Coke Solutions

Harnessing the Power of Employee Engagement

Employee turnover doesn't have to be a given in foodservice

In the foodservice industry, high employee turnover is often seen as a given. But what if it didn't have to be?

"When you have a strong culture in your restaurant, not only does that increase retention, but it also gets people to work harder and show enthusiasm, and in turn, customers enjoy coming there more," says Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Chicago-based research firm Technomic. "Training is the pillar for that culture. Training is at the core of hospitality, but often, it's the most neglected."

In order to make the most of programs and materials that focus on developing a strong company culture and higher retention rates, it helps to have a partner in the effort. That's why Coca-Cola has put together numerous crew-training resources that focus on increasing efficiency, lowering turnover and boosting customer satisfaction levels.

"We understand how important crew is to a restaurant," says Andrea L. Ehresman, senior manager of national foodservice strategy and development at The Coca-Cola Company. "They're often the backbone of success. That's why we wanted to come up with programs that focus on engaging them in day-to-day operations and anything else that would be helpful to a restaurant owner."

The result is the crew portal on CokeSolutions, a multi-layered program with an array of materials that help operators take the guesswork out of training and create a happier, more profitable business—no matter what segment or size.

Training Options

Whether you want to develop more leaders within your operation or elevate your cleaning processes, Coke has resources to help. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Making great hires: Lower turnover begins at the hiring level, and Coke has a toolkit that can help you recognize potentially outstanding employees, including a series of behavioral questions designed to bring out the best in each candidate.
  • Pouring a quality beverage: More cleanliness can raise the profile of any operation, but it can sometimes be challenging for employees to remember every step of a cleaning routine. That's why Coke provides valuable posters and step-by-step instructions for cleaning.
  • Offering top customer service: When diners receive fantastic service, there can be a major ripple effect, leading to higher customer loyalty levels, glowing online reviews and impactful word-of-mouth business. Coke helps operators refine their customer service options with resources that can take your business from four to five stars.

Best in Beverages

In addition to those best practices, Coke draws on its extensive experience as an industry leader to deliver training that can help you make the most of your beverage program.

Servers and bartenders are taught tobuild a specialty program that can incorporate sparkling beverages more effectively into the mix, such as mocktails, beverages with unique flavor combinations and customizable drinks.

According to Technomic, consumers are eager to sample out-of-the-ordinary food and drink options, and this has led to significant growth in creative non-alcoholic beverages. Diners are starting to expect a broader array of choices when it comes to beverages, and developing a strategic beverage program can help your operation stand out from competitors.

Education into Action

Employees feel empowered with effective training, and that makes them likely to stay with an employer who shows such a strong commitment to their growth. With lower turnover, a better-trained workforce and higher profits as a result, what fresh directions could your restaurant take?

You can start today by contacting your Coca-Cola representative to develop a plan customized for your operation. "This is truly a very collaborative effort," says Ehresman. "We've seen so much excitement about these resources, from operators and crew members. It's an opportunity for all of us to tap into the talents of crew, and ultimately provide a quality experience for every guest."

Published: November 02, 2015