Our favorite thing…Or not so much?
Training machine operators is a job we do so often that we’re likely to “mail it in” rather than giving it our best. Let’s be honest, doing it over and over year after year gets old. And that can result in a kind of lackluster approach to it. But if we stop to consider the dividends of training well – before we start doing it yet again, maybe we’d gain something important and valuable.
Consider the number of trouble calls you’ve gotten whose cause, was at its’ core, an operator who either wasn’t trained properly or (more often) blew off something important. And even if was trained to do that task, maybe the reason he didn’t follow those instructions was because he wasn’t told the “why” of performing that task.
In the end most of us will ignore any instruction or rule in the absence of being told why it’s really necessary. Explaining why that wash tank needs to be drained and refilled once an hour might just end in it being done more regularly. Or explaining why certain styles of racks are used might end with fewer streaked glass complaints.
So as we train yet another operator, we need to focus more on explaining why that step is important and a maybe a little less on the task itself. Perhaps that shift in our focus will result in fewer customer complaints and importantly more time to grow our business versus fighting a holding action.
Next up: The four steps of training.
Change the water…Change the results
Of the things we can do to ensure good results, changing that wash tank water is clearly the biggest bang for the buck of any we can take. Yes, good prescrapping is important as are good temperatures, wash pressures, adequate detergent levels and proper racking. But in the absence of regularly changing that wash tank’s water they all pale in importance.
So, why is it then that we regularly see that task either totally ignored or delayed when it’s clearly needed? The reasons are varied, but the biggest is often the need to get clean ware to the front of the house during really busy periods. To some degree that may be unavoidable, but if that tank was changed before the crush, chances are good that it would be still an effective washing media rather than something resembling a recirculating swill of food scraps.
In the end it may not be a problem we can fully correct, but better operator training, prominently posting instruction charts and making certain management understands the importance of enforcing the practice is a great start.
Next up: What about scrapping and racking?