5 Step Restaurant Employee Training Model

How many times have you heard you staff say “I didn’t know that” or “That’s not how I was shown” or my personal favorite “Nobody every told me I have to do it that way”?  The excuses are endless, the frustration is massive and the headaches will never stop, unless you incorporate my simple 5 step restaurant employee training system into your restaurant today.

Hello everybody! Today I’m going to teach you a simple five-step system for training your employees quickly and effectively.  My name’s Ryan Gromfin and I’m an author, speaker, chef, and restaurateur.  I help restaurant owners make more money, have more freedom and joy in their lives.   I want to welcome you here today to this very special video training course on Training your employees.

I’m going to share with you the five-step system that I use for training my employees for and my client’s very quickly.  But most importantly, for training them very effectively!  The five-step I am going to share with you are kind of funny sounding, but I did that on purpose because it will help you remember them very quickly.

The Restaurant Employee Training System

1. WHY DO – Why are we doing it this way.
2. HOW DO – This is where we’re going to explain to the staff member how we do what we’re training them on.
3. I DO – Meaning I or the trainer is now going to demonstrate exactly how to do this procedure.
4. WE DO – Meaning we’re going to do this together. So that way if questions come up I’m going to be there to help you with it.
5. YOU DO – This is maybe the most important step in the process. Because this is the opportunity for you to step out of the process and allow the staff member to actually complete this task from start to finish and then show you the finished product.

This is your chance to say “Yes, you did a fantastic job”! You are now approved on this task”. Or “no, go back and try this again”.

What this five-step model allows you to do

You will finally be able to take you restaurant, hotel, nightclub, bar or hospitality employee or staff member (your talent as I like to call them)  from a point of not being sure they know how to do something, all the way through to completion of not just understanding theory, but also understanding exactly how to properly complete the task. Then proving, or demonstrating, the skill to you.  This is important so your staff members don’t back to you, with all the excuses we have heard before,  “Oh I don’t know we’re supposed to do it that way” or “that’s not how I was shown to do this…”

We hear these excuses all the time and while they’re excuses, they’re also kind of not sometimes. A lot of times were not doing a great job of explaining to our new staff exactly how we want something done. Most importantly, why we wanted it done.

I’m going to break these down for you really quickly.


I think ‘why’ is very important.  This is a step that is skipped a lot of times when we’re training our new staff members, or our existing staff members on how to do something new. If they don’t understand the theory. If they don’t understand why you want it done this way, instead of done that way…they will start to take shortcuts. This is when your staff member start to say what if we try it that way, or what if we do it this way… Because they’re focused more on getting it done then the reasons why?

I always start with theory. I always start with a sit-down conversation with the staff member. It could be very formal and long, if it’s an important task. Or if it’s a quick task, just say, “hey let me explain to you why we’re going to do it this way.”


Which is also a verbal explanation. Some people learn better by hearing things verbally. Some people learn better by doing. So we’re going to expose that the staff member to both. This is where I explain how. It’s best if you have some pictures or documentation depending on exactly what you’re training.


If you’re like actually cooking a recipe, you’re going to go in the kitchen and you’re going to show them. They’re not going to do anything. They’re just going watch and pay attention, hopefully take notes. You’re going to actually demonstrate how to do this. If it’s a conversation with a guest, or if you’re training a host how to greet a guest. Then you’re going to actually role play it, or they’re just going to stand and watch you ‘actually’ greet guests. That’s the “I DO” part.


So now you’re going to do it together. This is what you see in a lot of chain restaurants where some of them are wearing a name badge that says “Server and Training” They’re working with another server and they’re part of the process. They’re not doing it alone yet, but also not just watching. They’re actively being a part of it. So that way you can give instant feedback and criticism, and tell them that things are doing great. Show them the things that they need some improvement on…


So again if this was a recipe, this is where they’ve been trained on all of this process up to this point. Now it’s time for them to execute from start to finish, all the way through. And then for them to bring you the finished plate. For you to look at the presentation, taste it and critique it.

I actually have a staff training planner that you can download here for free. As they go through this process you check off each box.

You check off the WHY DO. That means that you’ve explained to them and they acknowledge that they understand why you do it. You check off the HOW DO. You’ve explained it to them and they acknowledge that they understand the ‘HOW’ steps. The “WE DO”, the “I DO”…and then most importantly, the “YOU DO” is checked off. When all five of those boxes are checked off. Both the trainer and the employee sign the specific document and any other videos, or pictures, or training guides that go along with it.

Now, your staff member, in five simple steps, is completely approved, documented in their file, on exactly how you want that action step, that task, that procedure to be accomplished.

You will never run into the problems of an employee saying, “I was never shown how to do that” or “that’s not how I was shown how to do it” because everybody on your team will be on the exact same page. I know this sounds like a little bit of extra work up front,  but the amount of time this is going to save you on the back end, is well worth it.


Read More

Running a Restaurant Isn't Hard

The #1 complaint in restaurant management is poor employee performance. If you’re not following this simple 5-step plan to train your employees, you’re never going to get the results that you want from them …ㅤㅤㅤ

Busy Is Killing Your Restaurant

Are you busy? There are things you’re doing all day, every day in your restaurant and it’s those things that are going to put you out of business. There are 4 things you can do today to battle the busy inside your restaurant …