10 Big Rocks

10 Big Rocks
January 16, 2024 Susan Diepen

10 Big Rocks of Trainers for Q1

What are those vital few priorities CHART member trainers are working on right now? It’s clear that getting back to the roots of hospitality and shoring up brand standards are key, all while navigating the wave of digital learning platforms. These 10 hospitality training pros are dedicated to developing people and improving performance. Here’s what they are focusing on now to move the needle in their organizations.

“What’s your top priority in Q1 of 2024?”

Travis Skoog

Travis Skoog

Senior Manager, Learning & Development – North America
Avolta

My top priority is getting back to hospitality's roots – people. I plan to lead the charge on social learning through cohort development programs, equipping peers to facilitate group collaborations within their regions. Solitary online training can leave teams feeling disconnected, so my 2024 mission is reimagining training as a social endeavor, so peers inspire and invest in each other as people first. Doing so, we are looking for higher engagement, creativity, and retention organically.

Myisha Smith

Myisha Smith

Corp Director of Training
Pacifica Hotels

Our top priority is initiating development of self-awareness leadership, accountability, and empowerment. We're setting the stage for our training strategy and partnerships through dynamic behavioral assessment workshops, starting with home office leaders. This approach harmonizes with our initiative to lead with purpose, always keeping our company’s ethos at the forefront.

Felicia White

Felicia White

Director, Franchise Training
Scooter’s Coffee

The top priority is setting expectations. We made a great deal of headway in 2023 to clarify requirements around training and brand standards. Scooter’s Coffee is in a high growth mode, and now is the perfect time to ensure our franchisees understand what they are and the importance of following them in order to deliver the AMAZING experience our customers expect.

Keith Strew

Keith Strew

Vice President of Learning & Organizational Development
Puttshack

Management Development programs are at the forefront of our 2024 investment goals. We are building programs to recognize internal talent and develop them into our future leaders. We are starting from the new venue opening trainer, and including our current managers, to help build the pipeline to fuel our rapid growth over the next 24-36 months. This will include everything from soft skills to leadership training, and of course touch on operational mastery of our systems.

Christina Heilig

Christina Heilig, MSEd, MBA, CPTD

Learning and Development Manager
Dewey’s Pizza

My top priority is launching our first digital learning platform (Schoox) and creating training and social learning experiences that drive more efficient, consistent, and effective onboarding and ongoing development. We aim to improve 90+ day retention, increase team productivity, optimize manager time for higher-value tasks, and elevate overall employee and manager satisfaction. Feedback and repeat visits will gauge success in improving upon the “next level’ service, quality, and hospitality that guests enjoy at Dewey’s Pizza.

Jack Woznick

Jack Woznick

Director of Training & Development
Toro, Toro, Toro, Inc. & Mojofuco

We are currently digitizing all of our menu specs/recipes in order to upload them to our Learning Management System (LMS). This will allow for quick answers to any and all questions on every single food and beverage item in operations. It will also ensure that all team members have easy access to the most up-to-date information, causing much less confusion.

Eliza Poehlman

Eliza Poehlman-Severini

Director of Talent & Productivity
Altamarea Group

In preparation for Q1, we took a hard look at the goals we are setting for our managers. Are they clear? Achievable? Do the managers understand the steps they need to take and how to use their technology tools to track progress? Before we hold the restaurant teams accountable for meeting their goals, we have to hold ourselves accountable for both providing a transparent vision of what success looks like and the training necessary to get there.

Jaycie Chance

Jaycie Chance

Training Manager
Ballard Brands

Our primary focus is crafting an immersive learning course for franchisees to authentically showcase our brand. This initiative aims to enhance engagement and provide a dynamic educational experience, reinforcing our commitment to brand excellence.

Natasha Bronzini

Natasha Bronzini

Learning & Development
Modern Market Eatery

To kick-start ’24 we are reviving the team member’s essence of hospitality through embracing the core principles of warmth, attentiveness, and genuine care. We are introducing our “Happy to Help” culture at all levels of the enterprise. The simple yet powerful act of being genuinely happy to help can create a profound impact. By prioritizing human connection and service with a genuine and positive attitude, we can elevate the hospitality experience and create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.

Kim Evans

Kim Evans

Director of Training
Hopdoddy Burger Bar

We’re revamping our Manager in Training (MIT) program by creating more comprehensive training and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for manager areas of responsibility and updating the MIT schedule accordingly. Since creating the program, we have reduced the size of our management teams and increased the number of internal promotes. Building this stronger tactical foundation will help fortify our pipeline so we can continue to grow from within – without diluting knowledge.