Useful Tips

How to hire, train and retain restaurant employees


Duration: 30 minutes

Purpose: give an opportunity to "plunge" into the topic of service and maintenance, diagnostics of installations in relation to the proposed issue (service, work in the service sector), motivation to work with their beliefs about the service sector.

After welcoming and discussing the topic of the lesson, ask the participants to join in groups of three people and give them the task to recall and write down (from their life experience) examples of situations from the service sector (not necessarily catering):

After the groups have prepared several stories, ask them to share each option. Ask how those who served you acted. How did this affect their performance.

When analyzing the stories, draw the attention of the participants to the following:

Poor service - most often “unjustified expectations”: I expected that there would be some service, but it wasn’t.

A normal service is simply “justified expectations”, but is often perceived as “nothing outstanding, rather average”, we are ready not to pay attention to it.

Excellent service - often it’s not even “beyond our expectations”, but simply a human attitude. This is something that is remembered for a long time. And this is something to strive for.

Drawing conclusions, ask the participants what they would like to do differently in the future due to new knowledge.


5 minutes

Purpose: formation of a correct understanding of the composition and sequence of steps of the service.

Necessary materials: sheet A3, marker.

Ask the group to remember the sequence of service in your restaurant. Write down all that is said on the sheet and suggest arranging the service steps in the correct order.

Discussions, discussions and even disputes between your participants are very important here - this helps to study the topic and memorize the material. Leave the correct version of service standards in a conspicuous place during class.


: 30 minutes

familiarity with service standards, analysis and study of each block of standards.

Combine the participants into two groups (one newcomer should fall into each group).

The task of each group is to prepare a beginner according to the rules of the service. When the groups are ready, they will need to play the scene with the correct service of the trainee according to service standards: the trainee (with the help of their mentors) and the guest participate in this scene.

When analyzing this exercise, ask the beginner to give feedback on the results of the performance, the group should help him.

Drawing conclusions from the exercise, emphasize that without knowledge of the sequence of service it is impossible to give the guest good service.


Imagine that you are at a conference, now is a break, you went to the buffet and will return to the hall where your friends are standing. Your task: to select a group (each one) and intensively make contact, you will have 3 minutes for this. When I give a sign, you go clockwise to another group, etc. Thus, during the exercise, each participant will work with each group.

Three volunteers go out the door.

The rest are divided into three groups.

All volunteers come in at the same time.

Approach groups trying to make contact.

At the signal, the volunteers move clockwise to another group.

After the exercise, you need to analyze. Ask the volunteers: was it difficult to determine if you are being accepted or not? How did you determine your attitude to yourself? What was striking when you were received?

Ask the group how they understand what a “negative”, “positive”, “neutral” attitude is.

By the way, the exercise is quite emotional, even frustrating, so after it it is necessary to remove the emotional section from the volunteers, asking how they feel, what emotions they experience in connection with the exercise.

The conclusions from the exercise for the participants should be as follows:

When they do not want to communicate with you, it is immediately noticeable and unpleasant.

Neutral attitude does not exist.

If you are accepted, it is immediately visible and it is easy to make contact, as you are smiling!


30 minutes

Necessary materials: flipchart, markers.

Purpose: the inclusion of participants in group work, the launch of reflection, the development of teamwork skills, awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.

Combine the participants into three small groups. Give each group the task to discuss and present the results of the discussion using visual means (flipchart sheet) the following questions:

1st group. What actions distinguish an unsuccessful waiter?

2nd group. What actions distinguish a successful waiter?

3rd group. What needs to be done to become a successful waiter?

Based on the results of the work, the groups present the results of the discussion to all participants.

Analyzing the exercise, ask the participants: what other actions can be attributed to successful / unsuccessful? How do these actions contribute to success / failure?

It is important to understand the “right” and “wrong” actions in the work of the waiter, understanding what needs to be done for your own success (self-improvement, a lot of high-quality work). The exercise takes place at a high emotional level, it is important to maintain the mood of the participants.

Only by working according to standards, the institution can guarantee the guest quality and efficient service. And only having learned how to work by standards, the waiter can learn how to sell “beautifully”, increasing the average check and delighting the restaurateur with the results. But more on that in the following articles.

Memo restaurateur

Know the menu (names of dishes, composition, taste, compatibility).

Know the standards of service and act in accordance with them.

To be able to offer a guest a dish and know how to increase the average bill.

Be attentive to the guest and demonstrate the joy of communication.

Be able to act effectively in difficult or conflict situations.

Feel like a team player, understand and share the common values ​​of the team.

Incentives help employees and restaurant success

Selfridge: We have more than 35,000 employees, and six years ago we found that 20% of our managers previously worked in our company in lower positions. This means that 80% of managers we hired from the outside. Therefore, we created what we call the corporate ladder, where each employee of the company can rise from the lowest level to the position of chief manager. Today, 97% of our chief managers have moved to these positions from lower positions in our company.

We believe that sometimes it’s better to hire someone without experience. You can teach how to cook burritos (flat cake), but there are 13 features that cannot be taught, such as friendliness or the desire to serve others. People with such qualities are precisely those whom we would like to hire.

Byless: We like to consider our company innovative. We want our people to take risks, because we do not want them to sink into stagnation. Risky experiments often lead to overwhelming success, but sometimes not. But failure can be fixed, so it’s worth a try. It is also very important to give an incentive to your employees. Our restaurants have less work in winter than in summer. During the summer months, when there is a lot of work, employees receive bonuses from additional income.

Meyer: There have always been two camps: those who believe in “pure” capitalism, and those who speak not so much about making a profit, but about working properly. However, over the years, it has been possible to work out a convergence where you use capitalism as a model, but manage the company in such a way that people believe in what you are doing, rewarding them. For example, in Shake Shack, we deduct 1% of sales every day to our staff. Happy staff means happy visitors, and therefore higher incomes.

Selfridge: Since people have gone through all the steps of the career ladder and reached the highest position in their unit, they receive a share of the institution’s income and may even lead other new units. We open 160-180 new establishments per year.

Meyer: The point is to use your employees to improve performance. For example, we do not like the coffee program in our restaurant. Therefore, we established the “Olympic Games” for coffee makers, where the best coffee makers from each division compete with each other. This friendly competition improved coffee in our restaurants. Now we are applying the same method to areas of the restaurant that need improvement.

By the way, what is corporate culture?

The corporate culture of an enterprise is a combination of beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, rules, approaches to work, communication methods that are consciously or unconsciously accepted and respected by most of the organization’s employees.

If necessary, I can throw you a template for creating such a corporate culture, where you will write down the organization’s mission, goals, principles of communication, etc. Some ask me to do this. Do not let anyone do this for you. This is a waste of time.

The organization’s mission is honesty, as the basis for building a business, while the director leaving home can take a couple of kilograms of meat, and at trainings to increase the average bill - they teach how to "coat" a guest. Do you think a guest who has been imposed on a bunch of extra dishes will become more loyal to your restaurant? Oops ...

So, the corporate culture is spelled out, “embedded” in the workflow, the implementation team “infects” the entire team with an excellent mood and professionalism.

I am aware that in the regions there are no normal directors, and therefore you justify yourself with this and generally score at your restaurant. Your right. Or just send us your director for training. Then we'll see what other excuses you will have in order not to introduce a training system, HACCP and become the best restaurant in your region.

Maybe enough already? Enough for the first time?

Any, even a super management team with super standards on hand can face a wall of misunderstanding on the part of employees. No one will even think about changing their behavior. They listen to the training, read the instructions, but can even approve of it approvingly. But apply it? What more? They are not so bad.

What can be done about this?

The formula for the success of the "learning system": rules, support, tips, environment and non-stop self-measurement!

I propose to create the right environment.

It should be beneficial for employees to do the right thing.

And financially and morally.

There are a bunch of methods of non-material incentives, it is the implementation of these methods that needs to be worked on. It is necessary to find out the "intrinsic motivation" of each employee and give everyone what he is looking for. Details about this - with a personal consultation, you can sign up.

At the same time, one should not forget about the financial side of the issue.

The salary grid should become part of the training system. Everyone should understand that everyone will receive what they deserve. Salary should be issued not only for the service life, but also for the quality of work, as well as for certification (employee training). So, for example, there will be several categories of cooks:

  • intern
  • cook of the first category 1,
  • cook of 2 categories (station wagon, trained at all stations),
  • cook 3 categories, coach, shift supervisor.

Each of these chefs will have a different hourly pay and a different bonus part.

What do you think, why do such a gradation?

If we are talking about the right environment, then I will cite the example of McDonald's or DoDo Pizza. When an employee gets there he has no doubt that he will have to work by standards. Everything around him - everything helps him to be more efficient, more trained and more professional. The technological process is designed in such a way that breaking the rules is more difficult than complying with.

The training materials at the right places, the training program is painted in great detail, the shelves are all signed (what is stored where), on the stands are fresh relevant announcements, on the monitors - orders from guests.

The way of communication between all employees is a closed group and VKontakte conversation, so all the important information and feedback on the quality of work immediately gets into all the phones of employees. There is an opportunity to correct the situation and not repeat it in the future.

Now excuse: "Oh, I didn’t know that today it was necessary to order chemistry and packaging"will not work, because yesterday all employees learned about a change in the schedule of orders.

What is missing? Already there are standards, tool tips, powerful support, a learning environment is organized. Now work - I don’t want what else is needed?

That's it, I don’t want to!

The next extreme element of the training system is control / measurement / reporting.

The formula for the success of the "learning system": rules, support, tips, environment and non-stop self-measurement!

Control is the most important part of training.

It is control that helps to see and encourage results.

You cannot count, you cannot control.

Even the biggest enthusiasts, employees with tremendous intrinsic motivation, will not stand without control and without feedback for a long time.

No need to start a check if you are not going to solve the identified problems.

During inspections, it is necessary to look for minuses (opportunities for growth), and not for the guilty.

If your organization has no rewards, then there can be no punishment.

What are the checks in restaurants:

External - Rospotrebnadzor, SES, Fire Inspection, Revizorro, ours, etc.

Internal - conducted by the restaurant director to detect + and-, in order to improve business performance.

  • checking the introduction of a new dish,
  • test knowledge of the menu by the trainee of the waiter,
  • Secret Guest check,
  • shift assessment
  • checking "food safety" or "cleanliness",
  • comprehensive assessment of the restaurant (monthly or quarterly).

Who cares, I can throw the full form of this comprehensive assessment, there are about 20 pages, you can fake it for yourself and immediately start using it.

If you decide to act, then you will like "Business Diagnostics", where our experts evaluate absolutely all aspects of restaurant activity, including ABC menu analysis, a comprehensive restaurant assessment, brand analysis, analysis of profit and loss statement.

Based on Business Diagnostics, we draw up detailed conclusions and an action plan.

True, first of all you will have to understand what purpose the implementation of this plan will lead to, i.e. you will have to voice what exactly do you want from your company?

What will your restaurant look like in the future? Will it be a successful venture or even a network? How much money you can earn and how many people can benefit from the fact that now do not be lazy and introduce a training system!

Z.Y. Let everyone do their own thing - you enjoy the restaurant activities, and we - introduce the training system for you.

How to train employees in your restaurant?

Disparate training companies that train ordinary employees do not provide an integrated approach to training new employees for all positions in the restaurant business. More fortunate were the network companies where the opening of restaurants started to flow and they, owning their training centers, often partially cover these needs with the help of internal trainers, who, unfortunately, also often “grew up” from psychologists.

All this leaves its mark on the image of the institution in the first days after the opening - after all, it is during this period that it is important to show new guests that your institution has been working at a high professional level from the first day. Fortunately, today there is no longer a question - to train or not to train staff. Training of waiters, bartenders, cooks, hostesses has become familiar to many managers. The question remains of the choice of approaches to learning.

At the opening stage, specificity is definitely present in the training of employees, which is extremely necessary to consider. This is the lack of full-fledged training classes (the restaurant is just under construction and often training takes place right at the construction site), and the lack of an opening team - experienced employees who could pass on their experience to younger colleagues.

Simply attracting training companies to conduct training on how to roll napkins or seminars on trends in the development of the restaurant business will not bring you money in the future. You need to build a clear and simple employee training system for each position. Let's try to parse its main constituent elements.

First of allarrange with your managers about the distribution of responsibilities. Before you begin any training you need to register and approve the standards of your activity, namely the standards and rules for servicing guests: When a guest enters a restaurant, who greets the guest. Zone the restaurant. Think about how you will rotate the tables (based on the loading of a particular zone) when landing the guest at the table.

В успешных ресторанах встречающий гостя сотрудник принимает заказ на напитки и передает их потом официанту, обслуживающий этот столик) При выходе гостя из ресторана – кто провожает гостя. Продумайте нестандартные прощания с гостями. Простое «До свидания, ждем вас снова"Will not leave the guest memories, but tell the guest:"Thank you for visiting us, we are waiting for you tomorrow. You know that from tomorrow we will start the action "The second drink is free"? will not leave guests indifferent at the table.

A fully prescribed service algorithm - from greeting and receiving an order to settling with a guest at the bar (even if you do not have a contact bar, guests will still sometimes come to it and the bartender should not stand as a pillar, but serve the guest within the framework of your approved standards ) Describe the sales methods that your "sellers" will use (waiters and bartenders at the contact bar).

Conflict resolution - consider what you’ll be ready to go to leave your guest loyal if something goes wrong - from a free cup of coffee to dinner at the expense of the restaurant. Acceptance of orders for banquets, holidays and birthdays. Write down the algorithm for receiving such orders, what should be paid attention to the employee accepting such an order Table reservations by phone. Necessary rules for communicating employees on the phone with guests. After how many calls do you need to pick up the phone, that you need to talk, smiling, etc.

What to ask a guest to reserve a table for him? Write down the speech blanks that will be used by employees talking with guests and hang them on the wall where your phone is located, so that they are always in front of your eyes You can’t list all the points in the article, but I think the course of action is clear to you. Do not forget about administrative rules for employees. Employees working hours - a document that will include the rules for coming to work and leaving work, staying at the enterprise, lunch breaks, rules for breaks, etc.

Disciplinary policy of restaurant staff

Decide on Disciplinary Policy. I recommend immediately abandoning fines and pursuing a positive disciplinary policy - 5 violations by the employee and the inevitable breakdown in labor relations. The stage of preparation for the beginning of the educational process may take some time, so choose among your managers those who can quickly and efficiently create all these documents. Based on them, you can begin to develop a training system.

  1. Employee Training Plan
  2. Tutorial
  3. Knowledge control methods (tests)
  4. Observation checklist
  5. Final certification sheet

About each of the elements in more detail. The training plan is a document regulating the training of your employee by day / shift, where on each shift your employee will have to receive theoretical information and practice. Let's look at the components of this plan.

The first column is the shift or day on which the employee goes on an internship. The second column contains a list of what the employee must learn or learn during this shift. The third column “Training Method” tells where or how an employee can get information on a particular issue. The point “Practice” indicates that the trainee passes these points together with the trainer / mentor.

In the case of the opening of a new restaurant, the restaurant manager may act as his The fourth column “Place in the textbook” will tell the trainee on which page of which chapter in the manual the trainee can find theoretical information. The “control method” implies the use of various control methods, namely:

  1. Food tests,
  2. Beverage tests
  3. A test of the rules of conduct in a restaurant,
  4. Type test
  5. Test program "Honored Guest".

Example training manuals for restaurant staff

Supervision sheet for the work of other departments - a list of questions that the trainee must answer when observing how the kitchen or bar works, for example. Service Surveillance Checklist - A control method for the manager - Evaluation of service steps.

The manual is a complete list of information on the work of a department and gives answers to questions to the trainee on the specifics of the work. The following is an example of a table of contents for a bartender’s manual, which was compiled by the managers of a restaurant company that worked with us as part of consulting support. Each of these points should be described in sufficient detail and clearly. Try to make your textbooks interesting. Many companies today write tutorials in the form of comics - this increases the percentage of assimilation of the material. An example of a tutorial table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • The duties of the bartender
  • Bar equipment
  • Low value equipment
  • Stationary equipment
  • Dishes
  • Bar work
  • Organization of the bar
  • Daily bar opening
  • Bar closing
  • Sanitary standards
  • Inventory
  • Bar-Warehouse Interaction
  • Waiter service. Work at the service bar
  • Order fulfillment technique
  • Menu Training
  • How to learn to sell products
  • Basic guest service steps
  • Greeting guests
  • Menu, payment alert
  • Hot wipes. Acceptance of an order for an aperitif.
  • Serving aperitifs and accepting the main order
  • Fulfillment of the main order
  • Jokes, magic tricks and entertainment for guests
  • Desserts, Tea, Coffee
  • Digestives
  • Guest of honor card.
  • Calculation Procedure with Guests
  • Farewell to the guest.
  • How to solve problems
  • Pouring beer
  • Wine discovery
  • Making hot drinks
  • Pure spirits
  • Soft drinks

The service monitoring checklist will help you clearly understand which service points your waiter or bartender is carrying out, and at what points needs improvement. A wide column describes the service steps, on the right is a column to mark the manager's completion. The final certification sheet is actually a list of what the trainee should have learned or what to learn during his training.

Write down these points and when the trainee is ready, have a conversation with him on these points - if the trainee gave the right answers for 95% of the questions, your new employee is almost ready. It will remain to practice with real guests, but you are already sure that the trainee knows the menu, knows how to prepare drinks or dishes, knows the rules of the restaurant, knows how to follow sanitary and hygienic rules, your "sellers" are able to sell and recommend dishes.

Separately, it is worth saying a few words about the coach or mentor. As I already mentioned at the opening stage of the restaurant, while you have not yet formed a pool of internal trainers, this function can be performed by the manager. It is believed that one coach can “lead” 4-5 trainees. The success of the trainee's training will depend on how much the trainer can organize the training, whether he possesses the necessary qualities of a trainer - flexibility, responsibility, the ability to convey material to the listener.

Try to avoid long lectures - for this you have a study guide. Try to conduct practice at the workplace - let the guys get used to the feeling of “their” hall, bar and kitchen. If you have not yet completed the construction - combine study with cleaning. For example, in the morning 2, 5 hours - a lesson on the menu, 20 minutes break, 2 hours cleaning your department (bar, lounge, kitchen), 2, 5 hours training on serving / preparing blanks and dishes in the kitchen.

Once again I draw your attention to the need for a training plan. This is a very important element of training, and it will definitely help to organize the training of your trainees more competently. Good luck and good restaurants!