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Training: Hire learning

Online restaurant training grows up and gets down to business.

Like most everything else you can think of, training is moving online. But Ben Edtl, president and ceo of Waitrainer provider Restaurant-tech (waitrainer.com), doesn’t want the term “e-learning” applied to his Web-based offerings. “It’s not about e-learning. This is about information management. The restaurant’s training strategies don’t change, just how they manage information changes,” he says. Restaurant-tech in Portland, Oregon, is a Web services company that is effectively replacing the training manual with an online repository of policies, product information, procedures, recipes and training modules that are tailored to each customer and accessible through a restaurant’s own Web site. Owners and managers can track the progress of employees and updateinformation as policies or recipes change. 

Southern California seafood restaurant Bluewater Grill used Waitrainer to cut down on training times. Co-founder Jim Ulcickas has gotten positive feedback from his employees. “Most of them are computer savvy these days. They like the ability to do it in the comfort of their living room,” he says. “It takes a lot of the clerical work away from the unit management.”

There are some intriguing side benefits to moving to online training and information management. Restaurants that are striving for a greener footprint can save reams of paper each year by updating a Web-based system as opposed to printing out manuals and tests. A digital trail also helps restaurants better keep track of compliance training.   

Training around the Web

Courtesy Training (courtesytraining.com)
This online training provider covers hospitality-related topics like emergency preparedness and workplace violence as well as customized interactive courses for restaurants.

NRAEF Leadership & Management Program (nraef.org/resources/harvard)
This management training program
is a joint effort between NRAEF and Harvard’s ManageMentor PLUS. It features a major online content component for easy courseware access wherever the trainee is located.

Serve U (discoverlink.com)
Serve U consists of foodservice training courses for both managers and employees. It covers topics ranging from leadership skills to safety compliance. DiscoverLink also provides custom e-learning solutions.

Vino 101 (vino101.com)
Restaurants with alcohol service can benefit from Vino 101’s online offerings. Along with their flagship wine education program, the site also offers a course on beer and spirits.

Alcohol Server Online Training (alcoholserver.org)
The Oregon Restaurant Association’s online alcohol training and refresher courses meet the state’s requirements for server training certification. It’s an example of online training serving the needs of a particular region.

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