The restaurant industry has a high turnover rate, and managers constantly have to hire and train new employees. One of the best ways to keep your turnover to a minimum is to invest in the best POS (Point of Sale) system available for your business, and focus on training your employees to the best of both your and their abilities so that they don’t become frustrated or stressed out quickly, and end up quitting as a result.
With many restaurants focusing on utilizing mobile or tablet POS systems for their business, it is essential that restaurateurs take more time to devise a training plan for new employees to learn how to use these devices properly and deliver the level of customer service that is expected of them.
Creating a Training Plan that Suits Every Type of Employee
Many restaurants take a hands-on, “learning on the job” approach to staff training, which is great for some people who like to be thrown in to their work. However, this approach can be hugely detrimental to those who take a little longer to learn and would benefit from more time and develop their skills and knowledge. Additionally, this approach doesn’t necessarily translate to a good customer experience either, as customers expect a fluid service even if their server is new or still in training.
The training plan for new employees should start with getting to know the device that they will be using, and that includes:
- Techniques – Learning the proper ways of holding the POS so that they are able to input orders while maintaining a high level of attention to their customers.
- Functions – Learning the screens and functionality to easily find food and drink menus, payment screens and more.
- Processing Payments – how to process payments from cash or card on the device itself in a timely manner.
- Troubleshooting – How to correct errors before submitting orders or payments, refresh pages for more accurate data, what to do if the device freezes or crashes, etc.
Before a new employee hits the ground running, you should set them up with a few scenarios and spent a lot of time practicing on the device until they start to feel more familiar with it. Growing their confidence is the first step to getting a new employee ready for their first service, and it will serve the business and the customers a lot better if they have had some experience before they go out on the shop floor.
One of the benefits of the younger generation entering the workforce, is that they are typically familiar with the interface of a tablet or a mobile POS system due to the fact that a majority of this generation use smartphones rather than an old-fashioned mobile phone. The familiarity with a mobile or tablet POS interface gives these new employees a great advantage in learning the system and its tricks enabling them to get through training with much more success than those less-familiar with this sort of a system. The good news however is that even the less-technically savvy of employees face a much lower learning curve with a mobile or tablet POS system, as the interfaces are typically much more user-friendly and easy to learn than a traditional POS system.
Set Homework Assignments
On the job training is great – especially if you have the opportunity to take your new employees away from the restaurant floor to allow them to get to grips with the POS technology (which is another great advantage of a mobile POS device – they’re mobile) – but it can be easy for your trainees to forget everything they’ve learned the moment they take off their apron.
In this instance, it is important for management to create and provide training manuals for the staff to take home. They can read up on the many features that the POS systems have to offer and familiarize themselves with the devices while they are away from the restaurant. Management can keep tabs on their trainees’ development by asking questions during training and test their knowledge on a day-to-day basis. This will keep them on their toes and ensure that they continue to learn the tools of their trade.
Continued Monitoring and Development
Once your new employees are familiar with the functionality of the POS system, it is time to get them on the restaurant floor and on the path to becoming great servers. It is a good idea to pair them up with experienced colleagues at first, so that they have somebody with knowledge and experience to help them with any questions or issues. Once they are settled, there should be a plan of action in place to monitor the progress of new employees so that you can help them develop their skills and expertise and make them confident and assured members of your team.
Management should be constantly encouraging their employees to develop their skills further than the basics, so don’t stop training once your new employees are ready to go. Even if all of your employees are more than competent using the POS system and with its processes, continue to re-test their knowledge skills to make sure that it is fresh in their mind. Just like the technology itself, training is an evolving process, and there is always something new to learn. If you continue to do this, your new employees are likely to stay with your business for a long time.