staff training

Joined Aug 11, 2000
Do you use standardized training manuel? or did you develop one on your own?

For small caterers, most use temp help either through a staffing service or through word of mouth.   I know of bigger houses doing inservice on a regular/quarterly basis, to present new menu items and bring newbies up to speed.  One of the long time caterers has waitstaff training on DVD's, has a test they need to pass prior to being sent on a job.

One of the biggest headbanging truths I learned years ago was that it does not matter how good the food is, if the waitstaff are obnoxious or not in service mode, they sink the whole show. 
Joined Aug 17, 2010

Staff that are employed on a casual basis through an agency need to know what is expected of them. Give the agency an outline of the staff member’s duties so that they know they are able to take on the job given to them. You cannot have inexperienced staff arriving for an outside function and being a liability to your catering business because they are inexperienced. It is also the responsibility of the agency to provide you with experienced staff. Some agencies will train staff on their books. in Kanyakumari[/url
Joined Aug 20, 2010
We write all of our own manuals. I want things done my way and as you know, it costs money when they aren't. Its time consuming and a pain, but writing your own manuals will help YOU think through your processes and what you want your staff to prioritize.
Joined Sep 8, 2003
Excellent question!  I don't have a manual, but I am adament that service has to be done my way.  At one wedding, I directed the staff to pour the champagne on the right side of the guest with their right hand and  without picking up the glass- too time consuming and I don't like it done like that.  Period.   Watched a new kid picking up the glass, pouring the champ, and placing the glass back on the table.  As soon as I could get his attention without getting the attention of the guests, I reminded him how I wanted done.  He said, "this is how I like to do it".  Really?  I hissed at him to do it my way or get in his car and go home. 

Same kid, same wedding- I opened a cambro to find that someone hadn't packed the pasta salad.  It was time to set up the buffet, we were 15 minutes away from the kitchen, and I was PO'd!  Admittedly, I was upset and was probably looking very stressed.  I told one of the adults to get in the van and drive like the wind.  This kid came up to me, put his hands on my shoulders, and said, "You need to relax.  It's not that big of a deal."  I told him to get his hands off me,  and to stay out of my sight for the rest of the night.  Seriously, I wanted to stuff him in the cambro.  He never worked for me again.

A manual is a good idea if you have time to create one.
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