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How to get the most from franchise training

How to get the most from franchise training

The best learning is interactive and two-way between the trainer and the group, says Clare Fisher from Papa John’s UK

Everyone has a different style of learning. However, we know that those who get the most from their franchise training are those who engage and ask questions.

Research suggests, typically only around 20 per cent of the content of any training course is retained and so to make the experience more productive, we find franchisees who get involved, interact with the trainers and others on the course and communicate have a better chance to reinforce their learning. In this way, the best learning is interactive and two-way between the trainer and the group.

Ask questions
Understanding is a key part of learning. If you don’t understand then quite simply; you must ask! Experienced trainers try to adapt and accommodate different ways of learning. Discussion demonstrates if franchisees have understood the content of the session. However, franchisees also need to take responsibility for their learning and raise questions to ensure they appreciate the full extent of the points being made.

Attend courses
At Papa John’s, all of our franchisees and store managers undertake a compulsory Restaurant Operation Course (ROC) and an advanced ROC (AROC). We cover HR, GDPR, food quality, store preparation, getting the best out of staff, how to manage internal and external audits, our approach to customer service—these are just to name a few aspects of the topics presented! Even if attendees have run a store before and already understand managing staff, sales and admin, it is important they listen and engage as there is always something new to learn and things may have changed, too!

Training courses are also a chance to build a relationship with trainers and franchise colleagues. It is important to develop these networks so, in the future, you can share ideas and best practice protocols and, if necessary, ask for help in relation to arranging additional training for staff. At Papa John’s, our regional trainers usually develop long-standing relationships with franchisees as they will be helping them educate staff over the years as they expand and take on new recruits.

Be prepared
It is also worth coming to training sessions ‘prepared’. Consider well in advance the important points you need covered to help you run your franchise. Also, think about what your strong and weak points are? Where might you need extra help? Write a list of questions to focus your attention on key aspects of training which might be most beneficial. The training will also enable you to understand which other members of staff in your organisation need further assistance or courses to be arranged.

Theory versus practical
The balance between theory and practical in any training course is critical for reinforcing learning. Usually, we cover theory first, but this is followed up with sessions in-store to put coaching into practice. We find a ‘fluid’ approach to the actual balance is most helpful to suit individuals’ learning styles where some may find more practical sessions supportive than others.

Consider an online course
Online training courses are also popular as they are an efficient way of training large numbers of staff in specific tasks. At Papa John’s we use a system called Cornerstone, which contains a suite of training modules about subjects as diverse as making specific pizzas, to finance and customer service. Here we find videos are also helpful to promote understanding.

Give feedback
At the end of any training session, you will usually be asked for feedback. For any coaching to be improved in the future, it is important to provide honest and constructive feedback plus any ideas. In this way, your franchisor can continue to develop the best training content for the benefit of future franchisees.

Good luck with your training!

About the author
Clare Fisher is the customer service and insight manager at Papa John’s UK.

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