Restaurant – Questions and Answers
Q. Can an online tool REALLY help my dining room?
A. From one dining room professional to another, It still amazes me how much more efficient I am now. Here are some situational examples:
- Last Minute Sick Call-in: Each time an employee calls in sick, whether you realize it or not it cost you about two hours of labor and distractions:
- Staff Schedule: It is Friday evening, the day you usually post the schedule for the following week. And it is the day that staff starts calling to ask what days they have off. These constant interruptions to your day are not only time consuming, but also annoying. Plus you notice that your working staff is focused on dealing with the schedule rather than their customers and calling one another to swap days.
- Change of Start Time: It is 10:30 PM, you are wrapping up the dinner shift when you get a call from the rental company telling you that they won’t be able to deliver the banquet table until early morning for tomorrow’s event. That means trying to reach everybody as quickly as possible to get them to come early the next day to make up for the setup time night shift won’t be able to do. Again, dozens of call and you may have to ask for favors.
- Menu Updates: The Chef puts out a new item or updates an existing dish . . . he simply posts it on StaffNET™ to the targeted restaurant! Staff is responsible for studying the updates BEFORE shift starts.
- Banquet coming up? Load up the BEO onto your staff or banquet’s Captain’s account and they can start working on it, it is now in their hands. Last minute adjustments to the banquet? Update StaffNET™ and text them with one click so everyone involved is informed at the same time.
- With StaffNET you spend more time focused on your customers rather than babysitting time-consuming tasks!
Q. How can AccuSERVE™ save me time?
A. AccuSERVE allows you to have all your recipes in one place, yet viewable by as many people as necessary! Save time by:
- Keeping a repository of recipes in a central location and distribute with ease:
- Create last minute recipes substitutions and notify the entire staff in case there is not time for briefing.
- Chefs can quickly know the cost per dish, while keeping this information for their eyes only.
- Create, store and update cocktail recipes and send the ‘cocktail of the day’ to staff
- See step-by-step dish preparation, with photographs, as well as input wine recommendations.
- Note any dietary restrictions directly on the recipe and require staff to memorize it.
Q. How can FrontSUMMIT® benefit my establishment?
A. Every decent restaurant has some form of service training, but how many provide their waiters culinary arts training so staff become culinarians rather than order takers? Not enough. Not only the benefits are real–but so is the impact on restaurants using our programs. The Assistant General Manager of the Palm Beach Grill recorded an immediate and consistent 3% gratuity increase on the average check from the very day the dining room staff completed their FDRP Associate Certification.
It accomplishes that by:
- With FrontSUMMIT® you provide your staff with wine, beer and cocktail courses and an entire suite of culinary courses specifically written for waiters! Courses that do not teach them how to cook but teach what cooking is! Now when the chef explains a special, waiters speak the language. There are even Courses on diet restriction courses to teach them about allergies, faith base diets and more. All that you need to provide the best dining experience and impress your guest while reducing waste.
- FrontSUMMIT® provides you easy tools to quickly review how training is progressing and which employees are doing better than others. Don’t want to look at a computer? Great! Just ask your staff to bring you their automatically printed certificates of course completion!
- Don’t want to use the online tools because you have your own? Wonderful! Our PowerRECORD™ system on StaffNET™ allows you to create automatic certificates and record employees’ performance directly into our system, making it a one-click effort for you to create an employee performance report or performance review. Better yet, the entire information can be easily exported to MS/excel for easy record keeping or distribution.
- Standardize dining room performances and reducing training cost through:
Q. Can I use the FrontSUMMIT® testing as a hiring tool?
A. Yes! It is definitely to your advantage to do so. You may either: 1) Require an applicant to take the test prior to the interview so they can present their certificate at the interview (or even have them enter your e-mail address when they take the test so you get the results directly); or 2) Sit them at a computer with an Internet connection to take the test as part of the interview.
Q. I have a very casual restaurant without tablecloths. Do the standards apply to me?
A. There is a misconception that good service is only for establishments of higher standing. But untrained servers can damage the reputation of any restaurant; thereby reduce the people traffic and your profits. The more modest the establishment, the greater is the opportunity to impress the clientele with good service. For example, clearing a table without stacking the plates in the face of your guests or taking away dirty glasses by not sticking your fingers inside them have nothing to do with the establishment’s standing. Instead, proper service that is unobtrusive and well-trained is for every establishment.
Q. What if my staff fluctuates based on our occupancy or seasonal business?
A. Many businesses hire “For the Season” and/or use additional staff for occasional special functions. As we price on a per-position, not on per-employee – these programs mean you need never worry about turnover! We monitor our customer’s certification with a sensible flexibility. As a Single-Unit operation, it is unlikely that your staff will double or triple in the busy season; and even if it does, it is very unlikely that you will reach FrontSUMMIT® tolerance. As a Multi-Unit operation, we also are sensible to your realistic needs. So whether you are a Country Club that hires a few waiters for a few months or you manage multiple properties that increase in staff count by 30% to accommodate the ski or baseball season, FDRP/FrontSummit® will keep your personnel trained and credentialed without worry.
Q. Can I customize the materials?
A. Yes! And it is simple and inexpensive. Simply tell us what information and/or question(s) you would like to have added to your particular test and we will integrate it for a one-time low fee. FrontSUMMIT® might adjust wording to ensure that the question meet proper academic standards.
Q. Who already uses FrontSUMMIT® programs?
A. FrontSUMMIT® programs are used by a variety of restaurants and prominent hospitality corporations. Here are but a few of our loyal customers:
- Delaware North Company
- Palm Beach Grill
- Mr. Jeff Bell, Vice President of Human Resources and Training Development for Hillstone’s Restaurant Group.
“Currently, Houston’s restaurants are in the process of certifying all of their Service Managers as Dining Room Professionals. Once all of the Service Managers are certified, we plan on expanding the education to include General Managers. Our long term goal is for General Managers to be certified as Dining Room Masters and servers to be certified as Dining Room Associates.”
- Bandera American Cooking
Q. Are certification programs available in Spanish?
A. Yes. Both Associate certifications are available in Spanish. We have been asked if the FrontSUMMIT® online training is available in Spanish as well the available printed manuals, and that answer is no. Here is why: Most immigrants who own and/or can handle a computer speak English well enough to take the test and training in English online. Either way, yes we have the training and testing in Spanish.
Q. Can I use the courses AccuSERVE™ separately from other functions, including the Certification Exam?
A. Yes. Our solutions are made up of individual components, licensed separately. While you will get the benefit of bundling pricing, AccuSERVE™, Courses and Exams are separated by price and access. This is to allow the selection of one or more functions to create a customize solution that fits your needs.
The intense training that FDRP has designed to improve the situation [of poor scores given for service] is exactly what the industry needs.
-- Tim and Nina Zagat
The Zagat Survey
FDRP is setting worldwide standards and its certification program has enabled servers like ours to raise the bar of service to our customers.
-- Maguy Lecoze
Owner of Le Bernardin, New York City
The Federation establishes its members as professionals at a worldwide level of recognition.
-- Michel Couvreux
Wine professor of French Institute Alliance Française and Former Sommelier of Le Bernardin New York City
In our business, we feel over communication is essential. FrontSUMMIT is another outlet.
-- Ella Brennan
Owner of Commander's Palace New Orleans, Louisiana