This guide is for those who wish to provide a course to accompany the Server's Guide. The Server's Guide is quite general because it has to cover what is most relevant to the majority of people. However, the best training is more specific, so it is your job to do some research and work out what is most relevant for each of the groups that you are to train. Read more
It is usually best to have students from similar backgrounds. For example:
- Retail (shops, supermarkets)
- Bar, café, restaurant
- Late night premises
People are very easily put off if they feel what is being covered isn't relevant to them!
If you don't have personal experience of working in a particular type of operation, then you need to spend some time speaking to people who do. Find out what the common problems are and how people deal with them. You need to build up a set of "stories" or anecdotes about typical situations and how they can be handled. These can be used as formally as "case studies" during a training session, or just described at appropriate times to help learners understand a point.
During training there will be opportunities to add to your "bank" of stories. It is a good idea to keep a log of key issues, solutions, frequently asked questions and possible responses.
At the same time, a training course is not just about content - the way information is covered is just as important. For the most effective learning, people need to be actively involved. The learning process should be stimulating and, as far as possible, enjoyable! So this means you should try to use a variety of activities and, in general, ask your trainees rather than tell them!
It is also important to remember that people are not "blank canvases". They already have knowledge and experiences, and, if they have worked in the hospitality or retail trades for a while, much of this may be useful to the course. One of your key roles is to create a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere where learners feel safe to ask questions, offer information or experiences and discuss what may be difficult issues. This allows people to learn from each other as well as from the trainer. You may learn something too! However, you do have to manage the training session to ensure that everyone is encouraged to contribute and no one is allowed to dominate. You also have to work hard to ensure that all information and activities are covered in the agreed time. This guide aims to take you through all the key steps in planning, designing, delivering and marketing courses for the hospitality and retail trades. It will ask lots of questions and give you options. You have to decide what is most appropriate for the particular groups you are going to train.
This guide will not make you a training expert. If you wish to develop your knowledge and skills in these areas, we recommend that you contact the relevant professional bodies for advice and further training. More information on all these topics is available from specialist publications.