Expert, training your employees ensures they know what’s expected of them and how to do it.
How can they possibly succeed and perform well if you don’t let them know what their job is and how to do it?
Untrained employees are also unhappy employees in part because they are stressed out. They are tense because they don’t know how to do their jobs. They lack self-esteem and the confidence to be self-starters.
Unhappy employees are underperformers, and they make mistakes because they don’t care about their work.
Untrained café employees also cost you time and money. Why? They make mistakes, and you have to correct the work. Imagine the untrained kitchen worker who makes your BLT with the wrong sauce.
The sandwich has to be made again, and that costs you.
Even more, your untrained employees can cost your customers. An inefficient, untrained server, a barista who can’t make coffee or a hostess who has no customer service skills leads to a huge impact on your bottom line.
Now, let’s look at how to train your employees.
Hire the Right People
It’s important to invest in hiring the right people.
When hiring café staff, you want to look for people who will fit in with your existing team. Hire personalities that fit your team puzzle.
You want people who can be team players and will be dedicated to their job. If you need a leader, hire a leader. If you need a worker, hire a worker.
Skills and know-how can always be taught, so hiring people with café experience isn’t always necessary.
Lastly, hire people who are willing to learn and excited about working at your café.
The first step in training your café employees is their initial orientation.
This is where your new hires learn the basics about your café – your history, your goals and your values.
During orientation, you provide the basics: vacation and sick leave info, payroll and other important paperwork.
Then, provide your mission and vision of good customer service, and the values you deem most important.
As a fun part of the orientation, introduce new staff to your menu by providing a tasting and get together so they can meet the rest of your staff.
Next, it’s time to instruct and educate your staff.
Once orientation is complete, you can begin job-specific training. Consider cross-training some of your café employees. This provides you a deeper workforce in the case of emergencies.
Your job specific training includes:
- Food prep
- Chef and Cooks
- Wait staff
- Hosting and Greeting
Before setting new employees off, provide them with a mentor. Let new café workers observe and then assist your more experienced staff.
Not only is this good for morale, it lets your new employees get a front-seat view before setting off on their own.
How long should they mentor? That depends on the job. Consider a few days up to a week or two.
If you have the time for it, let your new café employees shadow various mentors so they can learn a variety of positions.
Allow for Feedback Opportunities
One of the most overlooked training opportunities is ongoing feedback.
A good practice is to communicate with your staff at different times throughout the year. It helps you know what’s working and what isn’t.
It gives your employees a place to communicate their needs and any problems. You can even ask them for suggestions.
This is a superb opportunity for additional training and letting your employees know they are valued.
Offer Ongoing Training
Training doesn’t stop after the initial sessions.
Your employees aren’t going to remember everything you told them, so it’s a good idea to provide refreshers.
Consider adding multiple training sessions throughout the year. Offer training sessions when you change your menu. Bring in outside trainers to work on customer service.
Make your training sessions fun – consider part of the time for team building, too.
Now that you know you’ll save time and money while boosting employee success and the success of your café with training, it’s time to ask the question again, “Are you doing enough to train your café employees?”
If not, create a training program today. With a trained group of café employees, you encourage their loyalty, increase their on-the-job performance and help ensure they’ll do a good job every day.
Invest in your employees and your café by training your staff. When your staff is trained, your café succeeds.
What kind of training do you have in place for your café employees? We’d love to hear your biggest success when it comes to employee training. Please comment below to share your tips with others.