Teach to your Menu: Creating Product Training in ExpandShare

Product knowledge is key to selling in any industry, but it's particularly important in food service.  It might seem like a huge challenge to create effective training for your staff on your own, but it's really pretty darn easy.  

The goal is to create a collection of valuable content that you can send to your team. The key to accomplishing this is to keep it simple. Start with one menu item — like today’s featured appetizer.  You don't have to create your whole collection at once!

Make a sample of the feature appetizer. Make sure they pay close attention to plate presentation and making it look appealing.

Take a Photo

Now, using your smartphone, take a picture of the product.  This will be used as the preview that users see. 

Here are some tips for achieving the best results:

  • Use landscape mode
  • Make sure there's enough light
  • Choose the right angle:
    • 3/4 Angle: If it's important to see both the side and top view
    • Straight On: Where you want to show all the ingredients in a stack, like a burger or pancakes
    • Overhead: To show a visual of what's on a plate

Make a Disposable Video

Next, you’re going to make what we call a disposable video. This is a short, simple video that will give an overview of the dish. It should be no more than 2 minutes long. Again, keep it simple. Do it in a single take, or at most, two takes. No tripod needed and it does not have to be perfect. No edits. No post-production. These videos are for consumption on smartphones. Your audience will be used to seeing this type of video on YouTube and other media channels.=

To prepare, you need to know what you want to say about the product. Do you want to highlight portion size, plate presentation, special preparations or flavor? You don’t want to read directly from a script, but you do want to know this information before you start.

Next, what type of video do you want to make? There are two types to consider. You can do a selfie video where you talk about the product and then cut to showing the dish.  Or, you can do a product focus video where the product is shown the entire time, as you talk about the product.

Most smartphones have both selfie cameras and snapshot cameras included.

Talk about the product as if you’re telling your team about it. It’s okay to if it's not perfect!  A natural, conversational tone is fine.   And there's no need to find an actor to do the talking. However, if you do have someone in-house who likes to be on camera, by all means, use them as your on-screen talent.

Here are some best practices and tips for achieving the best results for shooting video with your smartphone:

Tips for Android:


Tips for iPhone:


For selfie videos: Don’t angle from above. Instead, get closer to your phone and tilt your head slightly. Smile and use exaggerated expressions — smartphone videos do not pick up subtle expressions very well.

For product focused videos: Get close to the product. Choose either an overhead view, 3/4 angle view, or straight on view depending on the product.

Remember, the most important thing is to get a collection of useful content that you can share with your team, so let it roll. Do it in chunks. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Share your Video

Now it's time to share your video with your team.  You could post it to YouTube or another video sharing site, but they are public and if there is proprietary information in there, you might not want to do that.  Besides, you want to track completion for each of your team members.

Another option is to build it into a course using one of the standard eLearning tools like Articulate or Captivate.  You can then upload it to a standard Learning Management System and track the results.  Of course, you may not have an LMS …

So (our favorite option) you could Instant Assign it to your team using ExpandShare. It’s super easy to do and does not require any additional software.  And you can also construct courses using the online course builder which will allow you to do quizzes and knowledge reviews as well.

You can even drip out your content and courses over time using the campaign tools.  But I digress.

In the end, the important thing is to get the content out to your users instead of inside your own head.  It’s not doing any good there.  And it won’t do much good sitting on your phone either.  So make it, and then share it!


Will Holland