3 Areas Where Restaurants Need Agile, Online Learning Right Now

Right now restaurants face daunting challenges: a workforce shortage, both customer and employee satisfaction, and safe operations. That’s why learning agility is critical.

3 Areas Where Restaurants Need Agile, Online Learning Right Now

At most restaurants right now, you might notice “Help Wanted” signs posted prominently. And even though most restaurants and hospitality establishments gained 1.3 jobs during the first seven months of 2021, the industry is still 1 million short workers from its pre-pandemic levels of 12.3 million, according to the National Restaurant Association

Many employees have decided not to come back after restaurants closed early in the pandemic: scores of workers have left the restaurant industry to seek careers elsewhere. Fifteen percent of hourly workers surveyed said they have changed industries in the past year, while 33% would like to do so. And customers aren’t too happy about slower service due to lack of staff either: 62% of restaurant workers have experienced emotional abuse/disrespect from customers.

Add to this the struggles of quickly onboarding employees to get them up to speed, and ongoing training so workers can offer new menu items while they deliver on the company’s brand promise—means there’s no shortage of challenges in the industry. 

Areas Where Restaurants Need Agile, Online Learning Right Now

There are 3 critical areas where restaurants can immediately benefit from a modern, digital learning platform, and they all have one thing in common: the ability to stay agile and ready for anything.

Ramping-up New Employees

As one of the world’s largest quick-serve restaurant chains, McDonald’s hires one million crew members every year in the U.S. alone, and over 90% of its restaurants are franchised. Quickly onboarding new crew members is a must for this famous company. The L&D team’s focus was on implementing best practices and technology to reduce costs and improve the new employee onboarding experience. 

With a digital learning platform, McDonald’s went from printing binders with operations protocols and a desk-bound 30-40 minute onboarding course to shoulder-to-shoulder, in-the-moment training—reducing new crew member training time by 10 hours and saving $30 million in training costs annually. 

The company was able to transform the onboarding process, unify restaurant operations, and increase crew member and manager engagement with easy distribution, accessibility at restaurant locations, and responsive rendering on tablets. This not only benefits McDonald’s but also creates a much better onboarding experience for new crew members who will be more likely to want to stay employed by the company. 

Launching New Menu items and Limited-Time Offers 

Taco Bell’s 7,500 restaurants across the nation serve more than 42 million customers each week. Not only that, but Taco Bell also releases a new menu item every six weeks. The challenge was that whenever a new item was added to the menu sometimes the CSAT score dropped in the first week of each new launch. The root of the problem was that team members didn’t have an easy way to retrieve training materials without waiting for management to go into the system and pull them. Taco Bell recognized that it was time for a digital approach to training and content distribution. 

A single, digital knowledge and training hub with all operational content means that when a new menu item is released all team members have direct access on any device to the new content. And content creation is much faster, more accurate, and more engaging. 

Taco Bell saw a +5% CSAT uptick with new menu item releases and saved $2 million on training materials across its 7,500 restaurants. Agility in content creation and distribution means team members are ready from the moment of launch to serve customers in a way that they expect.  

Keeping Pace with a Rapidly-Changing Environment 

Based in San Diego, California, Jack in the Box has more than 2,200 restaurants in 21 states and Guam. To maintain its place in the market where competition is fierce, the company has to continually innovate when it comes to new menu items. That means things change for employees, fast. But this was especially true when the company decided to launch a new learning platform during a global pandemic. Could the L&D team keep up with how fast things were changing? 

Working to digitize training content, the L&D team saw that the powerful collaborative content authoring tools and templates made the task easier than first thought. In as little as six weeks, the modern learning platform was ready—and just in time too. Jack in Box was able to continue serving customers when a lot of restaurants were closing their doors in response to the pandemic. 

At the same time, the company was able to keep employees safe with consistent communications on new protocols and training with the click of a mouse. The company was able to reduce training costs, deliver training to 60,000 employees in hours instead of weeks, and execute more efficient menu item launches.

Looking for even more? Learn how your restaurant can benefit from a modern, digital learning platform, visit our Solutions Page for Restaurants.