The Encyclopedia of Restaurant Training: A Complete Ready-to-Use Training Program for All Positions in the Food Service Industry

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Overview

Training is an investment for the future, the only foundation on which success can be built. Training delivers excellence in product and performance, elevating a good restaurant into a great one. Training will keep the skills of its employees and management sharp. But in no other industry is its absence or presence as obvious as it is in the food service industry. It is hard to find good, qualified employees, and even harder to keep them. What's the answer? Training!

Constant training and re-enforcement keeps employees and management sharp and focused, and demonstrates the company cares enough to spend time and subsequently money on them. And that's precisely what this book will do for you.

This is an encyclopedic out of the box employee training program for all positions in the food service industry. From orientating the new employee, maintaining performance standards, to detailed training outlines and checklists for all positions. This book will show you how to train your employees in all positions in the shortest amount of time, and lets you get back to your own job of running a profitable enterprise.

One of the best features of this book is that the companion CD ROM contains the training outline for all positions so you can easily customize the text for your own use. In addition there are numerous training forms, checklists, and tests. The first part of the book will teach you how to develop training programs for food service employees, and how to train the trainer. The book is full of training tips, tactics and how tos that will show you proper presentation, and how to keep learners motivated both during and after the training. The second part of the book details specific job descriptions and detailed job performance skills for every position in a food service operation, from the general manager to dishwasher.

There are study guides and tests for all positions. Some of the positions include General Manager, Kitchen Manager, Server, Dishwasher, Line Cook, Prep Cook, Bus Person, Host/Hostess, Bartender, Wine & Alcohol Service, Kitchen Steward, Food Safety, Employee Safety, Hotel Positions, etc. Specific instructions are provided for using equipment as well. The companion CD-ROM is included with the print version of this book; however is not available for download with the electronic version.  It may be obtained separately by contacting Atlantic Publishing Group at sales@atlantic-pub.com

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780910627344
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/19/2005
  • Edition description: Book & CD-ROM
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 742,132
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Read an Excerpt

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RESTAURANT TRAINING

A Complete Ready-To-Use Training Program For All Positions In The Food Service Industry
By LORA ARDUSER DOUGLAS ROBERT BROWN

Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-910627-34-7


Chapter One

THE LABOR PROBLEM IN THE FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY

Labor and Food Service

According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry is the nation's largest private-sector employer, providing jobs for 11.6 million individuals. One-third of all adults in the United States have worked in the restaurant industry at some time in their lives. The food service industry, the fourth largest industry in America, has nearly the highest employee turnover rate (exceeding 100 percent in one year in many units) and one of the lowest average dollar sales per employee of any industry. The reasons for these statistics are many and varied. However, they can be boiled down to the fact that the industry, in general, has done little in the past 15 years to alleviate its poor working environment. Unfortunately, low pay; few benefits; long hours that include night, weekend and holiday shifts; hard physical work (mostly while standing); and little interest on management's part in addressing these issues are the rule rather than the exception in most restaurants. Because of the currently low unemployment rate, luring workers into food service is not easy-nor is retaining them.

Employees directlycontrol food quality and presentation. It is a fact that a disgruntled employee will not produce or perform as well as a satisfied one, yet it is bewildering to note that few operators strive to make the employee's job any easier or more enjoyable through the use of modern training procedures.

Management must make every conceivable effort to relieve employees of toilsome work and make their jobs more rewarding-the results can only be positive! Unfortunately, most operators cannot substantiate or rationalize any investment in an employee's comfort or training because they feel the employee will probably quit in a month or two; they think, Why bother? Of course, this starts the cycle all over again.

Management must take the initiative to resolve the problem, because management is where the fault lies. Even simple accommodations-such as separate employee lockers, restrooms and break rooms-are a rarity. Air conditioning in the hot kitchens is virtually nonexistent. Light and noise levels are usually inadequate, causing fatigue, inefficiency and accidents. All of these poor physical conditions have been resolved in the manufacturing industry, where the turnover rate is around 8 percent and employees remain for several years or, as in Japan, where employees are virtually guaranteed economic security for their entire lifetimes.

The charts below illustrate the volatility of the food service industry. For example, in May of 2003, there were 344,000 available jobs. However, there were also 596,000 employees who quit, were laid off or fired. That's a turnover rate of over 57 percent.

Employees are one of the greatest resources a restaurant has, but this resource will be wasted if management does not first recognize it and then supply the proper incentive and motivation necessary to harvest it. Management must provide employees with higher salaries; better training; insurance programs; flexible scheduling; shorter workweeks; childcare and transportation vouchers; incentive plans; safe, clean working conditions; proper training; tools; evaluations; financial security if possible; adequate benefit packages; and the opportunity for advancement, as well as an amicable, structured and just working environment. The cost of providing these basic necessities, which have eluded the industry for so long, can be easily substantiated when compared to the ramifications of losing-and the cost of replacing-a discontented skilled employee.

First, consider the indirect cost to the restaurant when an unmotivated and unhappy employee prepares a food item or provides poor service to a regular customer. Just as word-of-mouth advertising can be great publicity, it can also cause the restaurant to come crumbling to the ground from comments like, "The food just was as good as it usually is," or "The food was all right but our waitress was slow and unconcerned, the entrée was cold and the ice cream melted. I can get the same thing down the road for much less." Discontented employees will not be concerned about looking out for the restaurant's interests. Dishes will get broken or carelessly thrown away. Food costs will rise and work areas will be left unorganized and dirty. Why should employees care about the restaurant's profits when they barely make enough to survive?

Consider the direct cost of replacing an employee: recruiting expense, interviewer's salary and time, administrative cost, training expense, medical exams, the loss of sales, the cost of materials due to training mistakes, the labor cost paid before the employee's full productivity is reached, and the trainer's and supervisor's salaries. Consider the cost of termination: paperwork, exit interviewing and, possibly, unemployment compensation. According to the American Management Association, the cost to replace an employee who leaves is, conservatively, 30 percent of his or her annual salary. For those with skills in high demand, the cost can rise to a frightening 1.5 times the annual salary. Your ability to retain the kind of workers you want and need has a direct impact on the profitability and effectiveness of your organization.

Restaurant operators must recognize the importance of employees to their success and take the necessary steps to ensure their physical comfort and economic security. Employee relations are an area where corners cannot be cut; the long-term results will outweigh the initial cost. Competent, skilled labor is a finite resource that is highly competed for. Skilled labor will work only for organizations that appreciate their skills and can provide them with the proper compensation for their efforts. The industry as a whole should bring its labor policies and procedures up to date before it loses its personnel to other industries or is forced to change by union organization. The following sections will describe, in detail, from the initial interview through to the employee's termination and how to set up and administer admirable manager/employee relations for the mutual benefit of each party.

The food service labor shortage

According to government statistics, the food service industry employs 11.6 million people today, which represents 8 percent of the total workforce. The problem is that these numbers show a current deficit of about one million workers. By the year 2005, it is projected the food service industry will be short about 2.5 million workers; many national chains' growth has been stymied by this labor crisis.

The shortage of workers is not unique to the labor side of the equation; good management is also hard to find. The turnover in the population of senior food service managers and directors isn't likely to slow down any time soon. In fact, as the members of the Baby Boom generation start retiring in 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts the situation will worsen as these 76 million people exit the nation's labor pool.

The country's tight labor conditions are forcing food service companies to seek out new sources of labor: minority groups, welfare recipients, senior citizens and the physically handicapped. As a result, the workforce is becoming more diverse. In addition, restaurateurs are extending their recruiting efforts beyond traditional methods, such as newspaper ads or signs posted in the restaurant, to high schools, college campuses, retirement communities, state agencies and the Internet.

Chapter Two

FINDING, RECRUITING AND HIRING FIRST-RATE FOOD SERVICE EMPLOYEES

Training

The most serious problem facing labor relations in the restaurant industry today is the lack of trained personnel and structured, industry-wide training programs. New restaurant employees are often thrown into jobs, with little or no formal training. While on the job they must gather whatever information and skills-whether correct or not-they can. Blame for this situation lies with management. Managers regard training as a problem that must be dealt with-quickly and all at once-so that the new trainee can be brought up to full productivity as soon as possible.

Getting employees to do things right means taking the time to train them properly from the start so that they understand what needs to be done, how to do it and why it should be done that way. Effective training, however, involves more than simply providing information. Training is not a problem, and it cannot be "solved" and then forgotten. Managers and supervisors at every level must soon realize that training is a continual process, as is learning-it must never stop.

Most managers and supervisors think of training as teaching new employees skills, such as dishwashing or bartending. Training needs to be far more than that; management must look beyond its own interests. As mentioned before, we must start to consider the employee's interests, goals, needs and desires, if we are to become successful.

Employees must know not only their jobs and how to perform them, but how their performance affects others in their jobs in other parts of the restaurant. They must visualize their position as an integral part of an efficient machine, not as a separate, meaningless function. For example, take the plight of the dishwasher in most restaurants. Dishwashers are vitality important to the success of any restaurant, and yet few managers, and virtually no other employees, are consciously aware of their importance. Rather than being treated with dignity and respect, they are considered, in most establishments, insignificant, menial laborers. They are often paid minimum wage with little or no benefits and expected to do all the dirty work, cleaning up after others and working in poor conditions while all the other employees shout orders and instructions. The only time they are really communicated with is when they do something wrong or when someone needs something done or a mess needs to be cleaned up. Is there really any wonder why an entirely new crew will have to be trained in two weeks? Many managers themselves don't fully realize the importance of this function or that it is far harder to find a good dishwasher than it is a good waitperson. I have always mandated that every new hire perform at least one shift in this position to fully understand its importance. Try giving the dishwashing staff an hour-long break one night and see the resulting chaos.

Telling an employee that his position and performance is crucial to the restaurant's success and showing him the reasons why are two entirely different things. The importance of performing his job in the manner in which he was trained must by physically demonstrated to the employee, as well as the ramifications of varying from these procedures. Using the example of the frustrated dishwasher, let's apply this philosophy with some practical, hands-on management.

Start the training program by having all of the dishwashers come into the restaurant for dinner, lunch or a pre-shift meal with you. While the waitperson is performing his or her service, point out the importance of having clean, grease-free dishes, and explain why silverware and wine glasses must be checked for spots. Show them why the waitstaff needs their stock quickly and what happens if they don't get it.

Type out a list describing the cost of each plate, glass and so forth in the restaurant. This is the most effective way to show why they must be so concerned and careful about breakage. List the cost of the other articles that pertain to their job, such as the dishwashing machine, chemicals, soaps, pots, pans and knives.

Show them that you are concerned with both them and their performance. Pay more than the other restaurants in the area so that you will attract the best people. Set up some small benefits such as a free meal and free soda per shift. A financial incentive is the most effective type of motivating force. Establish bonuses for the dishwashers, such as giving them 3-5 cents extra for each cover served that night. The small cost of these little extras will be substantiated with lower turnover rates and higher production.

Apply this principle of demonstrating rather than lecturing to illustrate your points with all of your employees, and you will have the basis for a good training program and good employee relations.

Hiring trainable restaurant employees

The key to hiring good, competent employees is to put aside personal prejudices and select one applicant over another only because you feel he or she will have a better chance of being successful at the job. What a potential employee is qualified and capable of doing is often quite different than what he or she actually will do.

You're goal in hiring employees is to find the best possible fit for the job. As a service organization, you will be looking for employees with strong customer-service attitudes. By hiring the right person for the job, you save money and time on searching for, hiring and training replacements. You'll also save costs associated with additional FICA and unemployment insurance payments, overtime pay to cover unfilled positions, and fees for advertisements and employment agencies. You also have less turnover and morale problems to worry about.

Like most things in management, hiring the right employees requires planning. The first considerations to take into this planning are federal regulations concerning hiring employees. Make sure you know the rules before you start. The U.S. Department of Labor's Elaws, at dol.gov/elaws, provides business owners with interactive tools that provide information about federal employment laws.

Wages and compensation are always important to employees. Be aware of local, state and federal laws governing pay rates. For example, in 2004 the Department of Labor enacted a new rules regarding "white-collar" employees and overtime-pay requirements. Employers can obtain a copy of the regulations and other information about the new rules ay dol.gov/fairpay.

Other useful guides on human resources and making hiring decisions can be found at uniformguidelines.com/uniformguidelines.html#3 (Uniform Guidelines on Selection Procedures) and The Council on Education in Management's Web site at counciloned.com.

RECRUITING SOURCES

So where do you find good employees? Running an advertisement in the local paper is always the first thing that comes to mind, but this may not be your best resource for employees. Consider the following alternatives as well:

Promoting from within. Promoting from within is an excellent source. Hosts and bus people are often anxious to be promoted to serving staff because of the increase in income and prestige. Not only does this method motivate your current workers, but it saves you money on training because these people already know a great deal about the establishment and position. It's much easier and cheaper to find bussers and hosts/ hostesses from the outside and train them than to recruit and train a new server.

Employee referrals. Ask your employees if they have friends or relatives who are looking for work. Often an employee won't recommend a friend unless they are sure this friend is not going to embarrass them by doing a poor job, so you are likely to get good new employees this way! Offer an incentive to employees for helping you recruit. You could offer an employee a $25 bonus for each referral; if the person works out and stays on for a year, give both the employee and new hire a cash bonus at the end of that year.

Open house. Hold an open house to find new employees. This strategy is particularly effective if you're looking to fill several positions at once. These take more work than a regular interview, but it may be worth it. Get your managers or other employees to help. Make sure to advertise the open house.

Off-site recruiting. Restaurant trade shows are excellent places to recruit! Consider using other events for recruitment purposes such as wine tastings, food festivals and career fairs.

Customers. Got a regular customer looking for employment? What a great source! You know they already like your restaurant so they'll probably make a good salesperson too!

(Continues...)



Excerpted from THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RESTAURANT TRAINING by LORA ARDUSER DOUGLAS ROBERT BROWN Copyright © 2005 by Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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