April 2, 2020 The Print Authority

Guide to Restaurant Training Manuals: From FOH to Managers

Printing restaurant training manuals is a deliberate tactic to efficiently onboard new employees or roll out new restaurant menus.

Cohesive branding and comprehensive information communicate expectations and standards across the board, ensuring that each guest receives superior service. For these reasons, it is crucial to create a restaurant training manual that your employees can rely upon and reference during the training process.

In this guide, we discuss how to create unique, on-brand restaurant training manuals for the front of house job positions. Keep reading to learn more!

Guide to Restaurant Training Manuals

restaurant training manual

What To Include in a Restaurant Training Manual

Restaurant training manuals are the standard go-to resource for restaurant training and restaurant rollouts. Accordingly, the training manual should cover various areas of service as well as procedures to ensure each customer receives the same high-quality service.

Below, we’ve listed primary topics that should be included in every company-wide training manual.

Restaurant Mission Statement

Your mission statement is the driving force behind your restaurant, letting all your employees know what your goals are. It typically belongs at the beginning of the manual and sets the tone for both the manual and your business as a whole.

Restaurant Core Values

Similar to your mission statement, your restaurant’s core values inform everything you do, and each employee needs to know what your restaurant stands for. Make your core values clear at the beginning of your restaurant manual so that everyone can be on the same page.

HR Policies

Your HR policies set up your restaurant’s environment and let employees know what’s expected of them. Including them will make sure everyone knows the ins and outs of your business, including vacation policies, employee benefits, how to clock in and out, and dress code regulations.

Hygiene Policies

In a world transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, hygiene policies are more important than ever before. They both ensure health and safety and reassure diners that you have their best interests at heart.

Include a clear and detailed list of your hygiene policies so that all employees know how to keep everyone safe. Be sure to explain both general hygiene policies and ones that are specific to COVID-19.

Processes Related to the Completion of Daily Tasks in the Restaurant

Training manuals explain all the tasks that take place in the restaurant. These can be general or specific to certain jobs. For example, server training manuals could explain how to use the point-of-sale system, and host training manuals could explain etiquette for answering calls.

Procedural Checks To Ensure Quality

One way to provide a consistently excellent experience for your guests is by including checklists in your server training manuals. Checklists are a simple strategy to ensure a uniformly stellar environment at all of your locations, all of the time.

Safety Protocols & Emergency Procedures

Safety protocols and emergency procedures are some of the most important items to include in your restaurant training manuals. In case of an emergency, your employees must know what to do to keep themselves and your customers safe, as well as minimize damages to your property.

Permissible Usage of Company Property and Assets

It’s always a good idea to lay out guidelines about the use of company property from the very beginning. Include these topics in your training manuals so that there’s never any question about what is allowed.

In addition to the core principle and procedures, there are several types of restaurant training manuals that a restaurant may print.

Types of Restaurant Training Manuals

Many restaurants opt to print a training manual for each position to highlight the procedures that are specific to the position. Yet, other franchise restaurants — often fast-casual or quick-service restaurants —prefer to distribute all-inclusive manuals to ensure restaurant employees can operate in multiple capacities.

What type of training manual do you need for your particular restaurant? Take a look below at each type of training manual to see which ones you might need for your restaurant.

Position-Specific Restaurant Training Manual

1. Restaurant Host Training Manual

The host of a restaurant plays a vital role in ensuring each customer has a positive experience. Without clear training and organization, customers may not get seated when and where they are supposed to, leading to customer complaints and other issues.

We’ve compiled a list of topics a typical restaurant host training manual should include. However, make sure that your manual is tailored to your particular restaurant.

Your restaurant host training manual should cover the following information:

  • Host job responsibilities
  • Greetings and goodbyes
  • Waiting lists
  • Telephone procedures
  • Dress code/uniforms
  • How to handle customer complaints
  • Etiquette guidelines
  • Menu knowledge
  • Methods of payment
  • Performance standards
  • Lost and found
  • Tipping
  • Promotions
  • Opening/closing procedures
  • Table number system
  • Reservations

2. Restaurant Server Training Manual

The server in your restaurant plays an essential role when it comes to customer experience. The server is, in a sense, the face of your establishment. They ensure your customers get the food they order, have a pleasant experience, and come back again for more delicious food and excellent service.

Because of the importance of their role, a restaurant server training manual is often one of the most comprehensive.

Here is a list of information topics that should be included in your training manual for restaurant servers:

  • Server responsibilities
  • Dress code/Uniforms
  • Scripts
  • Upselling points
  • Menu knowledge
  • Safety policies
  • Etiquette guidelines
  • Taking orders
  • Methods of payment
  • Restaurant layout and table numbers
  • How to handle customer complaints
  • Policy on alcohol
  • Performance standards
  • Lost and found
  • Tipping
  • Discounts, coupons, and gift cards
  • Opening/closing procedures
  • Reservations

3. Restaurant Busser Training Manual

Restaurant owners and managers can often overlook bussers. However, they can leave an impression on particularly observant customers.

For example, dirty tables can communicate to a customer that you don’t prioritize cleanliness. Additionally, less than favorable etiquette — cutting in front of guests or clinking dishes — may demonstrate that your restaurant does not care about the customer experience.

When these seemingly small problems stack up, it can create an unpleasant dining experience. So even though bussers may not interact directly with customers, they play an important role. A restaurant busser training manual should thus be comprehensive.

Here are some main topics that should be covered in your training manual for bussers:

  • Busser responsibilities
  • Dining room etiquette
  • Sanitation
  • Uniform
  • Table number system
  • Performance standards
  • Opening/closing procedures

4. Restaurant Cashier Training Manual

A capable restaurant cashier has experience handling money, working the cash register and computer system, and dealing with customers.

At fast-food restaurants, cashiers often leave an impression with guests, much like servers do. They must make sure each order is taken correctly, and the customer receives the correct change.

Your restaurant cashier training manual should include the following information:

  • Cashier responsibilities
  • Customer service policies
  • How to handle customer complaints
  • Menu knowledge
  • Methods of payment
  • Performance standards
  • Computer system overview
  • Lost and found
  • Tipping
  • Discounts, coupons, and gift cards
  • Opening/closing procedures

Restaurant Service Training Manual

Don’t want to print a separate training manual for each of the above jobs? A restaurant service training manual is a general guide for all service jobs, including bussers, server assistants, food runners, bartenders, hosts, servers, and any other service job you might have at your restaurant.

Many restaurant owners find it practical to have smaller training manuals for each job in the restaurant. However, a more extensive manual that encompasses all service positions’ roles and responsibilities, policies, and guidelines allows you to keep all your training information in one organized place.

Fast Casual Restaurant Training Manual

In fast-casual, or quick-service restaurants, employees are often trained in several areas, rather than one particular skill. For instance, employees are often trained to use the cash register, make food, take orders through the drive-through, and clean.

However your fast-casual restaurant operates, your training manual must encompass all the information needed to complete any job in your restaurant.

A fast-casual restaurant training manual should include the following:

  • Job descriptions and responsibilities
  • Overview of drive-through position
  • Sanitation standards
  • Safety procedures
  • An overview of each “station” (i.e., cooking, working the cash register, etc.)
  • Filling the order
  • Packaging food
  • Order process
  • Cash management
  • Handling customer complaints
  • Opening and closing procedures
  • Tips on speedy orders
  • Computer system overview

Corporate Restaurant Training Manual

Rather than being an independent establishment, corporate restaurants expand to include other locations. Sometimes, franchisees manage these other locations. However, because there are multiple locations, corporate restaurant manuals need to be comprehensive, detailed, and uniform. In other words, people at each location should be able to follow the clear instructions in the manual to ensure that each location has the same standards.

Much like the fast-casual training manual, corporate manuals should include details about every position in your franchise. This way, jobs are performed the same at each location for a uniform, organized operation.

basic training manual

Training Restaurant Workers Post-COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many changes in the restaurant industry, from smaller diner capacities to increased handwashing. Many of these changes are long term and, therefore, should be in your training manuals.

Create a section in your training manual that details COVID-19 cleaning and physical distancing protocols, what to do if an employee tests positive, all city or state regulations, and any other pertinent information.

Keeping both your employees and diners safe and healthy is paramount, so be sure to update your restaurant training manuals and job aids frequently so that they reflect all current regulations and safety advice. If your restaurant operates in multiple states that have different COVID-19 protocols, you can either customize your training manuals for each state, include all guidelines for every state, or refer all employees to an online resource that contains up-to-date information for each state.

Designing On-Brand Restaurant Training Manuals

Great training manuals are updated regularly to ensure that information presented to new employees is current, reflecting up-to-date industry standards and company procedures. An outstanding restaurant training manual should incorporate both high-quality design and company branding. This helps employees feel that they are part of the organization, which reduces turnover and improves company standards.

Great training materials also are a physical demonstration of the restaurant’s commitment to training its employees. In addition, well-prepared materials reinforce the same messages and themes to all team members, communicating the company vision to everyone.

When you add branding and professional design to your training manuals, your team members will notice the difference. They are more likely to actually read the materials presented this way and absorb what you are communicating. In other words, well-presented materials are more likely to get the job done!

Lastly, it is important to make sure that your communications are clear.

Since a training manual will serve as the organization’s voice, it should align with the organization’s goals for onboarding new employees. A great training manual includes high-quality design and printing, clearly presented messages, and company branding.

How to Print a Restaurant Training Manual

Many times, the home office changes restaurant training systems to better articulate how to prepare food properly and take care of customers.

When these rollouts occur, restaurants may choose to transition from using manuals to binders or vice versa. They may even print laminated or plastic sheets or posters in the kitchen for staff to reference regularly.

But which should you use?

Today, there are many different binding options for printed manuals, making it more efficient than ever for you to create a functional manual. However, binders may offer more opportunities for organization and change.

For example, you can place dividers and labels to separate sections of the training material binder. Or perhaps you plan to update your training manuals regularly. The retractable rings make binders an attractive option since you don’t have to print the entire manual for training updates.

Laminated papers and posters offer great reference material, especially for new employees who are learning the ropes. When rules, guidelines, and procedures are a constant reminder on the wall, your employees are more likely to follow them.

In the end, many restaurants opt to print binders or manuals along with reference sheets or posters. This way, you have a comprehensive manual on hand and a quick reference sheet with main points.

Design and Print Your Restaurant Training Manuals With an Expert Printing Company

Are you ready to start designing and printing your restaurant training manuals?

The Print Authority is an expert printing company that promises to cater to your unique requirements individually.

If you need design help, the graphic designers at The Print Authority help design easy-to-read training manuals. We are experts at making your manual look great! With unparalleled customer service and communication, we create the highest quality prints at the best prices.

Moreover, our custom web to print portals make ordering a breeze. Most orders get same-day or next-day shipping, even to multiple franchise locations!

Get started today by contacting The Print Authority!