Developing Leaders

Condado Tacos Shares How They Increase Internal Promotions with Training

With locations across the South and Midwest, Condado Tacos knows how to provide a one-of-a-kind experience to guests. From knowing how to properly pair the right drink with the food a guest is ordering to providing a space where all guests can show up as they are, Condado Tacos is a place where people stay awhile.  

But it’s not just the fun artwork or delicious food that are responsible for this sentiment, it’s the people they hire and train. Knowing that people are at the core of their success is the driving factor for prioritizing learning and development for all corporate and frontline staff.  

Offering learning and development programs increases retention, which in the food industry can be a business’ biggest challenge, allows for better guest experiences, and supports internal promotions from hourly to salaried staff.  

We sat down with Craig Ayala, Director of Training, to get the inside scoop on how Condado Tacos prioritizes training, finds content that fits their core values, and his future goals for learning and development. Keep reading because you won’t want to miss the secret ingredients that get blended to create incredible learning and development success.  

From Tacos to Training  

leadership illustrationPulling inspiration from BizLibrary’s Leadership Playbook allowed for additional layers to be added to Condado Tacos’ MIT (Managers in Training) Program. During this eight-week course, trainees spend six weeks in live, in-person training sessions where they learn the hard skills of their role.  

They then transition back to their home restaurant where they complete two weeks of soft skills training powered by BizLibrary content because Ayala notes that knowing the day-to-day operations is only part of the recipe for running a successful restaurant location, you have to have great people skills not only for interacting with guests, but with the employees they manage too. This program helps aid in Condado Taco’s impressive 70% internal promotion rate.  

Because Ayala knows that learning and development is an ongoing journey, he also conducts development meetings outside of the eight-week training program with the managers twice a year that focus on in-demand soft skills to work on supplemented with additional training video recommendations produced by BizLibrary’s content concierge team.  

Now, learning and development programs aren’t just available to management. Frontline staff also have programs they complete throughout the year. Getting the word out to hundreds of frontline staff can be challenging, which is why Ayala relies on regional managers to send out frequent communication and they leverage weekly newsletters to remind staff of upcoming program due dates.  

But a challenge they run into is frontline staff don’t always have long periods of time to complete the training, which is why it’s crucial that they can consume a piece of content in the time it makes a taco. Furthermore, in the hustle and bustle of the restaurant industry, they rely on engaging content so that the material taught is retained and applied.  

Finding Content that Fits Your Mission 

So how does Condado Tacos find content that is engaging, bite-size, and informational? While searching for an online learning partner one of the most important criteria they evaluated against was how close the content came to accurately representing their core value of ‘Come as You Are.’   content learning assignment illustration

What that looked like for them was selecting a partner whose content covered a breadth of topics and offers their topics in different ways (short and sweet, long and informative, instructor, voiceover with animation). Condado Tacos is passionate about breaking down social barriers and norms in their restaurant and to them that extends to offering learning and development benefits that fit the unique needs of their employees too. 

Chips and Dipping into New Program Goals 

Putting tools in employees’ hands that allow them to consistently have opportunities for growth and development is what the learning and development team at Condado Tacos is prioritizing this year. They want employees to have clearly defined career development and know exactly what the process looks like going from an hourly to salaried employee.  

This effort will have a strong core value focus so that they continue to deliver on their mission. The team plans on incorporating an assessment for soft skills and readiness test for hard skills to benchmark where employees are and what areas they need to grow their proficiencies in.  

Ayala notes that spending the time to slow down and think about what they’ve learned over the years and how it can be applied to future training coupled with incorporating what BizLibrary offers paves the way for. 

BizLibrary is proud to help support the future of upskilling and reskilling at Condado Tacos, and we know they are changing the game for how restaurants approach employee retention and growth.