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Create Your Own Restaurant Employee Training Checklist

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Create Your Own Restaurant Employee Training Checklist

You asked the right interview questions and uncovered the best candidates to join your team. Now, the real work begins. It’s time to onboard and train your new hires.

With restaurants losing an estimated $5,864 per employee due to turnover, the need for comprehensive and effective onboarding is crystal clear.

If you haven’t created a restaurant employee training checklist or your current process needs an upgrade, we’re here to help. Welcome new employees with open arms (and a stellar onboarding process) by following the steps below.

How important is a restaurant training checklist?

Every restaurant manager knows that staying organized and efficient is the (not so secret) ingredient for smooth internal operations. Onboarding and training a new hire is a time-consuming undertaking. But utilizing a checklist helps to standardize the process.

Here are three reasons why crafting and sticking to a restaurant employee training checklist is helpful.

Consistency is vital in more areas than just the kitchen. By creating a new hire checklist for restaurant employees, you establish a training and onboarding process that each employee will go through. This ensures that every new team member gets the same information and preparation needed to confidently step into the job.

Next, a checklist keeps you and your employee organized throughout the onboarding process. Between tax-related paperwork, HR policy forms, training manuals and more, there is the potential for the hiring manager to miss a crucial step or for the employee to become overwhelmed. Fortunately, a checklist can help in both respects.

Armed with a comprehensive checklist, a hiring manager can walk an employee through the entire onboarding process, and an employee will know what to expect at each point along the way.

Lastly, a checklist serves as proof that a restaurant employee has undergone the requisite onboarding and training steps. Many checklists include an area for the HR manager or senior employee to sign and another area for the new hire to sign, signifying that the appropriate training has been completed. This document increases employee accountability and can be kept in the employee’s file should it need to be referenced down the road.

What to Include in a Comprehensive Restaurant Employee Training Checklist

Now for the challenging part—what should be included in a restaurant employee training checklist? While it’s important to be detailed, the document should boost efficiency, not slow you down. That’s why including all the necessary components while avoiding unnecessary bulk is crucial.

To simplify the task, break down the checklist into large, distinct areas. Then, include details underneath each heading. Read on for a practical checklist that you can utilize.

Complete Paperwork

While it’s not the most exciting part, paperwork is an essential first step when welcoming members to the team. Consider beginning with a welcome letter explaining how excited you are to have this new member join the team to personalize this portion.

The new hire must fill out:

  • W4 form
  • I9 form
  • Bank information for direct deposit

The hiring manager must collect:

  • Copy of food handler certificate
  • Copy of alcohol certificate (if applicable)
  • Work availability form
  • Employee contact information
  • Bank information to set up direct deposit for new hire

Welcome Letter Example


Welcome to [restaurant]! We are so excited to welcome you onto the team and bring you into the fold.

We have a lively first day of events for you to bring you up to speed. Check out our restaurant employee training checklist below for an extensive look at what we’ll cover.

Restaurant Employee Training

  • Checklist
  • Complete New Hire Paperwork
  • Review Employee Training Manual
  • Meet New Mentor
  • Discuss Company Policies
  • First Day Wrap Up

Please, if any questions arise, don’t hesitate to ask your mentor or team members—we’re here to help.

Welcome to the team!

Administer Employee Training Manual

The training manual will be the new hire’s go-to guide as they learn to navigate the new environment. Make sure this manual is personalized and aesthetically pleasing. After all, you want new hires to read it.

Outline Mission Statement and Values

  • In addition to including core values in the guide, explain how the new role fits into the restaurant’s overarching mission.

Share HR Policies

Pair New Hire with a Mentor

To reduce turnover, make sure new employees feel supported from the get-go. An experienced employee can serve as a mentor to help the new hire get their footing.

The hiring manager should:

  • Brief the employee on the training timeline and their responsibilities
  • Introduce the new hire to an experienced employee
  • Schedule training shifts for the new hire to accompany an established employee on

Cover Employee Expectations

To avoid confusion and set the newly minted employee up for success, give a clear description of the role and what is expected of the employee. Additionally, share how the front and back of house employees work together for the most efficient operations possible.

Back of House Responsibilities

  • Cover machinery training, back of house operations, team hierarchy, and restaurant-specific details.

Front of House Responsibilities

  • Cover customer interaction standards, greeting practices, service practices, restaurant employee hierarchy, and restaurant-specific details

Job Specific Responsibilities

  • Have a current employee walk the new hire through the responsibilities of the job and answer any questions
  • Set up shifts to train new employee in real-time
  • Ensure the employee has the full job description in writing

Share Sanitation Guidelines

Make sure your onboarding process is squeaky clean. Take the time to go over important health department guidelines and best practices for a clean and safe dining environment.

Health & Cleanliness Guidelines

  • Brief new hire on health and safety standards
  • Ensure that each lesson and guideline discussed is included in the employee training manual

Explain Scheduling and Operations

Scheduling Practices

  • Walk new hires through the scheduling system used and explain how they can view shifts, request changes and more.
  • Share the names and positions of the employees in charge of scheduling
  • Go over scheduling conflicts and how they are resolved

Empower Employees

Training and Employee Success Timeline

  • Include a training timeline for employees to reference. You can break this up by weeks or months and include milestones so that employees can track their progress.
  • Outline the job trajectory and promotion opportunities. What can employees look forward to?

Formatting Your Restaurant Employee Training Checklist

Now that you know what’s included in your restaurant employee training checklist, it’s time to figure out the flow of information. Crafting an easy to follow checklist is a great way to ensure that hiring managers can keep up with the incoming stream of new hires.

Address Different Learners

Employee training should come in multiple formats. Written documentation is essential, but some employees will learn better through visual methods or by performing the tasks themselves.

With this in mind, create different channels through which employees can take in the training material. Helpful videos, one-on-one training sessions with employees, and written guides that employees can take home are each beneficial components during onboarding.

Create Sensible Sections

Whether your new hire checklist for restaurant employees is strictly for hiring managers or designed to be shared with new hires, it should be easily understandable. Consider designing the checklist to follow the typical flow of the new hire’s journey. Start with paperwork, then move your way through the employee manual, job description, assessments, and more. For ideas on how to format the process, ask current employees for feedback.

Include Assessments Throughout

Training and onboarding involve checking in on employees to understand how they are adjusting to the new role. Adding assessments such as a “knowledge of menu quiz” and a “proficiency in cleanliness standards quiz” will ensure that the information employees receive is not going in one ear and out the other.

Offer fun incentives like gift cards or company merchandise for those who perform well. Remember, training should excite new hires about joining the team.

Spice Up Training

Bland and stale food does not go over well. The same goes for training. Add some personalization to your onboarding process to keep things lively and engaging. You can turn assessments into competitions, lighten things up with ice breakers and give new hires recognition with prizes or certificates as they complete new milestones. However you choose to spice up training, put the success of new hires at the core of your efforts.

Skip the Hiring Hassle—Modernize Your Staffing with Quick

Interviewing, onboarding, and training, oh my! With so much to juggle, it’s no wonder that restaurant managers often feel stuck in an endless hiring cycle. Add a dash of innovation and a healthy serving of simplicity to your hiring process with Qwick.

Qwick’s easy-to-use platform allows you to access qualified hospitality professionals whenever you need them. Whether your server called out sick or your line cook needs a helping hand, the temporary staffing solutions at Qwick can help. Best of all, we’ll take the onboarding and training tasks off of your plate by vetting each professional for experience and professionalism, then matching you with the very best candidate for the role.

So, what are you waiting for? Create an account and get the help you need today with Qwick. 

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