Train, train and train some more

Train, train and train some more heading-bottom

What’s the benefit of continuous learning? While in the military, we had to go through 8 weeks of boot camp. Let me tell you, 8 weeks of boot camp was a culture shock for a scrawny 18-year-old kid coming right out of high school.

One of my fellow sailors was in denial about the time we started our day. “Is that 5am or 5pm”, he asked after we received our first day orders? There was more confusion on his part. “What is 0500 hours”, he said? Well…after they made him “pump out” 50 push-ups for being inquisitive, I was glad he asked the question and not me. That was until our instructors made all of us do additional push-ups as well.

From this experience, I learned really quickly the importance of operating as a team. A huge portion of that teamwork included our daily training that (at the time) I felt was punishment. Unbeknownst to me, it was preparing us for various battle scenarios.

We trained, trained and trained some more. We trained so much that by week 3 we were in sync because our training and preparation started to make us ready for the future. FYI, nothing gets you ready for the gas chamber-but I digress.

After boot camp, we all went off to various schools then to our first duty station. Needless to say, we were well equipped for our numerous roles. At that point, I found out we did additional training at our duty stations! I was thinking to myself, “what else is there to train on”?

Well, it was time to learn the details of our ship and how to cook in a real world environment. I can tell you, cooking in today’s school houses compared to cooking on a ship (moving through 8-10 foot waves) is totally different. But going through all of the training scenarios prepared me for what was at hand.

Fast forward to our schools. We have to consistently provide professional development to all of our school foodservice professionals. No matter the field, knowledge is power.

They too have to be ready to service our customers who are changing on a daily basis. It’s imperative to cover customer service, leadership and marketing strategies to bring your customers to the table.

Our competition is not other schools. They are the retail outlets. Students do not eat at other schools or cafeterias when they leave your campus. They eat in popular retail establishments.

Let’s knock their socks off and give them the best experience possible when they dine with you. Consistent, quality professional learning opportunities are a great place to start.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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