Choo Choo

I thought if I titled this post ‘Train‘ no on would bother to look at it. So, I wouldn’t blame you if you stopped right now.

I have mentioned way to many times that training is the key to any restaurant’s success. In fact, in my labor class, we talk about this and why employees leave the job after just a short stint.

The reasons are usually, “No one told me what I was supposed to do,”  or, “No one told me how I was supposed to do it,” or yet another, “I got little or no feedback on my performance, so I was not even sure if I was doing it right.”

Save yourself from having to hire employees every other day.

Take the time to make sure every position knows exactly what the expectation is. And then show them again…

I am not qualified to comment on mise en place for the back of the house–except perhaps for the dishwasher, (I was pretty good in my day)–but here are a few ideas for the front of the house:

The Host

Do you take reservations? Make sure the hosts are well trained on that. Do you use Open Table or some other online reservation system? Better go over that with them. Important that they know the table numbers, as well as the capacity of the restaurant. I have worked places where hosts with no training end up taking reservations for 25 tables when there were only 22 tables in the place. That’s always fun.

Show them how you want guests greeted. And how fast you want them greeted. Train them on the phone. How you want it answered, within how many rings, how to manage the phone while taking care of customers at the front door.

Do you have a POS system? Better be sure and show them how that thing works. At some point they will probably be expected to take a to-go order. Kind of important that they know the menu inside and out, and what food travels well and what does not.

The Busser

Before you even hire one on, you had better go over the job description. Are they only expected to set tables? Where are they to get the tablecloths, silverware, water glasses, etc. Better show them how to manage all of that.

Are they going to clear tables for the servers? Maybe you should show them how to properly clear a table. Fill a water glass. Take out the dirty linen….

The Server

What kind of restaurant do you have? This will dictate most of this training. Again, make sure you are picking the right people for the job.

If you are a fine dining establishment, it is important that the training include details about the menu, wine list, bar…


I realize that this is a lot of stuff to take in, however I guarantee that it is not even the tip of the iceberg. Each restaurant has so many nuances, variables, that it would be impossible (and extremely boring) to list them all here.

The takeaway

You cannot train your staff enough. If you take the time to thoroughly train each and every member of your staff, you will reap the benefits. You will not have to spend your valuable time sifting through resumes and job applications. Instead, you will have employees who know what to do, will stay at their jobs longer, and the best benefit of all is that the customers will have a great time and keep coming back.




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