Forget ABC Server Training and other server training programs that charge you huge amounts of money for just-average results. You can now download a free, comprehensive training program that meets all of your server training onboarding needs. This 5-day server onboarding training program for full-service restaurant servers is built around the ‘blended learning’ concept. A mix of digital bite-sized content and in-person on-the-job training (OJT) help you achieve consistent, effective and engaging training that can be easily monitored for performance evaluations.
Before and after each frontal, OTJ daily training session, managers should share with their new employee’s content that support, review and evaluate learning and adaptation. A Bite is a microlearning capsule made of four parts: a video, a quiz, a summary card, and a discussion board. Training content can be uploaded in different formats – videos or PowerPoint decks for example – and texts, gifs and voice-overs help you create more engaging training experiences. Flashcards summarize your Bites’ main lessons, and employees should be encouraged to follow up with questions and feedback for professional learning that delivers results quickly and affordably.
This template has been reviewed and practised hundreds of times and it has been proven to be effective. Bring your new servers up to speed and quickly make them fully competent at their job with a training program that works. Even so, you should still adapt this template to your business’s particular needs to maximise its effectiveness.
Prior to Day 1: Welcome to the Restaurant
Reach out to your new employee the day before he is set to come in for the first time.
Send them Bites’ easily digestible content capsules to provide them with a good understanding of the business they are working in, from the restaurant’s history to its gastronomy. This can include video messages from leadership and summary cards with information on general guidelines, policies and job expectations and requirements.
Day 1: In-Person Orientation
Day 1 is your employee’s first time meeting his fellow staff members and getting to know the workplace. Introduce them to their colleagues, show them around, and tell them basic information such as the number and location of tables. A good idea is to also have them tag along with their trainer for that day’s shift.
Prior to Day 2: Complete Service
Before your employee starts taking on smaller responsibilities in the restaurant, you may want to ensure that your waitress knows how to act professionally and to be helpful to customers. Sharing with them the playlist ‘10 stages for perfect service’, short video instructions for complete and effective service can be very helpful. Playlists contain many Bites and help you organise extensive and detailed content (like menus and long lists) in digestible bits.
Day 2: Good Service and Good Food
Use the second day of onboarding to teach your new employees how to operate the point-of-sale system. You can also have them arrive early to help managers open the day’s work shift. Once again, let them tag along with their trainer and increasingly take responsibilities when doing so.
Prior to Day 3: The Menu
Use the ‘Menu Training’ Bites playlist to show your new servers how each dish on the menu is served and what it tastes like – this will allow them to answer specific questions and be more helpful to customers. Consider also reviewing how to use your business’s point-of-sales system using Bites’ videos or summary cards.
Day 3: Hands-on Experience
On Day 3 you may consider giving your new employee who’s been taking part in your waitress training program the chance to test what they have learned. Consider allowing them to assist another server in taking orders, serving and clearing dishes from tables, using point-of-sale (POS) and dispatch orders. Have them close the shift with managers, and review the menu with them to ensure knowledge retention.
Prior to Day 4: Alcohol Menu and Midweek Evaluation
Prior to the fourth day – their first solo run! – be sure to share with them the Wine and Alcohol training playlists, which will provide them with a more comprehensive understanding of the products offered by your restaurant. You should also evaluate your employee’s learning performance so far. Use Bites’ quizzes to test your employees on the food and drinks menu and guidelines knowledge.
Day 4: Let’s Get to Work
After your new server has had enough experience watching more senior employees, give them their first shift and let them take care of a few tables during off-peak hours. You can also give them a more complete understanding of the menu by going over the wine and cocktails offered.
Prior to day 5: Behind the Scenes
Once your employees have proved they can manage to serve your customers adequately, consider sending them Bites that improve their impact to the business by teaching them tricks for upselling, as well as guidelines on how to deal with customer complaints and hygiene, safety, and allergy concerns. Quiz them once again on their knowledge of the house’s food and drink offerings.
Day 5: Program Conclusion
On the last day of your waitress training program, you will want to do some kind of in-person assessment with your new employee and the trainer to track the progress and success of your onboarding process. Go over their questions and deal with any learning gaps remaining.
Post Day 5: End of training
Finish your week by running a final performance evaluation. This time, make it comprehensive and give the opportunity for employees to give feedback and leave comments for their coworkers to see. Congratulate them on their new job, and finalise pending details such as the timing of shits and payroll information.
Developing a comprehensive server training program takes time, but the effort is rewarding when you’ve got your system up and running effectively. Use this template to help you get started or inspire you, but don’t forget to adapt this template to your business’s particular needs. Training works best when developed keeping in mind the specific characteristics of those being trained, as well as the skills and knowledge they are being trained on. It’s important to keep in mind that engaging training is what works the best. Bites can help you reduce training and onboarding times and costs, solving all of your hiring and communication needs.