How to Fix Training in the Restaurant Industry

According to Fast Casual, here are three key mistakes restaurant brands are making in onboarding, upskilling and preparing their labor force for work, and a few ideas on how to fix it.

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Problem 1: Employees are bored The reality is, employees have grown bored with training. Outdated learning management systems, which a majority of the industry uses to deploy training, not only produce low voluntary participation, but also fail to make an impact on real learning.

Studies show that traditional training methods made up of videos, PowerPoint presentations and online modules have proven largely ineffective, with employees retaining less than 9 percent of what they learn.

The fix: Companies must create a workplace that is exciting, and that starts with training and onboarding. Why not encourage employee engagement with training tools through the power of games? It has never been easier to employ gaming mechanics like points, leaderboards and badges to reward training success.

Competition is a natural human impulse, so it’s no surprise that friendly competition amongst co-workers can be a great source to not just upskill, but also to motivate.

Problem 2: Reactive vs. proactive After (yet another) incident that sickened more than 600 people, Chipotle announced it would start requiring employees to take a quarterly online test on food safety. This was a band-aid on a bigger issue.

These are all reactive solutions to problems that could have been prevented. This requires brands to not just treat training as a “one and done”, but something that is constantly happening, constantly evolving, and constantly needing to be kept top of mind.

The fix: Don’t wait until after a crisis hits to put pressure on the human resources department to respond. Instead, build out a training calendar that addresses serious topics (i.e. harassment, diversity, service standards, and food safety) on a more frequent basis.

Training must be more relevant, more structured, and more frequent if you want to ensure that you are protecting your business, your customer, and your employee.

Problem 3: Accessibility Less than 1 percent of corporate training is conducted on mobile — a huge missed opportunity since, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, employees are more likely to own a smartphone than a laptop. At a time when 98 percent of your workforce uses a smartphone and almost 100 percent of millennials will touch a phone within 15 minutes of waking up, why are companies still paying for and relying on tools that can only be used on a desktop?

The fix: Go mobile! Employers should be taking advantage of the one tool employees use every day that’s right in their pockets — like their smartphone.

The time is now. Restaurant brands need to mobilize and take action to fix what’s broken in training. Failing to do so will only guarantee more PR disasters, more employees quitting their job, and more disappointed customers.

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