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From hostess, to executive, to consultant.
That was the journey of today’s guest on “Give An Ovation”, Stephanie Jarm! Hard work and 15 years in the hospitality industry led her to where she is now, founder of her own consulting company, Stephanie Jarm Consulting. Now she’s helping independent restaurants everywhere recover from COVID-19, and came on the podcast to drop some wisdom with Zack Oates, Ovation CEO. You should really watch the whole thing. But here’s 5 brief takeaways to get you started:
1. Get Innovative With Reopening
Yes, COVID-19 limits what you can do. But there are workarounds. For example, there’s generally fewer restrictions on outdoor dining, so some restaurants are seeing success building patio areas for eating.
2. Go Digital
If you can, build out your own online ordering system. There’s a place for third party delivery platforms, but Stephanie says they are flat-out stealing from restaurants.
Try and make the hiring and training process as digital as you can too. New employees will feel safer coming to work if they feel like your restaurant is taking things seriously.
3. Turn Team Members Into Content Creators
You might agree that it’s important to make training materials digital, but wonder where to find the time to create videos, documents and other content. Stephanie pointed out that due to smartphones, and social media platforms like TikTok, your team members are very comfortable making videos and other types of content. Let them help you out, especially if business is slow.
Of course keep an eye on them, or your sanitation training video might have the newest Drake song in the background. And be a dance.
4. Connect Training and Operations With Customer Experience
Stephanie suggests picturing your ideal customer experience, and breaking that down into the different touchpoints that move the happy customer through. Ask yourself, “what’s the proper phone ettiquite? How do we want them to feel in the store?” Once you’ve identified the specifics, build those instructions into your training programs.
5. “Don’t Cut Training!”
Have you noticed almost all of these tips have related to training programs? When Zack asked Stephanie to give one final piece of advice to restaurants, she emphasized the importance of not cutting training systems. Better trained employees means happier customers.
“Lean into your trainers. They have so much to offer.” – Stephanie Jarm
Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole podcast, as well as other interviews with restaurant/business gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation” on YouTube, podcast.ovationup.com, or your favorite place to listen to podcasts.
Also be sure to visit stephjarm.com (when it launches in June) to get in touch with Stephanie.