Training team members

Hey everyone. Just looking for some input here on what you guys do for training. We are a DELCO, serving pizzas, wings, salads, subs, pasta, breads. Our long time policy has been to cross train everyone, including drivers. However we have run into issues where employees are just mediocre for a long while (maybe because so many things are thrown at them?). Just a few questions as what you have found to get the BEST results when training:

  1. How many hours do you schedule for training? Or is this more based on the employee?
  2. Do you train drivers inside first for a period of time before putting them on the road?
  3. Do you have a specific order you train things in? i.e. dishes, phones, oven, makeline, prep
  4. Do you have any tests, quizzes, etc. to know when people have “graduated” from that section in training and are well-versed at it?
    I am sure I will have more questions, and if you have any more input feel free to share.


My store is too small to have the luxury of a structured training program, but training is required.

I have a checklist for crew and a formal orientation for drivers.

For crew, I have a training checklist. The first thing is hand washing. Then, for the most part, every crew member is trained on “bubbles”, because that requires about 30 seconds of training LOL!

They work bubbles on their first shift and when there are no pizzas to watch for bubbles, I start working down the training list with them opportunistically.

For drivers, I have an orientation based on materials from that includes…

Vehicle inspection

Drivers are then trained as crew members in between deliveries.

Thank you for your reply, MSG. No one else has any input?

I have the luxury of having my family covering all but one position and that person has been with me for over 5 years so it has been a while since I trained. I use contract drivers so there is no cross training there.

When I did have staff to train I had them shadow the first shift and slowly worked them in to the multitude of things that have to be done.

There are three basic types of learning styles (there are more but these are the most common) Visual (to watch), Auditory (to listen), Tactile (hands on). Everyone excels in one method more than others. I try to involve all these methods when training a new hire.

Just a few things that I do and train my managers to do:

It’s important to let them know when they are doing something wrong but you must explain to them what they are doing wrong, why it’s wrong, and how to correct it.

It’s more important to let them know when they are doing a great job!

You must set goals for certain tasks and communicate the goals daily.

Checklists! The only way you can hold them accountable.

Holding them accountable and having consequences.

Menu item training cards. It takes some time but so worth it. It’s amazing how often they refer to them just to make sure they got it right.

Lists - have lists with everything they ask you how to do. A list for all your recipes, weights, portions, number on the slicer to cut meats at etc.

To answer your questions:

  1. When possible I will schedule a new hire for 3 hour shifts 2-3 shifts the first week. This is with any positions and the new hire will always be an extra body.

  2. When I hire a driver the first shift I have them take 1 delivery at a time 2 to 3 times for the night. This way they can get a feel for it and if something goes wrong they only have one order on them instead of two or three. In between deliveries I train them on in store items

  3. These are the three things that every new hire gets trained on first.

  • POS Menu - I show them how the menu is set up and organized I show them how to select items and basically take an order. Then I give them a paper menu and have them find all the items on the POS menu. I ask to to let me know when they think they have it down (If more than 10 minutes goes by I get on them, if they take more than 20 minutes I let them know it’s not going to work out). After they let me know I will quiz them on a few menu items some easy, some hard and some rare. I will let them know if anything was incorrect, let them know why it was incorrect and explain to them how to fix it.

  • Phones - I have a mock sheet of of I want the phones answered. I give them about 5 minutes to memorize it. Then I show them the proper way of how I want the phones answers and do two to three mock phone calls until they get it down.

  • Front Counter - I show them how to greet customers, take there order, make change etc.

After they learn those 3 positions I move them on to other items

  1. No but I do have time goals for some items that I let them know about. ie getting dough divided, balled, and stored, opening the dining room in the morning and things like that.

There’s a ton more. Mediocre employees come from mediocre training and mediocre management. If they are trained incorrectly they won’t be able to perform correctly. If management is not setting goals with consequences then those mediocre employees will be sticking around for a long time.

Another thing I tell my manager is to alway hire someone before they fire someone.

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