Interview Questions for Training Vendors

July 01, 2018 | 2480 Views

Interview Questions for Training Vendors

Patrick Yearout, FMP, CHT

Director of Innovation, Recruiting, and Training | Ivar's & Kidd Valley Restaurants

When searching for vendors to provide training programs and materials, most hospitality executives will ask standard questions about cost, content customization, and implementation timelines, all of which are needed to make an informed decision. I will follow this same path, but because the vetting process for external content can be a lot like a job interview, I’ll also include the same types of questions I would ask of a cook, cashier, or manager candidate.

The training vendors you select shouldn’t be thought of simply as external organizations with loose ties to your company. They’re integral partners who can elevate overall performance, and just like when searching for the best employees to take care of your guests, you need to take the time to ask all the necessary questions and make sure they’ll be the right fit.

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Comments (3)

  1. John Kidwell, FMP:
    Jul 03, 2018 at 08:58 AM

    Good information and a good approach to the vendor selection process. I always had one "higher level" question that I would pose, since there was always a cost, of varying degree, associated with the product or service. My question, "From your experience with other companies you've partnered with, what do you typically see as the return on investment (ROI) and how did you measure it?" True partner-vendors don't blink an eye and can talk of these results. If you get a wide-eyed stare, it usually indicates a vendor simply interested in selling their product/service, not one truly interested in helping you to invest in your company's training success.

  2. Matt Nelson:
    Jul 06, 2018 at 10:10 AM

    Great topic and an excellent approach, Patrick! As the founder of a company that develops custom training programs for restaurants, I'd love to see more of these kinds of questions from our prospects. It would help us both decide if this partnership is a true fit and move beyond, "Can you send me samples?" I tend to touch on all these topics during our discussions because we generally partner on complex, long-term initiatives, and these questions start building the foundation of a working relationship that is much more likely to result in success for both of us. Thank you for sharing!
    Matt Nelson, CEO Modern Training and Author, The Renegade Cook

  3. Patrick Yearout:
    Jul 08, 2018 at 03:46 PM

    Thank you, John and Matt, for your comments! I appreciate you reading this article and adding your own thoughts!