How to Start a Cafe Business

Your staff training systems can be planned in advance to a certain extent. If you do, remember the need for documentation, supervision, and evaluation. Training for an employee begins when they are hired, but never truly ends.

Documentation

No matter how simple the staff training process for your cafe, it will be worthwhile to have some documentation to go along with it. This could be a complete employee manual for the new hire, some simple checklists, or directions for you or another trainer to make sure nothing is missed in the training process. Regardless of how detailed the training documents are, they will go a long way towards ensuring that there is consistency in the training process.

For example, imagine a scenario where you have trained staff off the top of your head for years. Finally you are ready to promote a certain excellent employee to assistant manager and have her train new hires. Without being physically present during each training, you can’t be sure of the quality of the training or how consistent it will be from one person to the next. With a trainer checklist, you can be sure that you’ve handed down clear steps for the trainer to take and create a system that is not reliant on employees who knows the business like the back of their hand to the extent you do.

Supervision

With a small business like a cafe, profit won’t be able to exist in the long-term if you have to constantly hover over your workers, double-checking their every move. It is simply too costly for you to have to sped this much time on supervision. You have to reach the point of trust where your supervision can be intermittent. When possible, the systems you have in place, such as a security camera recording to camera or hard drive, should act as a deterrent for any bad behavior by employees and as a fail safe to spot check what they are up to when you are not around.

Evaluation

Plan for a clear evaluation system for employees, consisting of regular checkpoints where you formally offer support and advice, solicit feedback and self-critique from the employee, and determine how the employee can improve their work. If you follow a specific evaluation script and format, your employees will understand the process more and you both will fear evaluations less. Your ability to promote an employee is very limited within the cafe, but pay raises can be offered, within limits, to employees who help to increase sales and upsell customers to more expensive drinks or to add a food item. Employees who keep costs down through the care they take with supplies and their ability to take on more and more responsibility can also be encouraged with pay raises or bonuses for exceptional work.