Restaurant Video Hacks: How to Create Training Videos on the Cheap
Video is one of those training tools that’s effective whether you’re six, 26, or 66. Today, with the immediate popularity of YouTube and organizations like TED Talks and Khan Academy, you can learn from your computer or your smartphone, whether you’re sitting in the bed or waiting for the subway. And you can find educational videos on just about everything. From how to code (you know, to make your website nice and spiffy) to how to relate to customers and even restaurant leadership strategies. It’s proven to work too; using video as part of your training can help increase your employees’ retention of new information by 25 to 60 percent!
More and more restaurants are offering video as a major part of their training. In fact, over 81 percent of limited-service restaurants used e-learning as a major portion of training, and this year, 98 percent of companies are projected to use e-learning as part of their digital learning. In a recent Webinar hosted by HotSchedules Customer Newk’s Eatery, they took a poll and found that most attendees were in the early to intermediate stages of building out their restaurant training program using e-learning tools and most of them were interested in how to make video work for them.
We know what you’re thinking, how can you, without any sort of top-of-the-line equipment, create effective restaurant training videos that engage your employees? It’s pretty simple, actually.
You Don’t Need Many Tools to Create a Fun Restaurant Training Video
On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, your friends are sharing videos they’ve shot every day, from a montage of their cat waking up from a nap to their epic dive out of a plane 30,000 feet in the air, all from their smartphones.
Enlist Your Employees’ Creative Muscles
If they can create those types of videos from their smartphones, says HotSchedules video producer John Hazlewood, then there is no reason why restaurants can’t create a decent training video on an employee’s smartphone as well. As the technology that makes our smartphones super powerful video making machines, they’ve enabled everyone to channel their inner Steven Spielberg. Why not ask around your restaurant and see who’d be interested in helping out with the video? Not only can an employee discover their own filmmaking capabilities, but it gets them thinking about other pieces of the restaurant operation.
Once you have your filmmakers, where can you find your actors and actresses? That’s an easy answer as well, look again to your restaurant. Give incentives to participate in the video—restaurant workers are always looking to make an extra buck.
Once again, all you have to do is look around your restaurant, from the main floor to the kitchen, to your patio. It doesn’t have to be live film either. With some simple and inexpensive tools (that we’ll talk about in a minute), a training manager can record over a PowerPoint presentation.
When You Have A Little Money to Invest in Video Tools
Maybe you’re one of the lucky restaurants and you are given a budget to buy the tools you need create your own masterpiece. But where do you start? Here are Hazlewood’s recommendations:
A Decent Microphone
One of the first necessary items is a microphone. Hazlewood recommends trying to find a microphone that can plug right into the headphone jack of your camera whether it is an SLR (single-lens reflex camera) or just a giant iPhone 6. For beginning video creators, the Samson Go Mic offers a cheap microphone that is great for a restaurant on a budget. If you’re looking to go a little fancier, the Blue Yeti Microphone is the most popular seller on Amazon.
A Steady Hand & Camera Grip
Now let’s say you go ahead and eschew a camera in favor of using your iPhone or iPad—how are you going to keep it steady? You’ll need iPhone or iPad ready attachment, like Glif or Anycase to hold it up during long takes, which at $30 a pop, won’t break the bank.
Simple Video Editing Tools
Every video isn’t going to be perfect. You’re going to need some editing tools to make your training masterpiece look like an award-winner. There are plenty of tools that don’t cost a dime: iMovie and Photobooth come with your Macbook, and Hazlewood said there are a bunch of editing tools on Linux to keep you occupied. If you’re looking to shell out some money, Hazlewood recommends TechSmith Camtasia , an editing tool that will let you do anything, all for the reasonable price of $300.