Background and Business Need
One of the biggest challenges was the diverse target audience. Due to the different skills required to run a restaurant, skill sets and the level of experience varied greatly:
- Some staff members were complete novices
- Some core staff members had years of experience in specific areas
- Some staff members were being promoted from Kitchen Managers to General Managers (Full Service)
Each group required different training needs and not all staff members from any group were available for training in one location or at the same time.
Apart from this, the existing training was not well organized. They lacked consistency in style and format, as it was created at different points in time based on very specific learning goals relevant at the time.
To address our client’s business need, KnowledgeWorks Global Learning offered consultation and training development services.
As inputs, the client shared the following resources with us:
- Existing Staff Training Manuals: These documents contain content related to the restaurant’s policies and practices across different groups. In spite of the fact that the content is presented in a dry and boring manner, this document is a good resource for all staff members.
- Instructor Notes: Notes from instructor-led training held for different staff members
Phase 1: Analysis and Consultation
At the first phase of our engagement, we conducted a learning needs analysis using our proprietary PEAR model. The PEAR model consists of four phases with each phase containing multiple activities geared toward producing focused deliverables that inform the following phase.
This required intense involvement and discussion from both teams. Key activities of this phase included the following overarching tasks:
- Clarifying the brief and assessing the existing material
- Interviewing different staff members and stakeholders to determine the learning goals and requirements
- Analyzing the information gathered from first two stages and identifying the gaps
- Recommending strategies and solutions to address the identified gaps
Phase II: Design and Development
Based on our analysis, we recommended a blended learning approach that was a mix of instructor-led training, peer-to-peer/on-the-job training, and digital learning*.
The instructor-led and peer-to-peer/on-the-job training sessions addressed the needs of the kitchen, front-desk, and wait staff.
A large part of the training designed to address the needs of the administrative and managerial staff was digital.
*Our engagement on the design and development phase is ongoing.
In response to these requirements, we designed and developed a simulation game that mimicked the experience of running a food truck business. In the game, learners have to run a food truck business for four weeks and generate a total revenue of $50,000.
The game provides an experiential learning opportunity in a relevant environment and reinforces the learning through repetition. This made the game more appealing to the target audience when compared to the previous training solutions.
Newly recruited general managers at the existing restaurants have played the game multiple times, scoring higher profits on every round of play, which in turn is reflected in their work performance.
Our client shared that managers who took the training reported being more invested in their budget- and finance-related tasks, which had a direct impact on their KPIs:
- Cash flow management
- Menu item profit
- Menu engineering
- Inventory management