The Cheesecake Factory is one of the most lucrative concept restaurant companies in the U.S. with annual revenues of $1.2 billion and more than 112 restaurants. The company employs more than 27,000 employees, a significant proportion of its employees are high school student. Servers make up 40% of their total workforce, and Chuck Wensing, the vice president of performance and development for the Cheesecake Factory, says that “Servers are on the front line. They are our public face. Servers are a key component in the “Cheesecake Factory” experience”. (Ruiz 2005 , p. 3)
The current problem of the industry is that last years, according to the research, High school educated workers lack the level of skills: in work ethic, spoken communication, key competencies and customer service. (Schoeff 2007)
Such a changing demographics in the U.S. may negatively impact the company. That is, the Cheesecake Factory face certain challenges to hiring servers with the basic skills necessary to maintain the company’s standards of serving the customers. One of the variants to solve the problem is to form a strategic partnerships with education, government, and other entities to address these human capital issues. That is why it is necessary to describe the purpose and desired outcomes of forming an alliance with educational, governmental, and other entities to support the human capital strategy of the Cheesecake Factory.
The most difficult and important task of the company management now is to select and educate qualifies staff. Selection of competent and skilled workers is a prerequisite for the normal functioning of the firm, since now there is a problem of shortage of qualified personnel.
Servers are the main representatives of the company in the relationship with customers, they are responsible for creation of a restaurant atmosphere of cordiality and hospitality. That is why servers are so important for the company Cheesecake Factory.
Unfortunately, most of the servers do not work as servers in the broadest sense of the word, and in this we see the main problem. Training of the serving staff nowadays is limited to only few month of courses, which do not give enough practical knowledge and skills. The literature on the training of qualified specialists in this area leaves much to be desired. (Davis, 1998)
Training conducted in restaurants is often ineffective due to lack of education, training plan and low-skilled workers of the restaurant. Therefore a good solution would be to seek for services of professionals in the field of training and staff development.
Thus, we assume that the company would cooperate with the specialized entities which provide education and staff training. The main goal is development of service standards, system of training of serving staff. Such education and training will help the company to improve the whole system of restaurants’ service: the servers will have an opportunity to improve communication skills with clients, get skills on serving and presentation of restaurants. Managing staff will receive appraisal methodology for selection and education of its staff, learn the peculiarities of the system of education and training within the company.
The program of the staff education:
1. To familiarize employees with the basic concepts of effective sales and services, peculiarities of interactions with customers.
2. Identify the main problems of serving the customers and to describe the behavior algorithm in different situations.
3. To familiarize participants with the correct technology of sales and methods of work with difficult clients.
4. To practice the got knowledge and skills in training mode.
As a part of educating it is necessary to inform servers about developed high standards of service in the Cheesecake Factory, and explain their importance. To form a common understanding of high quality of service and assistance in forming a unified team, the heads of HR management must also participate in the group training.
The key learning objectives are to promote efficiency of serving in the restaurants through educating the staff, and promote the motivation of participants on effective work. Thus, alliance with education entities and specialists on staff training will help the company to improve the performance of its staff, train them and enhance their skills and abilities necessary for high standards of customer service. Only through constant training and staff development the Cheesecake Factory will be able to maintain high standard of the restaurant business, and to compete in the market.
Arduser L., Brown Douglas R. (2004). The encyclopedia of restaurant training: a complete ready-to-use training program for all positions in the food service industry. Atlantic Publishing Company
Brown D.R. (2004). The restaurant manager’s handbook: how to set up, operate, and manage a financially successful food service operation. Atlantic Publishing Company
Davis B., Lockwood A., Stone S. (1998). Food and beverage management. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 260-267
Gordon Robert T., Brezinski Mark H. (1999). The complete restaurant management guide. M.E. Sharpe
Ruiz G. (2005). “Cheesecake Factory Cooks Up a Rigorous Employee Training Program”. Workforce Management Magazine.
Walker John R., Miller Jack E. (2008). Supervision in the Hospitality Industry: Leading Human Resources. John Wiley and Sons