TWC, restaurant association aim to help eateries

The Texas Workforce Commission, in league with the Texas Restaurant Association, is launching a series of free videos aimed at helping eateries recover in a post-pandemic lockdown world.

The Restaurant Recovery Initiative is built around a series of webinar training videos in English and Spanish that will share best practices of successful restaurants as well as emerging trends in the industry

“Texas restaurants faced many new challenges during the pandemic,” said TWC chairman Bryan Daniel. “The Restaurant Recovery Initiative will provide restaurants with innovative tools to help restaurants throughout Texas continue to provide the customer experience necessary for success.”

The first video series, “Introduction to The Pivot of the Customer Experience: The Role of Technology in Today’s Restaurant World,” is designed to share best practices on implementing innovative customer service models and new technologies.

Nearly all restaurants struggled during the COVID-related lockdowns and shutdowns, but those which have survived most likely adapted to new tactics like pick-up, drive-thru, online ordering and more.

Even though Texas is now fully open, TWC officials believe the state’s restaurants can use new ideas on how to operate profitably.

The videos can be viewed at the Texas Workforce Commission website, www.twc.texas.gov/restaurants .

They include a number of topics, including off-premises food sales, maximizing drive-through window sales, creating a menu for off-premises sales, negotiating third-party delivery contracts, alcohol-to-go sales and many others.

“This project will help speed return to work opportunities to hard-working Texas restaurant workers, as well as help them learn new skills,” said TWC commissioner representing labor, Julian Alvarez.

“The restaurant industry is vital not just for the individual workers, but the suppliers, the wholesalers and of course, the customers,” Alvarez added. “This program will benefit all Texans.”

TWC and TRA are developing two additional training series scheduled for release in the coming weeks, including a second series focused on restaurant design and making the most use of available space. A third series will focus on lessons learned from the pandemic and leveraging best practices in the future.

In addition to the owner/operator training videos, TWC and TRA are also providing free online access for restaurant workers to obtain their state-required food handler and TABC seller/server certifications. The site is expected to roll out in coming weeks.

The funding for the video projects comes from a one-time grant from IKEA, which was accepted by the commission in December.

rkelley@valleystar.com