How Well Should you Train Restaurant Employees


Your restaurant is your baby and I know you are hesitant to give away all your secrets but when you hold back in your training of employees, it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone. I have a simple interviewing tip to make sure you get the right people into your restaurant and some thoughts on why you should always train your employees well enough to leave your business.

To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.

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Read the Video Transcript by Clicking Here...
I’ve got to admit, I’m hoping to throw you off your game a little bit today .. I hope you’re thinking that you’re doing it right .. that you shouldn’t be telling your employees everything, training them perfectly. That’s how most restaurants feel anyway, because what if I train them so well that they don’t want to stick around and take all my secrets with them.

Here’s a better question .. What if you don’t train them and they stay?

I actually got this idea from a Dilbert cartoon – you know the one from the newspaper where all the office characters are always joking about office stuff. He said in one cartoon, what if we train them so well and he leaves. The other guy says, well, what if we don’t and he stays?

If you don’t train your employee with everything you know, if you’re not putting your heart and soul into it, if training your employees is not one of your top priorities, then you’re leaving stuff on the table – not just for your employees benefit, but also your restaurant’s benefit.

My goal with every employee I’ve ever had come through my restaurant was to train them so well they could eventually move up to the point where I didn’t have a job for them anymore. I considered it my honor, pleasure and privilege to help them move onto the next big step in their career.

My training program was so solid, I could “fill the funnel” and always find people to work for me and do the entire process over again – train them so well that they could move on.

I actually found that although a few employees did move on to things like managing other businesses or restaurants (and yes, I stay in touch with them still today) but most didn’t. Most of them stuck around and put so much back into the business that it eventually freed up my time so I could work on other businesses and take vacations.


Honestly, I don’t think you can manage an employee because everyone is different. They have different needs, wants, and desires. Each one comes from different backgrounds and have different core values.

So no – you can’t manage them, but you can train them by building a system and training them to follow that system.

A lot of the issues and challenges that we have with employees is partially due to training and mostly to do with the system in place.


If I can offer one bit of advice, it would be to hire the smile. Sometimes, we’re just not hiring the right people. You might choose someone because they have “experience” or the “skill set” for the job. But if their personality isn’t a fit then all the training, procedures, and systems in the world aren’t going to help them succeed.

What does that mean if you’re not hiring front of house staff? What if your position is in the kitchen? It could be the way they walk around or their attention to detail or the way they handle themselves with other employees.

There’s an interview process that I take people through where I learn a lot before we even get into their skills, but the famous expression “hire the smile” is easy to remember and something to keep in mind when you’re interviewing.


Just remember, the better trained your employees, the better systems you have in place, the better you are at developing your employees, the easier it will be for you to do the things that are important in your business.

Whether you want to open another restaurant, do some major work on marketing, grow into multi-units .. your goals can be reached by training your employees properly.

I know it’s scary, but if you don’t train them, if you hold back, if you keep secrets, if you’re afraid they’ll learn everything and compete against you, it will never work out for you in the long run.

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