In the heat of battle, many restauranteurs and their managers spend their time putting out personnel fires.  When a server quits or isn’t working out, their first thought is to get a “warm body” on the floor ASAP.. After all, when you’re short on staff, everybody has to pick up the slack and money is being lost… right? Partially true in the short term, but warm bodies are also costing you money… much more money in the long term.  Why?  Because an untrained server (who’s more likely an “Order Taker”)  leaves lots of opportunities on the table. If not trained properly, they can actually sabotage your business.

Every section in your restaurant is valuable real estate.  Before you trust that section to a new employee, begin by testing them on your menu items as well as what makes your restaurant “Brand” unique.  Restaurant knowledge and product knowledge are critical to the guest’s experience.  Customers need to know what sets your restaurant apart from your competition.

A new server (I think of them as “Brand Ambassadors”) cannot serve and sell if they “Don’t Know”!  Once a new server is well versed in your menu and what makes your restaurant special, have them shadow a successful veteran on the floor.  Mentoring is critical for successful training.

Set your servers up for success and it will pay you back with dividends!