Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trainee

I had a trainee yesterday. She reminds me of a waitress we had almost two years ago, only not as ditzy. She's very nice and so eager to learn. It was surprisingly OK training her, and I really dislike training. Manager T hired her the night before and asked her to come in for the lunch shift the following day. Manager G told me that they specifically wanted her trained with me the first day because I am the best trainer they have. A compliment from Manager T?

I thought it would be busy, so the plan was to have her seat people and get their drinks, and then run food when she had time. Having this be the first day of training allows someone to get accustomed to the table numbers and drinks without getting overly stressed. This is not how it worked out. It was so slow that, while she ended up seating and getting drinks for several tables, it was not enough to fill her time. We ended up doing the classic trainee-follows-the-trainer training. After the lunch "rush" ended I suggested she leave and come back at 5 since it would be busier then. She agreed (eagerly) and left for a few hours.

When she returned it was indeed busier. I had three tables in the bar area. It was a great chance to show her how to cocktail. I did my best at explaining how to take the tax off the checks containing only alcohol before cashing them out, how the bar must close checks if a manager can not be found, how backups work, and to just call for the bartender to let them know of any special mods to the drinks. All in all it went well, although I know she was a bit confused at the end of the night. Less so than I would have expected though.

We had four tables for dinner, all at the same time. We got a bit jammed up so I did a few things on my own without showing her to catch up. One table gave her their food order when she was dropping off their drinks. She took the order, only forgetting to get the burger temp, very well. I sent her back to get the missing information, which I think will help her remember in the future.

With no serving experience at all, I was pleasantly surprised with how well she was doing by the end of the night. She picked up quickly on the little personalities we have to show the customers as waitstaff, she is quickly learning the POS system, and her enthusiasm is not failing yet.

She is due back for training tonight with the last girl I trained, Nina, (just a few months ago). She starts at 6, which is when I am due off, so I will stick around if they need me to. It should be interesting; tonight is karaoke. Karaoke is a whole different type of serving. The hope is that she will be ready to be on her own Tuesday. If I were training her tonight I could assure that. I haven't worked with Nina since her training was completed. I know she's a good waitress, but I'm not sure how her training skills are.

Keep your fingers crossed for my newbie, Ally.

2 comments:

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Good manager having the new one trained by you. There is a list where we are for signing up who wants to train people. I didn't sign up.Not crazy about it.

LW said...

I don't like it either, but there are only two of us servers!