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Employee Training: The Value’s in the Payback

Bad waiter

It’s not new for big corporate companies to invest big money in training. For many, it’s part of their strategic plans. I am sure you know someone who works in a corporate position that gets sent away on mandatory sales trainings.

According to a report by Training Magazine, companies in the U.S. spend an average $4.5 billion on training and development programs for employees.

Why do you think they do that?

Do you think they would do it if they weren’t reaping significant returns?

Of course they wouldn’t, they do it because it pays for them to do so. They place a high priority on training and development because of the measurable positive impact it has on their business and bottom line.

Did you know that for the first 30 years of Starbucks existence, they spent less than .05% of their gross on marketing? Instead they invested their budget on hiring and training the right people.

Research shows that both companies and employees gain from the benefits of training and it is proven to increase job satisfaction, elevate sales, and increase customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Companies that invest in the success of their employees are run with the mindset that since their employees are the foundation of their business, proper training can make their biggest expense into their biggest asset.

It’s about valuing employees, and by investing in them you not only help them learn and develop new skills but you make the organization stronger as a whole.

In smaller companies, it can feel impossible to allocate funds to this kind of training, but it is arguably even more critical here, especially in companies that rely heavily on customer service.

What are you doing in your restaurant to develop your staff and improve your business?

How would your business look different if your staff was more engaged, felt more valued, and was on the same page as you in regards to the operation of the restaurant and the style of customer service?

Would a better relationship with your employees foster a better relationship with your customers?

Would better relationships with your customers result in growth and higher sales?

I can hear the argument that some may be muttering, “I don’t want to invest in training because as soon as I do, my employees will go and work for the competitor.”

But that’s actually not what typically happens, according to statistics. Studies have actually shown that training decreases employee turnover. Training stimulates new ways of thinking and growth leading to happier, higher performing and more productive employees. In the restaurant business these attributes will result in higher tips and increased loyalty to the business.

Development and training just makes sense. In the restaurant business we take time to train the nuts and bolts of service: taking orders, using the POS, clearing a table, delivering the check, etc., and although those details are very important and you must take the time to teach this information to new employees, customer service training is going to have an even greater impact on growing your business.

Profitability increases as the time and money you must spend hiring decreases, and turnover decreases as a result of training and employee satisfaction. The significance of training and development in hospitality can’t be overemphasized, because the restaurant business ultimately is all about the guest experience. Without proper training, there is a good chance that your front line (FOH staff) is negatively affecting your bottom line.

If I haven’t convinced you yet perhaps this will: the most compelling reason to invest in training is to ultimately fulfill your dream of actually taking a vacation or just working less hours.

Promoting your employees into positions of leadership is not only easier on your budget and HR department, it’s a smart business move. Taking someone who already works well with you and developing them into a more senior role with potential capability to run the business while you are away, makes far more sense than bringing in someone you don’t know.

It’s valuable when you already know what they bring to the table, pardon the pun. Cultivating someone in your company and rewarding them with career advancement will be the quickest and easiest way to build trust and therefore peace of mind.

With the high turnover rates in the restaurant industry, training and grooming for advancement keeps consistency within the business and creates a comfort level for your customers. Don’t let your training stop at how to use the coffee maker or where to bring the dirty dishes.

Provide opportunities for training and development for your staff and you’ll move your business forward, giving you an edge in today’s competitive market. People will go to a restaurant for food but come back for hospitality.

Written By:

Janet Irizarry

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