Successful restaurant owners or retailers will tell you the most important factor in their success was a well-trained team. Having the right location, right products, or right menu aren’t enough. You should dedicate a great deal of your training to your point-of-sale system. Here is some advice for POS training with your staff.
Most people learn by doing, so show your staff your software, walk them through each step, then let them try it out. By giving your team the tools to learn, you’re showing them respect. It’s a way of saying you trust them and their abilities.
Walk through each step as you press buttons and adjust display. Each person needs a chance to test the system, so plan for training to take a bit longer than usual. This might seem a bit excessive, but it can save you a great deal of time and money in the long-run. The better your team is trained, the fewer errors you’ll have to fix later.
2. Find a Trainer
If you yourself can’t commit to training your staff, who will? You need someone who understands how to use the software, can troubleshoot, and can answer questions. Ideally, it should be someone from your POS system provider. Ask your vendor for remote one-on-one training or onsite POS training.
3. Do Test Runs
Learning by doing should be more than knowing how to close a table and understanding where each part of a menu is. Have your waiters go through each part of a meal on the POS system as if it were a real table. Create a tab and put in the first round of orders, normally drinks and appetizers. Then, have your servers find their check again and add the main courses.
Check if they can tell the difference between splitting the bill and printing one check. Make sure to show them how to split a check into equal parts, or by separating orders. To make everything more effective, get the rest of your team up to speed. Get chefs and hostesses pretend to be customers so your waiters feel like POS training is the real deal. Ask everyone for feedback. Hostesses might need clarification on how to move a table if customers want to change seats, while chefs may wish to make notes.
This is especially important for traditional restaurants. If you own a restaurant, make sure your staff know how to take orders, cash out tabs, and input the orders. Make sure they practice with options such as coupons and modifications to entrees.
If you own a retail business, your employees can practice transactions with clearance items, discounts, returns, etc. See where the biggest problem is and continue to role play and practice.
Mistakes are bound to happen as you’re working through customer scenarios. That’s the point of POS training after all – to correct mistakes before they happen in real-time. For instance, can a server reopen a check if they printed it wrong the first time? These look like petty issues, but they can add up with time.
In other words, you need troubleshoot training. Establish scenarios for when servers should contact a manager. Emphasize the value of relying on each other to get the job done well. Make sure you allow enough time for questions and a review session before you wrap up your POS training. You could even start a staff contest or play a game over the next couple weeks to help employees retain all the information and continue to learn. A reward would make a nice incentive.
Before you finish your POS training, go over everything one last time. A review can make a world of difference for any establishment. Leave the floor open for any final questions or suggestions. The small reward or prize we mentioned gives your staff extra motivation to master your new POS system.
5. Provide On-Going POS Training
Training is a process of lifelong learning. On this note, it might be a good idea to set up one more official training day as a time to receive feedback or answer any new questions or address any concerns. You could make a small training session part of weekly staff meetings to keep everyone updated and make sure everyone understands the software. Ask your vendor if they offer additional customer support or a video library or documentation for help.
Don’t get angry with your staff. We doubt they have to send back an order or put in a free birthday dessert every day. Tell your staff you are always available to help them work the POS system. Make sure everyone from the hostess to the dishwasher get this loud and clear.
Such leadership facilitates a sense of teamwork, which can lead to a better performance for everyone. Also, try to schedule some follow-up training time.
Additional training is a great way to check in with a new staff after opening another location. It’s also useful to track everyone’s personal progress as new staff get into the swing of things. The more you focus on POS training, the more you can assess the efficiency of your system.
Some problems aren’t a matter of staff capability. Maybe your system doesn’t work for you. In this case, you’d be wise to consider a new one. Other issues need professional support to fix. Make sure your managers know who to contact if a screen starts acting up or a computer server goes out. Have a support team’s contact information on file. This will be very helpful if a problem needs to be fixed immediately or while you’re not around.
Ultimately, staff performance is the only way to measure the effectiveness of your POS training. Has there been an increase in sales? Is your staff using the POS features that can help them improve customer service? Make sure you set up a demo of the system in advance before making a commitment. Else, there might be a hefty price to pay.