Proper staff training can elevate restaurant operations to new heights – while a lack of training can negatively impact your operations, your business and your bottom line. (Image: EyeSpy CC)
With so many restaurant leaders and employees leaving the industry, it’s time restaurant operators place a new emphasis on staff training and compliance. New employees rarely have background knowledge of workplace compliance issues, and even if they do and are just returning to the workforce, many things have changed in just the last year or so.
To create a successful team, avoid public relations nightmares – and prevent expensive lawsuits – training and compliance have to be part of your restaurant operations plan.
If you don’t have SOP’s around staff training or compliance, it’s time to get them developed and deployed to your team(s), here’s where to start:
Restaurant Staff Onboarding & Training
For all your hiring processes you should have onboarding documents for everything from developing an effective interview process to who you onboard and the training you provide them with.
This includes hiring systems, training schedules & tests, you should also have clear and defined company policies, employee handbooks, and employee performance and review systems. All of these policies should be compliant with state and federal regulations and be accessible to your management team.
Give new employees detailed & comprehensive restaurant staff training that teaches them how you want things done. Create clear lines of communication to outline expectations, responsibilities and service standards. And make sure the communication goes both ways: Allow employees to share their feedback to help improve your processes and operations.
Food Safety and Health Compliance
Foodborne illness or visibly dirty kitchens can affect not only customers but employees too. After all, if you don’t think enough of your business to keep operations clean and running smoothly, why should your employees? And a restaurant closure due to food safety or a sanitation issue can be the end of a business all together. That’s why food safety training and kitchen audits are critical.
Make sure chefs have food safety handling training and if you’re failing health department inspections, hire a health and kitchen auditor. Health inspection audits will review your kitchen standards, temperature logs, cleaning standards and much more. These kitchen and health audits will help you find potential code violations and make recommendations for fixing them. And they can provide proactive resolutions to share with your staff so they can properly prepare for a visit from the health department.
Sexual & Workplace Harassment Prevention Training
A sexual harassment complaint by an employee can cost you not only your reputation but your business, too. Make sure your staff and managers know preventing sexual harassment in your restaurant is a top priority. In the restaurant industry, 90% of women and 70% of men report experiencing some form of sexual harassment.
In California, sexual and workplace harassment prevention training is required by law. If you have more than 5 employees, you’re required to have employees complete sexual and workplace harassment prevention training, and if you have more than 50 employees, you’re required to have any supervisor undergo training and retrain every two years.
Provide your staff with sexual harassment prevention training created specifically for restaurants. A good course will include how to spot the types of harassment and take action to prevent them. Additionally, the training should also include how to respond to complaints and an understanding of the laws and policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment.
Save Time & Money with Training & Compliance
Training helps create a positive restaurant culture and can even reduce turnover. In addition, training, as well as compliance, lowers your risk of lawsuits and/or employment issues, plus keeps you in business and running a by-the-book operation.