Lynette Williamson
Blog, Operational Efficiency

It’s hard to understate the importance of training your employees effectively. From the obvious benefits like improved productivity to less obvious impacts like better employee engagement and retention, every successful team starts with good training.

But many restaurants aren’t utilizing one of their most important training resources: their own restaurant management systems. Your software collects data on all aspects of your business, so what better tool to build your training program from? Here’s how you can use data to improve your restaurant employee training.

Loss prevention

A vast majority of loss stems from inadequate training. Poor training can lead to poor item prep quality, which results in more remaking—which, in turn, creates a bad customer experience and wastes inventory. Overusing ingredients—even by a small amount—adds up quickly over a shift, and can create huge variances in inventory. And more often than not, all of these things can be addressed in training.

You may already know what items are more susceptible to loss, but your inventory dashboard can help. Once you’ve identified which items are most likely to be prepared incorrectly, or which ingredients tend to be overused, take the time to emphasize proper preparation of those things during training.

Of course, poor prep and ingredient use is just one kind of loss. Check out our blog on Restaurant loss prevention meaning and tactics for bottom line growth to learn more about how data can help with a more nefarious type of loss: theft.

Sales data

Hourly sales data is one of the most important pieces of information you have at your fingertips, and you can pass that knowledge on to your employees. Get your shift leaders into the habit of posting two sets of hourly sales data: data from last week, and data from last year. Then, teach your employees to read the reports so they know when to expect sales spikes and lulls during their shifts. That way, employees can prep during the slow periods and hunker down during the rushes. They can also use the sales data to accurately forecast order guides and prep guides. If you’d rather not publish the raw data, you could even cut out the sales amounts and post a color-coded version of the report.

Even if you don’t use this exact strategy, you can use this as a starting point for your training. Find ways to use your data to empower employees to do their jobs better. You’ll see improvements in their performance, and they’ll appreciate that you’ve made their lives that much easier.

Scheduling

One of the coolest things restaurant management software can do is identify not just your best employees, but your best teams. Do certain employees work exceptionally well together? Your software can tell you: Compare your sales data with your scheduling data to find trends of increases in sales when specific employees work together. Once you’ve identified which employees have the best synergy, you can schedule those teams together whenever possible. But you can even take it a step further.

By identifying the best employees and teams in your restaurant, you have the building blocks for the best on-the-job training program you could hope for. New employees learn best from watching experienced employees, so mix up your schedules. If you have one all-star employee, make sure they share a shift with every other employee periodically—especially the newer ones. And if you have a perfect pair or trio of employees, keep them together—but be sure to schedule your other employees with them once in a while so they can share their wisdom.

Your restaurant management software brings data from all of your systems together into a single source, providing clear visibility into your teams’ performance. Your employee training program should be unique to your restaurant’s needs. Use the data you’re already collecting to design a training program that empowers your employees to succeed.

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