(this is the fifth post in a series detailing my work trip to Houston.)
We had a long, busy day today, but looking back it was really fun.
The entire Bennigan’s staff came in and we got to meet the employees we will be training and working with over the course of the next two weeks.
The training staff (that’s me and my people) put the employees through various training courses geared toward whether they were kitchen employees or front of house staff. This is where the theme of this post comes in … language barriers.
The thing I was most nervous about when I took on this task of becoming a corporate trainer down here in Houston was the potentially high number of Spanish-speaking employees.
I was told by a few of the managers that everyone who was going to be working in the back of the house would be bilingual, but I didn’t take into account exactly how thick the accents would be.
I was paired up with Ashlie (Lake Worth, Texas) for our “classroom teaching” exercise, and we struggled to communicate with a few employees because they didn’t know much English. Thankfully, two of the managers (Alex & Lucy), the back of house lead (Lucas), front of house lead (Yedid) and the vice president of international operations (Shawn) all spoke fluent Spanish so they were able to help out when needed. Ashlie and I fought through it as best we could, but I think we’ll be just fine from here on out.
After our four hours of training the staff and a few activities with them, the employees went on their way and the entire training team did our directional and then proceeded with our own little version of Festivus’ airing of grievances.
Essentially this is somewhat of a training team bonding exercise, and even being with another for only three days we are becoming a very close-knit group. We all come from different walks of life from all parts of the country, but as each and every one of us gets to know one another we realize how much of a fun time we are having together. We are growing as employees ourselves, but also as trainers and teachers. We are all feeding off of one another and teaching one another different things all while passing our knowledge onto a new members of the Bennigan’s family.
I don’t think I can stress enough how much of an honor I consider this opportunity to come to Texas and be an integral part of the Bennigan’s brand. I was chosen to be part of a select few throughout the entire company to be sent down here, and I am very appreciative to those who have given me this opportunity and consider this quite a privilege.
Tomorrow the employees have the day off but the managers and training staff will set up the restaurant completely and get it ready for business. On Tuesday and Wednesday we will be having our cookout where we will show the staff how to make each item on the menu. The cookout is what I’m looking forward to most as I will finally get to be in the kitchen cooking which is what I do best anyway.
Keep checking back for updates throughout my travels and experiences while I’m down in Texas. I am going to try and post every day.
Until next time …