In training, stress mission and vision first

Often when restaurant owners and managers think about training, they immediately think of the actual tasks a new hire needs to know to be able to perform his or her role within the restaurant. While these are important, even more important is for your new hires to understand the restaurant owner’s story, the mission and the vision for the restaurant, and the new hire’s role according to the mission and vision for the establishment.

Every restaurant has a story, whether emotional, practical or even silly. Whichever it is, it usually plays a very large role in creating the restaurant theme. The story is the direct link to the owner’s passion for his restaurant and what created the restaurant in the first place.

A mission statement is a brief description of your restaurant’s function, markets and competitive advantage as well as your business goals and philosophies. If you needed to recruit investors or apply for a bank loan, you likely already have one.

The vision statement for a restaurant is a brief description of where you, as the owner, want to take the restaurant (i.e. keep small, franchise, etc.) as well as how you want the world in which your restaurant operates to view your establishment. While most businesses have a mission statement, a vision statement is not as common. However, it can be just as important. A vision statement answers the question, “where do we want to go?” while mission statements stop short of that.

The importance of these three elements to be a part of your training is critical. Giving a new hire a complete overview of your restaurant’s philosophies, vision and the owner’s story helps create a full picture of performance and expectations for the new hire as well as creating an emotional connection to the restaurant. Having this overview and creating this connection also assist in maximizing the new hire’s success. This, in turn, minimizes turnover, which ultimately saves on expenses.

Your orientation should occur before any other training begins. It should be considered the new hire’s first day and be a part of the general business of registering a new hire. Before producing the W-2 form, employee handbook, sexual harassment policy and explaining operations, consider sitting your new hire down and have a conversation with him or her. The focus of this conversation would be the story, the mission and the vision of your restaurant. You will see a difference in the new hire’s stance, interaction and interest in the next order of business, future training and his or her success both as an employee and as a part of the whole operation.

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Wendy Dimitri

Wendy Dimitri is the principal of The CRB Group, a full-service restaurant consulting group specializing in independent restaurant concepts. With more than 20 years of experience in the service...
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