Jeremy Julian

209. Restaurant Technology Guys Podcast Ep. 209 – Learn the keys to training and employee retention with Founder of Shifty Beth Hussey

November 27, 2023

The restaurant industry is notorious for its quick turnovers and shorter staff retention timelines. It can be challenging to run a restaurant effectively when you’re consistently training new employees. This is where an innovative digital platform like Shifty comes into play. Shifty is changing the restaurant training game, providing employees and employers with resources for better staff retention, improved service, and increased product knowledge.

Understanding the Need:

One of the founders of Shifty, Beth Hussey, who is also a restaurateur, noticed a gap in the industry – a lack of robust and efficient training modules for new employees. Most restaurants loosely follow the ‘shadow shift’ protocol. But without any guidance or structure, this method often falls short. New employees mimic seasoned servers, learning the ropes in a haphazard manner. This method, unfortunately, fails to engage the trainee fully or provide them with a comprehensive understanding of their role.

What Makes Shifty Different?

Shifty offers a much-needed twist to the typical ‘shadow shift.’ It retains the essence of this established training process while enriching it with structured learning objectives for each shift. A checklist for the trainee and trainer is provided, outlining all they need to learn during a particular shift. Trainees also get homework where they make flashcards about what they’d learn during each shift. After completing the training, instead of a conventional, stressful written test, managers sit down for a one-on-one interactive session with the trainee, going through their flashcards. This approach allows the trainee to tie real-world experiences to the knowledge they’ve gained during the training period, solidifying their understanding, confidence, and job preparedness.

The Benefit to Employees:

From parking to menu details, employees are onboarded onto the platform with extensively detailed flashcards. Restaurants can further customize these flashcards to communicate internal rules, serve consistent information, and generate a more personal training experience for each new employee. The diligent focus shifty maintains on arranging a proper onboarding program helps reduce the fear and insecurities new employees often face, thus ensuring better job satisfaction and retention.

The Benefit to Restaurants:

In addition to the training aspect, Shifty also acts as an engagement tool, allowing managers to constantly communicate with their employees. Managers can use the platform to gather feedback via polls or an anonymous suggestion box. This active engagement fosters a supportive community within the restaurant premises, increasing employee retention and improving customer service.


Shifty is transforming the restaurant industry’s training landscape. It takes the fundamental ‘shadow shift’ concept and adapts it to a more digitally savvy, interactive, and comprehensive structure – successfully tackling significant issues like high staff turnover. For restaurateurs aiming to improve their training program for more exemplary customer service and higher employee satisfaction, Shifty is undoubtedly a game-changer.

Check them out at Shifty – Training app for Servers and Bartenders (

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