Make Your Fast-Casual Restaurant Back of House Training Smooth as Silk

July 8, 2022

If you’re in the restaurant industry, the terms back of house (BOH) and front of house (FOH) are likely very familiar to you.  

FOH, the public-facing parts of a dining establishment, include all the parts of a restaurant that guests see such as the dining room, bar, front-door area and restrooms. 

Any staff members who spend most of their time here interacting with patrons are considered FOH staff. This includes your restaurant's hosts, waiters, greeters, bartenders, barbacks, food runners, bussers, floor managers and cashiers.

Back of house, or BOH,  is the part of the restaurant that guests don’t see, such as the kitchen, storage rooms and offices. BOH staff includes kitchen workers such as the chef, prep cooks, sous chef, line cooks and dishwashers.

BOH and FOH are equally important to a successful restaurant. 

Despite the importance of their roles and their contributions to the success of any fast-casual eatery, BOH staff doesn’t always get the same attention or visibility as FOH staff. 

BOH staff are a fundamental part of keeping your guests’ dining experiences satisfying. From tasty bites to clean plates, it's important to give your BOH employees the same consideration as your FOH ones so that they can keep delivering an exceptional experience that keeps customers coming back for more. 

The importance of training BOH staff

Keeping BOH staff as consummately professional as possible means providing them with top-notch training.

Poorly trained BOH staff members have the potential to sink your entire operation. Without experience or clear standard operating procedures, they may move slowly, mess up orders and waste precious resources. 

Are your BOH house training procedures streamlined?

It may be worth seriously thinking about because BOH operations can be the deciding factor between an eatery that diners flock to and one that bleeds money. A slow, disorganized and inefficient kitchen could mean losing business to competitors up the road. 

By optimizing your BOH operations, you maximize the chances of success. 

To do this, you’ll have to invest in training. With proper instruction, your employees will be more loyal and have more potential for growth.

In this article, we’ll help you make the most of training, without going too far out of your way to get it done. Here’s how we’ll get you started: 

  • How to use digital signage to beef up training procedures
  • How to supercharge your BOH training
  • Why it’s essential to conduct training at the right time

Let’s dive in!

How digital signage makes training easier

One of the ways digital signage makes fast-casual restaurant training easier is that it makes communication clear and consistent. 

Digital signage lets team members know essential information. It cuts out ambiguity about job expectations and standard operating procedures.

Here are some ways you can set training into motion with digital signage: 

  • Setting productivity objectives
  • Recognizing top performers
  • Letting staff know of upcoming training

You can control what you display, deciding what is most helpful for your BOH staff. From daily special recipes to inventory updates, your staff can learn visually, move quickly and be consistent in procedure. 

BOH training tips to keep things running smoothly

1. Make a staff training plan

 Before training new employees, create a checklist of what every BOH team member needs to know. This helps to make onboarding as useful as possible. 

Consider asking experienced staff for feedback on existing training procedures.

This is an opportunity to fine-tune your onboarding process to make it more effective. Once you have a set of procedures that seem to work, put them on a digital display for everyone to see and keep track of. 

2. Have new employees shadow seasoned staff members

Having new BOH staff shadow others who have been around the block is a terrific way for unseasoned recruits to learn the ins and outs of the job. 

Shadowing staff will allow new employees to see what they are learning in training in action. 

Leveraging the skills of experienced employees creates a culture of learning and collaboration, plus your new employee might learn some of the “soft” skills that aren’t always touched on in training. 

3. Assign a mentor for one month

Assigning a mentor to a brand-new recruit for a period of 30 days can capitalize on the potential of a hands-on onboarding experience that isn’t overwhelming. 

A mentor ensures that employees have someone to turn to when questions arise. 

Mentors offer support, praise and constructive feedback for complex tasks and techniques. Applying training in action and having someone correct details of that application, means that practice will guarantee growth. 

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to build a culture of community in your kitchen!

4. Give feedback

Giving your BOH employees customer feedback is crucial because it helps improve substandard performance and reinforces outstanding achievement. 

Communicating positive feedback lets your BOH staff know how important their role is to the ultimate success of your restaurant.

It’s easy to share feedback with digital signage. Creating a live feed of restaurant reviews makes it easy for BOH staff to see what patrons are saying in real-time. 

Shine a spotlight on your culinary virtuosos by recognizing them in fun, creative displays that increase motivation. This keeps your BOH staff happy and engaged, which can go a long way towards delivering an exceptional dining experience for everyone who walks through the door of your establishment.

5. Have pre-shift meetings

Consider having pre-shift meetings.

This is a fantastic opportunity to revisit lessons learned in training and talk about new additions to your fast-casual menu. 

It also creates an opportunity to keep your kitchen connected to FOH staff! 

6. Keep your kitchen neat and orderly

Starting training with a clean, blank canvas allows staff to focus on what's important. 

A clean and tidy kitchen with high-quality equipment is a huge morale booster, making difficult restaurant work a little easier.

Your staff will be able to focus on using high-level skills, rather than cleaning and rearranging. It means that they will get the most out of their training and that you will be able to set high standards of cleanliness for them to follow as they work. 

7. Conduct training sessions at the right time

Strategically timing training is crucial. 

They should happen just before rolling out procedures, rather than too far in advance or too long after they’ve been announced. 

For example, let's say your restaurant just purchased new, high-tech equipment. Train team members how to use it when it's actually on premises—not weeks before. 

Without having BOH team members use the equipment as they learn, training will be useless. 

After training is over, post procedures for use on a digital screen. That way, you ensure staff remembers or has access to all the steps for use. 

Standard operating procedures and tactical "ABC" lists also make for great, practical content. 

8. Boost training completion rate

Digital signage can boost training completion rates through visible accountability. 

Display an up-to-date list of team members who haven't completed the required training modules as a reminder for team members to work towards completion. This might even turn into a fun BOH competition! 

QR codes on back of house TVs also ensure easy access to training by encouraging staff to use their smartphones. In a setting that is comprised of deskless workers, this can be a make or break for employees who don’t bring work home.

9. Hold friendly competitions between restaurants

If you own multiple fast-casual locations, try holding friendly competitions between them. You can track the performance at different locations, or create internal performance competitions. 

Not only is this a terrific team-building exercise, but it also allows you to measure the efficacy of training modules! 

Don’t forget to celebrate the winners with fun, brightly colored displays! 

Supercharge BOH training with digital signage from UPshow

Fast-casual customers have high expectations, big appetites and little patience for improperly trained staff. Stay ahead of the competition with a well-trained, streamlined staff. 

Streamlined communication is made easy with UPshow. 

Digital signage from UPshow can help provide access to training for new and existing employees, reward high performers offer moral support when things get challenging and so much more.

Learn more by contacting our team today.

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