In reading through the posts on Chef Clay Collins post the point that came to me time and time again was training or lack of it. Taking that point I thought That I'd put down what we do for training in hope that we might help each other in solving the problems so in a nut shell here is my training program. We start with a video. We had a local company make 2 training videos for us each that is about 2 hrs long. We focus on alot of things including the basics such as What is our address; what is our phone #; what are our hrs of operation. our history etc. We then move into basic service ideas such as when and where to refill the s&p shakers what to bring to the table for coffee or tea service; how to fill the water glass; how to pull a plate; how to serve a plate who gets served first etc. We then move in to the area of food. We discuss cooking terms and give examples what is sauting, braising, broiling, frying what unusual ingredients do we use etc. we then give them a test on what they watched. they MUST pass this w/98% or better and they have 2 chances. Next , they receive a booklet w/ list of ingredients and cooking method for all menu items. They again must pass this. They are also cooked everything on the menu during this time so that they can know what it looks like and what it tastes likeThey then begin a 2 week shadow program in which they follow a lead server around basically watching. After the first week, they are allowed to wait on the management staff where they will be asked questions about the menu, method of preparation etc. If they pass all this they then will be allowed to pick up a 2 table station until they can work up to a full station. We also have monthly safety meetings in which also include some sort of training such as up selling or wine service. Our training program is expensive at least up front but we see huge returns on the backside. We experiance less turn-over and our customers receive very good service. As business owners we spend a tremendous amount of money on insurance to cover our assets in case anything might go wrong so it seems silly to me not to protect the best asset you have by making their jobs enjoyable. If you are well trained you can take the potholes alittle easier and that makes a job better. So in a large nut shell, there is my training program at least for the front of the house. Please share yours. I'd love to learn a new way to make things better if I can.