Consumers are spoilt for choice, meaning that if any catering establishment is not capable or knowledgeable in the product or service they are offering, the customer can easily find a better alternative.
Although the industry is flourishing, it is also suffering from the ever-changing trends in the market, with the introduction of new food trends, products and service concepts. Keeping up with the customers’ demanding food palate is merely a side note to another concern, which is the labour shortage found in the industry.
Receiving a call or an e-mail asking to immediately source front-or-back-of-house staff has become a daily occurrence. This shortage has long been coming, locally and overseas.
Looking at it from a different perspective, a rather simple concept is immediately apparent - invest time and resources in the existing workforce because a lack of or inadequate training can be the cause of high employee turnover and a poorly presented product and service.
Training can target new employees through an induction programme. This is vital for a business, since throwing someone into the deep end is not a lasting solution. Training is the key to help everyone in the company become united. Staff training improves the skills of the workforce, delivers company standards and quality product and services to the customer.
Staff training in a catering establishment using a traditional method like theoretical sessions, practical workshops and hands-on-training on specific operational standards are a direct form of staff development. Culinary training in restaurants and other eateries can be menu development and recipe writing for the kitchen staff - this would instruct them how to prepare, store and serve new food dishes.
Food and beverage suppliers could train staff on product knowledge by educating them on how to present and demonstrate the use of a product. Catering equipment businesses could also avail from staff training on how to show the best applications of the product, maximising the potential of the technology offered.
Informal staff training can be the organisation of food trails - there are food and beverage trips that are focused on food culture since there is no better way to absorb a country’s cuisine than to be there in person.
Staff training needs to be an integral part of any business because, with all the competition in the market, everyone needs to develop the one investment which without it, the operation will not succeed. Human capital is the best investment for a company.