Along with effective daily management, training staff for a successful season is key for everything your business needs: increased sales, high profitability, and enhanced store performance. The following are a few ideas you can use for improving your business and training staff for a successful season.What to Train
Portion Control and Consistency
Portion control is crucial for ensuring profitability and a great customer experience every day you operate. It is necessary to use simple yet effective methods that keep portions appropriately sized to enable you to sell a price at a good margin. This is not too difficult in a frozen dessert business as products are reasonably easy to measure; however, it is important that you train staff to ensure they stick to the proper techniques.
Provide food preparers with written guidelines alongside a visual chart that displays the correct amount, size, and weight of each product. During their training, explain to preparers that charging a flat rate per portion of product without maintaining portion control and consistency could lose you up to thousands of dollars.
Employee Training for Better Customer Service
Your front-line personnel are your point of contact with customers; therefore, their interactions significantly impact your business. An unsatisfactory experience with staff stays in the mind of a customer for a long time and may prevent you from creating a loyal customer.
Part of training staff for a successful season involves teaching employees how to provide an outstanding customer service. Staff need confidence to engage customers that goes beyond providing a service and quality products. Therefore, to ensure every customer has a good experience at your store, you need to teach employees how to prepare products in a timely manner, ensure that they understand proper procedures, and present products in an attractive way along with people skills. In addition, the postive personality your staff demonstrates will add to the customer experience. Lastly, your staff should not only know how to make the products on your menu, but they should understand the menu as a whole. They need to know their favorites and the key focus points of your menu so they can relay this to your customer base.
Standardized Operating Procedures
It is important to achieve consistency in processes such as opening and closing the store and in mid-shift procedures in order to:
- Reduce the chance of errors occurring.
- Ensure consistency from one person to another. This will reduce disparity in quality.
- Improve processes. Through regular communication and training, you can constantly update operating procedures with new ideas from staff.
The best way to standardize operating procedures is through a document in a format that is easy to follow such as a checklist: employees check off the steps and sign the document to certify that they have completed all the requirements.
Enforcing and Encouraging Good Behavior
Get your employees involved
Employees are an integral part of the success of your store. While training is vital to their behavior, involving them in store procedures will help stimulate them. This includes asking their opinon on marketing and product development, including them in social media development, and just having them be part of the store as a whole. Employees who feel like they are part of your success are more apt to make contributions that lead to that success.
Video cameras do more than just catch thieves, they also act as a deterrent for misbehavior from staff when you cannot be on the premises; for instance, you can review footage from previous shifts to ensure everything was running smoothly. Better yet, install a DVR that allows remote access to the video, enabling you to check up on your store from anywhere with an Internet connection and see if employees are acting as they ought.
Rewarding Employees for Great Work
Feeling appreciated, due to the recognition of others, drives employee engagement. Rewarding employees need not be time consuming nor expensive; there are several ways you can show your appreciation including:
- A simple word of thanks
- Creating an ABCD card for employees who go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
- Giving employees a longer lunch break or an extra break during one shift
- Designating someone as Employee of the Month
- Buying dinner for the staff
- Awarding small gift cards for a job well done
Training Staff for a Successful Season
Training staff in areas such as portion control, customer service, and operating procedures is one of the surest ways to ensure your employees will make you proud. You can find out what areas require more training by watching employees while in the store and through a video camera surveillance system whenever you are not working. Lastly, remember to keep your staff motivated by offering rewards and praise whenever they do an exceptional job.