The success of a restaurant depends, to a great deal, on the efficiency and effectiveness of its waiters. The waiters’ efficiency and effectiveness, in turn, depends on how well they are trained. As a general rule, restaurant owners who take time to train their waiters well tend to attain greater success. They tend to be more successful than restaurant owners who take the training of their waiters lightly.
If you wish to train your restaurant waiters properly, you need to:
- Create a formal training environment: The objective here is to get the waiters who are being trained to take the training program seriously. This has to be the starting point, if the stuff that you are training the waiters on is to penetrate and stick into their minds.
- Emphasize on the key points: You first need to figure out the key points you want the waiters to understand. Things like how to welcome customers, how to take customers’ orders, how to handle customers’ food… and so on. Then you need to repeat these points throughout the training program, until the waiters who are being trained come to internalize them fully.
- Do practical demonstrations: As a general rule, waiter training programs should not be entirely theoretical. There has to be a practical element to them, in order for the waiters who are being trained are to internalize the content properly. Thus, you should practically demonstrate to the trainee waiters things like how they should greet customers, how they should pull customers’ chairs and how they should speak to customers. You should also practically demonstrate to them how they should take customers’ orders, how they should carry food trays, how they should lay the tables… and so on. As a matter of fact, the practical aspect of waiter training should take precedence over the theoretical aspect. You have to understand that waiter training is very different from, say, IT training. Take an IT training scenario where, for instance, you are trying to get dealership staff to understand how to use the GmGlobalConnect portal. In that case, it would suffice to give them a user support manual for them to read by themselves. But when it comes to something like training waiters, you have to do practical demonstrations, and get the waiters to repeat the various operations until they get them right.