NYC Business Solutions’ Restaurant Management Training
This blog entry has been adapted from an article in the April 2012 issue of Total Food Service magazine, featuring a Q&A with Sara Schlossberg, Executive Director of Training for NYC Business Solutions.
Q1. Why offer a training program focused on the restaurant industry?
A. Restaurant are the backbone of our City. The foodservice industry is one of the fastest growing in New York City. In the last year, restaurants in New York City created more 12,000 new jobs. This is a 5% increase from the previous year.
Restaurants offer thousands of New Yorkers a stimulating, challenging, rewarding place to work and learn. Dedication, customer service and high standards are all hallmarks of good restaurateurs. It’s these skills that they impart to their workers – and that every business looks for.
Q2. How does your program help restaurateurs? Why should they participate in your program?
A. I know this might sound cliché, but our trainings are industry-approved because they produce results that position restaurateurs for business growth and cost savings. We help business owners understand how investing in their employees impacts their bottom line. It’s proven that strong and sustainable businesses are the result of: 1) a good product and 2) a great staff. We ensure restaurateurs place just as much emphasis on people as they do on their product.
Q3. What benefits does your program provide to the business and trainees?
A. Our program helps restaurateurs make more money by increasing sales, reducing food costs, and retaining staff. In turn, these restaurateurs share a portion of the profits with the employees who made it happen.
In addition, Restaurant Management Training is designed to allow front and back of house restaurant employees to gain the necessary skills to move into their first management position. Often, these employees have had little formal training or college. This allows someone who the business owner already trusts and has worked with to have a shot at a management level position – and communicates to the rest of the staff that advancement is possible.
Q4. Who created the training?
A. Our courses are part of the ManageFirst Program, which was developed by the National Restaurant Association. To ensure the topics align with real life challenges found in the foodservice industry, the National Restaurant Association worked with more than 200 owners, operators, trainers, hiring managers and executives to identify what skills employees need.
Q5. What material is taught?
A. The courses were developed to address challenges commonly found in the foodservices industry, so that employees can implement what they learn every day on the job. The courses teach first-time managers to help the business address problems such as staff retention, high levels of food spoilage, and attracting new customers.
Q6. Who provides the training?
A. The training is provided by the New York Restaurant Association, an industry association comprised of more than 3,000 New York business owners.
Q7. Where are the classes located?
A. The training takes place at the New York Restaurant Association Regional Office at 1001 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave) between 37th & 38th St. It is easily accessible by bus and subway.
Q8. How often are trainings run?
A. Our training schedule allows restaurateurs not to skip a beat when it comes to training their staff. Each training session is two full days plus an exam—so the impact of the time commitment is minimal, but the return is substantial. Most trainees can participate in class and still be on time for the dinner shift.
Q9. Who is eligible for the program?
A. Restaurant owners or managers can send any employee they want. We want this program to be a tool to allow restaurant owners to retain their best staff by giving them valuable management skills. Of course the restaurants will ultimately make more money as a result of the training. Because of this, we expect owners/managers to pay the employees for the 3 days they are in training, and give a $0.45/hr raise after training.
Q10. How can I send my employees?
Any restaurant or foodservice business that has been in business for over one year can participate in this free training. Enrollment is simple, just complete the online form and verify a commitment to our program requirements. Visit www.nyc.gov/training to enroll.
Q11. Where does the funding for the program come from?
A. The program is supported by a combination of government funds from New York State and New York City, including the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO). We’re fortunate and thankful to have this level of support where we can create a program specifically for New York City restaurants and other food service establishments.
Q12. Has the program been successful so far? How do you measure that success?
A. Businesses vote with their feet – over 50 businesses have enrolled more than 100 employees in more than 500 classes to date. Restaurateurs find our classes so valuable that they often enroll staff in more than one of the courses we offer. The Hilton Garden Inn, Bellstar Ice Cream Co., and 67 Burger are just a few of the companies that have benefitted from these classes.
Sara Schlossberg is the Executive Director of Training for NYC Business Solutions. In this role, Sara helps New York City businesses become more competitive by improving employee skills and productivity. NYC Business Solutions invests more than $1 million each year in helping businesses train employees.
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