Food Truck Employee Training That Sticks
A well trained staff is the key to any successful foodservice business model. The food truck’s driver to line cooks, from cashiers to you the owner, every employee needs to understand not only what their job is but how it fits into the bigger picture of your mobile food business.
Good training programs take time, significant effort and resources invested in each new food truck employee. At the same time, I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard food truck vendors say that money for employee training is nonexistent, that many of their training tactics just don’t “stick,” and that the best training is “on the job,” anyway.
Explain, Demonstrate, Do and Review
We have looked at what are considered to be the best training models within the foodservice industry and discussed which make the most sense for food truck owners. After a long discussion, we settled on a model we call “Explain, Demonstrate, Do, and Review.” The name itself describes the four key steps we feel are necessary to make training a food truck employee effective.
Explain. This is the first step and the more succinct it is, the better. Simply state the purpose of a particular task, summarize how it is to be performed and emphasize the quality or work you expect. Always ask for questions, and ask the new employee to repeat the key points back to you.
Demonstrate. Show the task to be learned, explain key execution points and emphasize how you will evaluate the work. Think the steps through in advance and always present the task in an organized manner. Remember that a trainee will imitate what you demonstrate.
Do. Ask the trainee to perform the task that you just demonstrated. Be patient, remember this may be the first time the trainee has attempted the task. Provide feedback that doesn’t the trainee, but redirects them as needed to perform the task correctly.
Remember most people learn from their mistakes, and how many times it may have taken you the first time you attempted this task.
Review. The final step in the process is an oral review of the task they just completed. Maintain a positive attitude and provide as much constructive feedback as needed. Ask questions that will reinforce learning. Review areas of concern to ensure that the trainee is clear about the desired outcome and procedure.
While this training method is the culmination of a lot of different training models, please remember that not all training methods can be used by every business or with every individual. This model is just a suggestion to help food truck owners who do not have a training plan in place that has shown to work.