RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE ONBOARDING CHECKLIST
Developing a restaurant onboarding checklist offers more stability for newly trained staff
Bringing in a new employee is an investment involving multiple considerations:
- What are my new employee’s responsibilities?
- How much are they being paid?
- How long before they are up to speed?
- Will they be long-term?
- Will I have to train someone else in 3 months?
Business owners looking to replace staff need to make sure that their investment shows substantial return. Getting new employees up to speed, however, isn’t as simple as just watching a training video; your new hires have an unfamiliar environment to work in, coworkers to work with and new technology to learn. These things take time that, frankly, your restaurant may not have a lot of to go around.
This article will help you develop your restaurant employee onboarding checklist, showing how your point of sale (POS) system’s tools can help orient new employees.
Do they seem comfortable with the technology?
Any employee will agree that one of the most daunting parts of a new job is adapting to the technology that they will use. In a restaurant, for example, a new waiter may struggle with the recommended shorthand for taking down orders and a cook may have trouble working with a KDs integration. The problem is, your business depends on your employees working as a team. This means each member of that team needs to know what they’re doing; if they don’t, this can result in delayed orders and unhappy customers, negatively affecting your bottom line.
Luckily, modern POS solutions offer inherent features designed to make taking on new technology just a little bit easier. This includes:
The single most important thing you can do to make your technology more accessible is by selecting technology that requires as little onboarding as possible. While some interfaces are inherently complicated, focusing more on features than a user-friendly interface, it may be prudent to select technology that focuses on the latter instead.
This doesn’t have to mean sacrificing those features, by the way; modern POS systems focus on having the perfect blend of skimmability complimenting a robust feature set. You should look for something that has both.
Tablet and smartphone Access:
For any new employee, one of the biggest obstacles to understanding new technology is the level of comfort they have with the device itself. Sometimes a change in hardware is all it takes to bring an otherwise struggling employee into the fold with the rest of your staff.
For this reason, you should focus on a POS that offers cloud-based access; this means that no matter what device they use (tablet, smartphone, desktop, etc) they will be able to access your software. This means that that employee will easily be able to keep up with the rest of your staff and keep your daily operations moving.
You wouldn’t hire a carpenter that can’t use a hammer. In the same sense, you wouldn’t hire a waiter at your restaurant who can’t work with the technology. You need your tech to be as intuitive and scalable as possible. Doing so means that new employees from any background can easily pick it up, making daily operations run like clockwork.
Does your technology make work in your industry easy for newcomers?
While it’s important to focus on a user-friendly interface in general, this should never come at the expense of helpful features designed to make working in your industry more effective. Repairmen or plumbers need options for invoice generation, retailers need basic Inventory management tools and restaurants need to be able to accept a wide range of payment types. Whatever the case, whatever the industry, restaurants want to ensure that their technology is designed for their industry.
It can be difficult to know what features to look for if you aren’t sure what’s being offered. Restaurant-facing POS systems, however, offer such features as:
A table layout tool is ideal for restaurants. This digital map of your tables allows you to:
- Set up a floor plan
- View open and seated tables
- Open an order
- Assign tables to servers.
This simplifies a lot of the manual work involved in managing the flow of your dining room, allowing your new employees to easily transition to more emotionally intelligent tasks, such as dealing with the customers themselves.
For new employees in the kitchens, taking the orders themselves and turning them into finished meals can be an overwhelming challenge. Between deciphering quickly handwritten notes in addition to customer modifications, line cooks may find themselves wondering what to prepare and how.Luckily, modern POS systems were developed with the back of house in mind as well. By integrating advanced kitchen display systems (KDS), customer orders come in digitally as taken by the waiter wait staff via tablet. This reduces the human error inherent in handwritten notes and gives employees in the kitchens a convenient checklist to prepare the order correctly. This is a useful tool for seasoned vets in the kitchen, but it’s game-changing for employees that are new to the restaurant.
Choosing an industry-specific POS ensures that new employees will have the easiest time adapting to their new work environment. Designing tools for both front and back of house ensures the availability of job-specific tools regardless of position. This smooths out your daily operations, avoiding the possibility of discouraging a new employee before they ever really settle in.
Who are they shadowing?
Let’s face facts; your new employees are probably going to mess up somewhere down the line. It’s not that they’re bad employees, they’re just new, and consequently, they might not understand how things work. The traditional solution to this problem is having a seasoned veteran prevent them from going completely off the rails.
The problem with this model, however, is that veterans have responsibilities of their own. They can’t be next to the newbie every second of the shift. When that happens, your technology can step in to fill this gap, connecting employees no matter where they are. This can be done through labor management integrations with tools like Homebase. Benefits of these types of integrations include:
|In addition to keeping staff in touch, labor management integrations also allow businesses to keep a staff schedule and helps employees:
Hopefully your new employee won’t have to use these tools as much as some of the other features. That being said, this is one of those things that you want to have but not need rather than need and not have. When things get tough for new employees (and they will—anyone in the restaurant industry will tell you as much) you want to make sure that they can ask for help.
By preventing these errors in your restaurant, you let your new employees feel like you have their back. This leads to a longer employee tenure and a positive relationship between employee and employer.
Is their performance measurable?
If businesses are investing in training resources, they deserve to know whether they are working. Fewer things are more frustrating than sinking time and effort into solutions that don’t work or aren’t being used. This results in wasted man-hours and money on an unhelpful solution that your employees didn’t ask for.
The question is, then, how do I know that these tools are effective when onboarding new employees? It’s a great question, and surprisingly few tools effectively answer it. When looking at top POS options, you want to make sure that you have features allowing you to:
The simplest question with any new employee is “how are they doing?” The problem with this question is that orienting new employees is an inherently abstract equation; they don't have hard metrics encoded to tell you whether they're doing a good job or not.
Oftentimes, this decision is left up to the new employees' coworkers, who weigh in on whether or not they are doing a good job. Although it's important to get their opinion (at least insofar as the working environment they create) you want to try and make your evaluations a bit more objective.
This means using hard metrics taken from your POS that measure your employees' performance based on factors such as sales, the duration it takes to make sales, the quality of the orders they send back to the kitchen and more. Having these tools available gives you valuable options to look through when it comes time for their performance evaluations.
|Reward good performance|
What do you do for the employees who are doing a fantastic job? They've worked hard to make your business a profit, despite the challenges of the restaurant industry. There are few things more frustrating for a new employee than doing all of that hard work only to be greeted with a half-hearted “attaboy” and a pat on the back.
The modern workforce requires more incentive to do good work, and you as a business owner should be giving yourself the tools to reward them for doing so.
Modern POS systems also integrate with your accounting software, such as Intuit QuickBooks, which gives you access to your employees' payroll. From there, you can easily grant your employees bonuses, customizable bonuses that reflect the quality of their work.
This makes them more likely to work hard for you and fosters a good relationship that will keep them on your payroll for years to come
Evaluating the performance of your employees and rewarding them accordingly sends a clear message to new staff: your work is respected here. Quickly identifying areas of concern or need allows you to eliminate problems before they become too big. Putting out the small fires before they become big ones saves time, energy and money.
Streamline your restaurant employee onboarding checklist with a trusted partner
When you train a new employee, what is the end goal for you as a business owner? For some, the answer may simply be “to get them up to speed as quickly as possible and get them taking orders.” We would posit that a more long-term approach is necessary for the success of your business. Employees are an investment; they are the face of your company, and as such, they deserve the tools to do their jobs well.
If this seems like a challenge, that’s because it is. That’s why so many restaurants outsource their technological needs to companies with more experience. POS providers like talech have been working in food service for years, developing restaurant employee onboarding checklists for every specialty. We offer a free demo detailing our services
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