Approximately fifteen million individuals are employed in food service establishments, and 10% of the U.S. workforce is employed in restaurants. The industry is booming, and it’s estimated that the average household spends nearly 50% of its food dollars in restaurants.
In many ways, restaurant companies are retailers of prepared foods, and their operating performance is influenced by many of the same factors that affect traditional retail stores, perhaps the most important being ongoing skills training of the staff. The development of certain skillsets is important, and the type of training you implement to support them is crucial. Without the right toolset, the effort to onboard, train, and grow employees becomes overly burdensome for both the company and the employee..
Traditional training methods were developed over time for the desk bound worker in corporate environments – employees who have more flex time in their day to sit in front of a screen, watching videos and taking quizzes. This is not the reality in the restaurant industry. Employees are on their feet all day, moving, working with their hands and aren’t always connected to the internet. Let’s look at why the traditional method of training is outdated and the positive impact that a lightweight and easy to use micro learning strategy can have on a restaurants bottom line.
The Impact of a Traditional E-Learning Course:
Restaurants upgrade their training every few months based on fluctuating factors such as business size and customer base. A traditional e-learning course can address an important topic training but often, because the effort to create a traditional eLearning lesson is large and complex, learning teams will build a single lesson that attempts to achieve all of the desired objectives in one hour-long go. The lesson may cover all the necessary material, but when competing with other employee tasks, an hour-long lesson just isn’t realistic in the high paced environment of most restaurants. Packing all necessary information in “only one lesson”, to reduce time spent on training, can cause burnout and make it more difficult for employees to retain the lesson’s content. Ultimately, this caused employees to revisit the lesson multiple times, increasing the time they are spending on training and not completing their regular job duties or skip the learning altogether.
The Impact of Microlearning:
Food service is already a high turnover business, with industry wide rates topping 70 percent for the second year in a row, based on a study from The National Restaurant Association reported in 2017. All this turnover has a massive impact on how restaurants work and has the potential to slow service, damage guest experience, but most importantly, it’s also a huge source of one of the biggest hits to a restaurant’s bottom line. Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research estimates that is costs a restaurant $5,864 to replace each employee lost. These expenses will only go up as labor costs continue to rise over the next few years.
Though turnover is a complex challenge, there are ways that restaurants can reduce the budgetary impact of replacing team members. Revamping outdated training processes is one method that has a substantial benefits to both the restaurant’s finances as well as the brand and guest experience. Employees should be able to run through a lesson in a short period with ease on a platform that’s convenient. Using short videos for example has been found to be a more memorable way of allowing the learner to be hands on, shoulder-to-shoulder, learning with the trainer while staying on the floor and getting their job done. Microlessons are tailored to do just that, and with a platform that works on both web and mobile devices, employees can take their learning on the go.
Employees want to be able to feel like they can get the answers they need without having to track down their manager. People naturally want to learn though technology these days, instead of paper. As mentioned on elearningindustry.com, the microlearning benefits are as follows:
- Microlessons are lessons that are broken down into smaller sections for limited attention spans.
- They focus on a single learning objective with targeted information
- The audio and visuals are like that of an online video.
- As the lessons can be viewed on mobile platforms, they are easily accessible.
Level LMS™ can leverage Microlearning in a way that maximizes all its benefits. With a gamified form of training, Level LMS uses a Netflix-style queue to make it easy for learners to access their lessons and enjoy learning. With shorter lessons that learners are incentivized to take with badges and gamification, employee burnout is reduced and skill gaps are closed with increased efficiency and boosted morale without reducing productivity at the workplace.