Ari's Writing

ZingTrain’s Impact on Zingerman’s and Beyond

I’m writing this at the start of the summer, which happens to be Maggie Bayless’s favorite time of the year. Maggie’s passion for training, commitment to community and collaboration, and love for learning, have led the way to creating what the world now knows as ZingTrain. By the time you read what I’ve written, Maggie […]

Training & Business Systems

The Power of Pre-Tests: Hiring People Who Like to Learn

When you start a new job there’s always a lot to learn—right? That has certainly been my experience, and every manager I’ve ever talked to about staff training has agreed. So when we’re interviewing prospective employees, it makes sense to evaluate not only the skills and knowledge that they bring to the table, but their […]

Customer Service

What Does “Great Service” Mean in Your Business?

When clients ask us to help them develop customer service training for their businesses, we always start by helping them articulate and document what “great service” means to them. That’s because effective training starts by defining what the trainees will be expected to know or be able to do at the end of the training. […]

Training & Business Systems

Taking Time to Work on Training

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “once things calm down a bit, I’ll …(fill in the blank)”? I don’t know about you, but those “calm times” I keep waiting for don’t ever seem to arrive. So if I don’t just make time for whatever it is I want to accomplish, it’s never going to get […]

Leadership Development

Making a Great First Impression

How do you welcome new hires into your organization? Do you hand them an apron and point them in the general direction of the deli counter? Do you have them attend several days of classroom training before they ever talk to a customer? Do they learn about your organization’s history and vision from someone in […]

Training & Business Systems

Essential Guide to Staff Training

My first Staff Training column in Gourmet Retailer was published in January 2000 – 14 years ago! It’s hard for me to remember how different things were back then, both in my personal life and at ZingTrain. What I do remember is how I was both honored and scared to death to have been asked […]

Training & Business Systems

Effective On-Shift Training

Does this scenario sound at all familiar? “OK, I’m supposed to teach you how we make a sandwich. It’s really simple – I’m sure you already know how to do it. But anyway, just watch me for a while, and then I’ll give you a chance to try.” A few minutes later: “Any questions? I […]

Business Visioning

A Sample Vision: Creating a Farmer’s Market

A draft vision for a small Thursday evening Farmer’s Market we host out in the parking lot of Zingerman’s Roadhouse. It’s the longest day of the year; the sun is at its pinnacle of warmth and light. Throngs of people are milling around the Roadhouse parking lot on this Thursday afternoon, amazed and excited at […]

Open Book Management

Why Open Book Management is an excellent way to run a business!

It’s been nearly a decade now since we at Zingerman’s made the move to open book management. If you’re not familiar with the term “open book,” it means that we actively share all the financial information about our business with everyone who works within our organization. And that everyone in our organization, from dishwashers on […]

Interesting Downloads


Monthly newsletter to all ZCoB staff