I was recently asked to assist in creating training manuals for a restaurant chain about to expand into the world of franchise development. Having up-to-date manuals keeps consistency in execution and operational uniformity, while helping new employees get up to speed quickly and with good documentation.

I saw this up close and personal when I spent a few years in regional marketing with McDonald’s. Admittedly, I did not ponder why the French fries tasted the same across every store I visited, nor did I question why my Egg McMuffin was delicious whether I found myself in small-town Iowa or the big city of Chicago.

McDonald’s policies and procedures were meticulously documented, distributed and used as a foundation for training. Looking back, I guess I was too busy working with franchisees on the latest marketing program to notice that the Ops guys were the real heroes. They trained managers and staff on how to adhere to company policies and to operate each restaurant in a way that makes “food and feel” consistent across the country.

In the past as I’ve worked with restaurant employees (from servers and bartenders to kitchen managers) preparing to launch a new restaurant or grow an existing one, I’ve captured a few important observations regarding the benefits of consistent operational policies and procedural manuals.


1. Relieve some of the anxiety new employees may have!

Written information can easily be referred to and used as a basis for learning before, during and after training. This will increase employee morale and confidence – and yield a higher success rate for employee retention and growth.

2. Create an efficient organization by having consistency in operations and execution of policies.

With properly documented information (and training), employees should never doubt important policies and procedures such as dress code, how to greet guests or ingredients in specific menu items.

3.Image matters!

By providing written and detailed information, the company has gone a long way to communicate WHO they are; and ultimately, how they want YOU to represent the organization. By clearly stating these expectations, companies are also mitigating risks while decreasing chances for misunderstandings that can lead to lengthy and costly battles.

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