Magazine article Workforce

It's All in the Cards

Magazine article Workforce

It's All in the Cards

Article excerpt

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The recipe for success at Ruth's Chris Steak House isn't so much about its choice of beef It's more about winning in the competitive steak restaurant business with a highly trained, fast-learning workforce, says Kathryn Harris, the company's director of education and hospitality.

She attributes much of the company's success to the straightforward employee-training system that was developed for the Metairie, Louisiana-based chain, which now employs 3,000 people. Instead of a daunting heavy binder of recipes and rules, everything that a host, cook, busser, bartender, or dishwasher needs to know is readily available on a set of 4-by-8 1/2-inch cards. Most of the company's employees use the cards, which are translated into Spanish on the back, to remember everything from a recipe for caramelized banana cream pie to information about relationships with customers, such as how a customer should be acknowledged if he is within 10 feet. The cards also provide a way for employees to quickly learn what it takes to get promoted. If a busser wants to be a server, for example, she can find the servers' stack of cards on the wall and learn what skills are involved. …

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