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Henry Ford, the visionary founder of the Ford Motor Company, was credited with saying “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” But how can you ensure the selling actually happens? The quote that should really precede Henry Ford’s statement should read: “No one will sell anything until they are properly trained.”

If you’re a store owner and are thinking, “I just train whoever comes in the door as best I can…” well, are you satisfied with your current results? Consider the potential benefits of a well-executed and thought through training program:

  • Increased confidence in your employees
  • Consistent execution
  • Better customer experience
  • Lower employee turnover
  • Potential for sales/business growth
  • Turn C & D players into A & B players

All of these factors ultimately lead to increased profits. And that’s your ultimate goal, right?

As you’re looking to start building a successful training program for new employees, start with the basics: Who, What, When, Where Why, and How.


Who is going to do the training? Sometimes you are the only option. Regardless if you have people to choose from or not, ensure that you have a GREAT trainer.

A great trainer adds ENERGY to the conversation and models the correct way every time! A great trainer teaches you something new every day and they represent a “here comes help” mentality, not a “here comes trouble” mentality. And finally, a great trainer knows the difference between information (giving out) and communication (getting through).


Think through all the steps of your program and determine what training processes you need spelled out. Do you know how to execute them all? If not, who do you need to rely on to get that information? Gather all of the information – with clear, straight forward instructions that anyone can understand.


Finding the right time to train might be tricky due to labor schedules, store hours, or the trainer’s availability. But make sure you dedicate time for training.

If you can help it, try not to schedule new employee training during the busiest time of the day, because it will likely lead to delays and the last thing you want to do is upset any customers who may be on-the-go, especially in a convenience setting.


Where does the employee go on their first day? Who do they ask for or report to? Make sure you’re clear in your day one instructions to eliminate any confusion.

Will the location of your training be conducive to learning or full of distractions? Make arrangements, when you can, to have training in a specified area. Yes, on-the-job training will likely take place in plain sight to customers, but going over the employee handbook or payroll processes should be done in a more secure place.


It’s important to establish why proper training is important to your business. Customer service should be a primary focus, especially in foodservice, so having each employee understand why it’s important to be properly trained can make a huge difference when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Don’t forget: it’s not only a new employee that needs to understand the importance of training; the trainers themselves, owners, and managers should all believe in the training program and work hard to contribute to its success.


Lastly, consider how you are going to train your employees. When teaching how to prepare and cook chicken tenders or clean the fryer, consider completing all the steps yourself, followed by the employee doing it under your direction. That way they have the visual of how it should be done plus the application of how to do it themselves.

Don’t be afraid to test how employees learn best. Each individual may have a different learning style. Pay attention to if some employees are more visual, process-driven or need the documents in front of them.


Now that you’ve thought through each of these steps to build a training program, it’s time to execute! Check out Part 2 to learn more about the foundations for success in executing a proper training program for your employees.