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Easy tips you can use to add long-lasting skills when training your restaurant staff

Published August 18, 2021

Some skills can be applied to any job, regardless of the role or industry.

You can train your employees to develop skills that will serve them well throughout their careers, no matter what position they currently hold at your restaurant.

This is one of the best ways to invest in your employees and retain your existing staff, especially if you’re experiencing a labor shortage. Investing in your employees also shows that you have an interest in their professional development. There are two types of skills that all people have: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills define what your employees do in their roles — things like balancing the books, cooking or human resources. Soft skills — like time management, leadership and creativity — impact how they fulfill their roles.

Developing soft skills


Soft skills can be taught on the job. Some examples of soft skills you can help your employees develop include:

  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Work ethic

Soft skills such as communication and conflict resolution are essential to providing customer service, one of the biggest components of your restaurant’s success.

Related: How to address labor shortages & make your restaurant more efficient

Place signs at the back of the house to provide gentle reminders about customer service expectations, such as making eye contact, smiling and being patient. Actions, words and body language can all impact the customer experience. Training your employees to deliver positive customer service is a transferable skill they can apply in any industry or role. It  alsoIt also has a direct, daily impact on your restaurant.

Transferable skills can be applied to any role. Other examples include:

  • Project management
  • Punctuality
  • Critical thinking
  • Analytical reasoning
  • Listening
  • Attention to detail
  • Relationship building

This isn’t the only way you can lean in to train your staff up. Pay attention to your employees and identify areas they may need additional guidance. Then find ways to incorporate specific skills into their responsibilities and provide suggestions along the way so they can continue to improve.

If any of your workers are looking to become managers at some point in their careers, assign them tasks that will build their leadership abilities. Train them up in all aspects of restaurant management and operations, not just the roles they’re in currently. This may also include developing hard skills.

Related: 4 ways your management style can create a high-performing restaurant staff

Developing hard skills


Hard skills are taught and learned. They are usually job-specific and may require additional training. Examples include:

  • Accounting
  • Copywriting
  • Event planning
  • Foreign languages
  • Graphic design
  • Marketing
  • Technology

If your budget allows it, enroll your employees in training courses to learn new skillsets or improve existing ones. You can also consider developing a mentorship program within your restaurant that pairs employees up so they can learn from one another based on individual strengths and weaknesses.

Helping your team develop


Another way to develop your team’s individual skillsets is to personally get to know their goals and interests. Then work with them on an action plan that outlines how they can achieve their goals and pursue their interests while working at your business.

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to help your employees grow. Whether it’s furthering their career opportunities or helping them become better at their current roles, the skills they develop at your restaurant will contribute to lasting success.

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