Welcome to the world of restaurant workforce management, where good staff training can make the difference between a thriving business and one that’s barely keeping its head above water.

In this article, we’ll take you through the steps needed to develop a successful training program for your restaurant employees.

It’s time to get your kitchen cooking with the right staff management skills!

Step 1: Identifying staff training needs

So, you want to train your restaurant staff, but where to start?

Step one is to identify the areas that need improvement.

Do you need to improve customer service, kitchen efficiency or food quality? Are your managers struggling to manage their teams?

Take the time to assess the areas in need of attention, so you can develop a targeted training program.

One way to identify training needs is to conduct a survey among your staff. You can ask them to rate their own skills and knowledge in different areas, such as customer service, food preparation, and communication. You can also ask them to suggest areas where they feel they could use more training or support.

Another way to identify training needs is to observe your staff in action. Spend some time in the kitchen, dining room, or other areas of your restaurant, and take note of any areas where your staff seem to be struggling.

Are they taking too long to prepare certain dishes? Are they making mistakes when taking orders?

These observations can help you pinpoint specific areas where your staff could benefit from training.

It’s also important to involve your staff in the process, as they’ll often have valuable insights into the day-to-day challenges they face. Schedule regular staff meetings and encourage open communication to foster a culture of continuous feedback. During these meetings, you can discuss the results of your surveys or observations, and ask your staff for their input on what types of training would be most helpful.

Finally, don’t forget to consider any changes or updates to your restaurant’s menu, equipment, or technology. If you’re introducing new dishes or equipment, your staff will need training to learn how to prepare or use them effectively. Similarly, if you’re implementing new software or other technology, your staff will need training to learn how to use it.

Step 2: Developing management skills

Good restaurant management is not only about running a successful business, but it also plays a significant role in maintaining staff morale and customer satisfaction. When your management team is equipped with the right training, they can lead by example and effectively manage their teams.

Let’s delve into the most critical aspects of restaurant management:

Manager-employee communication skills

A manager who can communicate effectively with their staff can motivate them to work harder and provide better service to customers. Training programs should focus on developing communication skills such as active listening and constructive feedback. Active listening allows managers to understand their staff better, while constructive feedback helps them provide guidance and support to their team.

Attention to the detail

They must pay attention to every aspect of the restaurant, from the quality of the food to the cleanliness of the dining area. A well-trained manager can spot any issues and address them before they become bigger problems.

Conflict resolution and problem-solving

They must be able to handle any conflicts that arise between staff members or customers and find solutions to any problems that may arise. A manager who can handle conflicts and solve problems quickly and efficiently can keep the restaurant running smoothly.

Customer service

Finally, a well-trained manager can provide excellent customer service. They can train their staff to provide exceptional service to customers, which can lead to repeat business and positive reviews. A manager who can motivate their staff to go above and beyond for their customers can create a positive and welcoming atmosphere in the restaurant.

In conclusion, developing management skills is essential for the success of any restaurant. By focusing on communication, attention to detail, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and customer service, you can ensure that your management team is equipped to lead your restaurant to success.

Step 3: Effective management practices

One of the key areas of restaurant workforce management is effective management practices that ensure the smooth operation of your business. From ordering supplies to tracking inventory to scheduling staff, restaurant managers have a lot on their plate.

Effective management practices are crucial to the success of any restaurant business. It is important to have a well-organised system in place to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This includes having a clear understanding of your restaurant’s inventory levels, ordering supplies in a timely manner, and ensuring that your staff is scheduled appropriately.

Training your managers to streamline processes and create effective systems is essential.

Encourage them to use technology to help automate tasks where possible, reducing the amount of time spent on administrative tasks and allowing more focus on customer service and employee training.

Another important aspect of effective management practices is communication. Managers should be in constant communication with their staff, providing feedback and support when needed. This helps to create a positive work environment and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals.

It is also important for managers to lead by example. They should set the tone for the rest of the team by demonstrating a strong work ethic and positive attitude. This helps to create a culture of hard work and dedication, which can lead to increased productivity and better customer service.

Finally, effective management practices require a willingness to adapt and change. As the restaurant industry evolves, managers must be willing to try new things and implement new systems to stay ahead of the competition. This requires a willingness to take risks and experiment with new ideas.

Step 4: Comprehensive restaurant manager training

Now that you have identified the areas in need of attention and developed targeted management training programs, it’s time to put it all together and create a comprehensive training plan for your restaurant staff.

Comprehensive training is a crucial component of any successful restaurant. It is essential to ensure that all employees are properly trained in all aspects of restaurant operations. This includes not only management training, but also customer service, food safety, menu knowledge, and kitchen operations.

One effective way to provide comprehensive training is through a mix of training methods.

  • Classroom-style sessions are a great way to provide employees with a solid foundation of knowledge.
  • Interactive on-the-job training allows employees to put what they’ve learned into practice in a real-world setting.
  • E-learning courses are another effective way to provide training, as they allow employees to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule.

When designing your comprehensive training plan, it’s important to prioritise the areas that need the most attention. For example, if your restaurant has had issues with food safety in the past, it may be necessary to prioritise training in this area. Similarly, if your restaurant is introducing a new menu, it’s important to ensure that all employees are properly trained on the new dishes and ingredients.

Another important aspect of comprehensive training is ongoing education. It’s not enough to simply train employees once and assume that they will retain all of the information indefinitely. Regular refresher courses and training sessions can help ensure that employees are up-to-date on the latest best practices and procedures.

Ultimately, comprehensive training is an investment in the success of your restaurant. By providing employees with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their roles, you can create a culture of excellence and ensure that your restaurant is always operating at its best.

Common challenges faced when implementing staff training in restaurant workforce management

While implementing staff training in a restaurant workforce can be challenging, it is essential for the success of the business.

Workforce involvement

One of the biggest hurdles is getting staff to buy into the training program. It can be difficult to convince employees that additional training is necessary, especially if they feel confident in their current skills. However, it is important to emphasise that training can help them improve their performance and advance their careers.

Restaurant staff training programs costs

Another challenge is the time and cost involved in implementing training programs. Restaurant owners and managers may worry that taking staff away from their regular duties for training will negatively impact the business. Additionally, training programs can be expensive, especially if they require outside trainers or specialised equipment. To address these concerns, it is important to plan ahead and budget for training expenses. Consider offering training during slow periods to minimise the impact on daily operations.

Resistance to change

Unwillingness to change is also a common challenge when implementing new training programs. Some staff may feel that they are being micromanaged or that their current skills are being questioned. To overcome this, it is important to communicate clearly with staff about the purpose and benefits of the training. Explain how it will help them improve their skills and advance their careers. It may also be helpful to involve staff in the development of the training program, so they feel more invested in its success.

Am I being punished?

Finally, some staff may push back against training because they feel that they are not being trusted to do their jobs without additional instruction. To address this, it is important to emphasise that training is not a punishment, but rather an investment in their skills and the success of the business. Consider offering incentives such as bonuses or promotions for staff who complete the training, to show that their efforts are valued and appreciated.

In conclusion, implementing staff training in a restaurant workforce can be challenging, but it is essential for the success of the business. By addressing common challenges such as lack of buy-in, time and cost constraints, resistance to change, and pushback from staff, owners and managers can create effective training programs that improve staff performance and advance their careers.

How to monitor and evaluate the impact of staff training in restaurant workforce management

To ensure your training programs are effective, it’s important to monitor and evaluate their impact. Use tools such as customer feedback, staff performance reviews, and sales metrics to assess the impact of training on overall performance.

Keep track of training attendance and completion rates and use this information to identify areas in need of attention. Regularly review training content to ensure it remains relevant and up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.


Staff training is a vital component of restaurant workforce management and can lead to improved employee performance, better customer experiences, and increased profitability. By following the steps outlined in this article and regularly assessing the impact of training, you’ll be well on your way to a thriving restaurant business.


What are the key areas of training for restaurant staff?

The key areas of training for restaurant staff include kitchen skills, cleaning and maintenance, customer relationship management, and handling complaints.

What skills are necessary for effective restaurant management?

Effective restaurant management requires strong leadership skills, a commitment to continuous improvement, and knowledge of efficient operational practices.

How does effective management contribute to a restaurant’s success?

Effective management increases efficiency and profitability, enhances the workplace environment, and reduces staff turnover.

What topics should a comprehensive restaurant manager training cover?

Comprehensive restaurant manager training should cover food safety and waste management, workplace safety measures, and inventory management.

What is the role of continuous improvement in restaurant management?

Continuous improvement is essential for keeping up with evolving industry trends, meeting customer expectations, and maintaining a competitive edge in the restaurant industry.