How to Make Restaurant Training Videos: A Beginner's Guide

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Why Video?

Video is the best medium for restaurant training, hands-down. It's engaging and informative. It can teach fundamental concepts, cultural beliefs and it's the next best thing to live training for showing hands-on skills. Think cooking show.  

Using video as part of your training can help increase your employees’ retention of new information by more than 50%.  And 98% of companies surveyed in a recent study said they plan to use video as a key component of their online training.

But many owners and managers are intimidated by video. Beginners say, "I can't be on-screen, it will look terrible! I don't want to embarrass myself in front of my staff"  Or, "I don't have the right equipment and software to make it look professional."

Never fear, intrepid reader.  There are easy ways to create videos without the worry.  

Voice-Over PowerPoint

Did you know that you can create videos without a camera?  It's true.  You can create voiced-over slide presentations right from PowerPoint and Keynote using the built in microphone on your laptop or desktop computer.  With this technique you can create basic training programs that incorporate text and pictures on screen with you narrating and explaining the content. This is an easy to way to teach fundamentals.  But, it's not terribly engaging.

Video Capture: The One Tool You Need

If you're looking to shoot some video to show people or action, then you need a camera. But with the quality of today's built-in cameras, your phone is the only thing you really need. YouTube is full of great looking videos shot with nothing more than a phone.  You can do it too.  

There are some other nice-to-haves, and we'll mention those as we go.  But first, let's talk about the three types of quick-start videos you might want to create.

Hosted Narration

Tools needed:  Phone, Teleprompter phone app (optional)

Think news anchor. In this style of video the host is looking at the camera and speaking directly to the audience. In the professional world, they are often using a teleprompter.  And you can too!  There are a bunch of phone teleprompter apps that will allow you to read from the screen while capturing yourself from the selfie camera on your phone.  

Use hosted narration for videos where you want a personal connection to your audience.  For example, a welcome video, or a video that discusses your company culture.

Narrated Point-of-View (POV) Video

Tools needed: Phone, Earbuds (optional), Basic Editing Software (optional)

In this style of video, narration is voiced over a video showing something happening on screen.  

In the world of professional training videos, the narration is captured first and then the video is timed to the narration in the video editing software.  However, you can shoot this type of video and narrate as you go, OR you can shoot the clip and add the voice-over after the fact in a basic editing software.  If you can, use the earbuds and microphone that came with your phone for better sound quality.

Acted Scene with Voiceover

Tools needed: Phone, Basic Editing Software, External Microphone (optional)

In this type of video, actors act out a scene as  you capture it.  This is the most sophisticated type of video to create and requires extra levels of professionalism, especially if you are trying to act out real-world conversations.  

If you need to show an interaction between people, it's often easier to capture the video of the people performing the tasks and then replace the sound track with a "Voice of God" narration over the video describing what the actors are doing.  For example, a server greeting a table would have the narrator explaining what is happening and how the process should work.

Where are you going to get your actors and actresses?  They're right there on your staff!

Some Basic Investments in Video Tools

If you are getting better at creating videos and want to take the next step in quality,  there are a few not-that-expensive tools to consider investing in.

A Teleprompter App

As we mentioned earlier, a good phone teleprompter app will make it easier to do narration-style videos.

An LED light

A basic LED field light costs less than $50 and can really help you improve the lighting of all three types of videos.  

A Quality Microphone

Grab a microphone that can plug right into the headphone jack of your camera and your laptop.  You can also spend a bit more and get a desktop mic to use for narration.

A Tripod and Steady Grip for your Phone

For the best results with your Phone cameras, get a tripod and/or steady grip accessory.  One that allows you to mount a basic external mic and a light is a bonus!

Simple Video Editing Software

You’re going to need some editing tools to make your training masterpiece look professional level.  Free software is included with most computers nowadays, tools like iMovie allow you to do basic editing, text on screen and editing of the audio tracks.  Work your way up to more professional tools as you get better.

Good luck on your video journey! And don't get intimidated. With a little practice, your videos will be effective and look great!  

You'll need a place to share your videos with your team and, if you're doing training, track their progress.  ExpandShare Restaurant Ready is the easy way to do that!

Remember if you're already an customer, our concierge team is standing to help you get your videos in top notch shape for your staff.