Caitlin Sykes

Your Business editor of the NZ Herald

Small business: Staff training - Sachie's Kitchen

Sachie Nomura is the founder of Sachie’s Kitchen, an Auckland-based Asian cooking school.

Sachie Nomura of Sachie's Kitchen.
Sachie Nomura of Sachie's Kitchen.

What are the different roles you have at Sachie's Kitchen?

Sachie's Kitchen has a team of seven with roles ranging from a kitchen hands through to demonstration chefs and an administration manager.

What are some of the things you do as a business to train your staff?

Sachie's Kitchen is very much a team working towards a shared goal of mutual success and trust, so it is important to me that whoever joins wants to be part of our vision and believe in what we do.

When new employees come onboard, I identify initially what their personal and work goals, values and aspirations are with the view to align these with ours where we can. I believe you can only do this by developing a real relationship with your team so they trust you are doing the best for them.

I've also instigated the concept of offshore training. The idea was born when I organised for one of my team and their partner to go to Queenstown to celebrate their birthday.

While there, they spent some time with our wine suppliers and that started the beginning of my idea. We are in the Asian food cuisine industry and I considered the best way for me to train my staff was to let them experience the food first hand in the country itself.

For example, one of my team has just returned from Malaysia, which he visited with his wife.

What benefits have you seen from doing this?

The benefits of offshore training are numerous. Firstly, it acknowledges hard work and loyalty to the company. Secondly staff get to experience the dishes in their country of origin that we teach at Sachie's Kitchen, so they can come back and tell authentic stories about the cuisine during their demonstrations. There's nothing better than seeing and experiencing these things first hand. Thirdly if the team are happy there is low staff turnover; Sachie's Kitchen has only had one resignation in four years.

What are your top tips for other businesses wanting to get the most out of their staff training efforts?

Hire people who have the same values as you at the very beginning and who care about your business. Staff training, I believe, begins with the hiring process. I don't mind waiting for the right person to come onboard; I notice many businesses take on people because they don't have patience, but then it's hard to change attitudes and philosophies that don't match your own.


Coming up in Small Business: Mentors can be a powerful source of wisdom and advice for small business owners. If you're a small business owner with a mentor who's made a big difference to your operation, please get in touch.

- NZ Herald

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