How to Train Your New Restaurant Employees for Maximum Productivity

Proper employee training and onboarding means having restaurant employees that are eager, progressing, and productive from day one.

Are you agonizing over hiring the right people for the job?

One of the biggest complaints I get from restaurant owners about their new team members is that they’re 2, 3 or 4 weeks into their training but they’re still not doing the job the way they should be.
How long DOES it take to properly train a new employee? And what should you do when you think they’ve had enough training but they’re still not working out?

It’s absolutely crucial to properly train and set the expectations for your new team members from day one.

I can’t tell you how long it will take to train different positions, but I can absolutely guarantee that if you’re using the Magic Apron Approach you’re never going to have a well-trained team member, no matter how much time you give them.


This training method is used a lot, but it’s not very effective. You were probably trained this way and I bet you are training many of your team members this way currently. It’s when your new employee shows up for work and on their first day, they’re given their apron and told to shadow someone for the day.

The problem?

The person they are shadowing is probably not trained properly, doesn’t always know why things are done, probably doesn’t have a full understanding of your entire restaurant procedures and they may not even be happy with their job.

That’s NOT the person you want to train your new employee.

There’s are much better ways.

Incentives To Move Quickly

I have a number of restaurant clients who are growing quickly and we use this approach to incentivize new employees.

When they are hired, they’re offered a base rate. They’re shown their path to promotion which includes 2 raises in the first 90 days days. Once they are trained using the TRB 5-Step Employee Training Method, they’re given their first raise. Then in 90 days, they sit down for a full review and they’re given another raise, assuming they are exceeding the expectations which are CLEARLY laid out in their on-boarding and training documentation.

Being able to have your employees come in at a base rate knowing there’s a potential for several raises in a 90-day period goes a long way to ensuring the employee is even more dedicated to learning their job quickly.

Assign them specific duties and tasks

Expecting someone to follow around another team member and learn how everything is done is not very efficient. There has to be a specific set of duties and tasks to complete and they have to be trained in a specific way.

In the TRB 5 Step Employee Training Method, you see that each task is broken down. For a full explanation on the process, click here.

Why Do
Why we do things the way we do them
How Do
How to complete the task
I do
The trainer completes the task
We do
The employee completes the task under the guidance of the trainer
You do
The employee demonstrates the ability to complete the task properly on their own.

You can download training document templates from the free TRB Toolkit here.

Onboard Employees Properly

There’s 5 things that go into proper onboarding of an employee.

1. Examine: ensure that the candidate is the right fit for the job and your culture during the interview process
2. Engage: make introductions so the employee feels part of the team
3. Excite: find out about their dreams, goals and aspirations and figure out how you can help them on their career path
4. Educate: this is the actual training portion of bringing them into their position
5. Empower: if they don’t feel comfortable in their position or feel like they can ever make decisions, they won’t stick around.

You can watch the full video here.

Proper employee training is essential for any restaurant business. It can be the difference between a restaurant that’s constantly understaffed and one that runs like a well-oiled machine. The TRB 5 Step Employee Training Model has been proven to be an effective way to onboard employees and help them become productive members of your team quickly.

If you’re looking for the templates you need to properly train and onboard your new employees, enter your name and email below so I can send you access to the TRB Toolkit.


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