The Taco John's restaurant in Fergus Falls, Minn., is the first in the chain's system to become a nationally certified training restaurant.

According to a news release, the company has created the certified training restaurant to help prepare future managers and franchisees and recognize top operators.

"It takes three to six months of work to complete the certification process. It requires the highest levels of operating excellence, guest service and training. Only the elite get in," said Shawn Eby, VP of Operations.

Brian Fuder, owner of the Fergus Falls Taco John's, said the certification will keep the staff motivated and encourage them to stay focused on maintaining "operational excellence and, most importantly, taking care of our guests."

The national designation is valid for one year. Restaurants will then be required to complete a recertification process. Eby said the time and effort are worth it for both franchisees and their guests.

"Certified restaurants receive additional benefits such as the opportunity to test new menu items and equipment. They will be the first to review and offer feedback on new policies and procedures," he said. "Through this program we are helping restaurants reach goals they never thought possible. As a result, their guests will receive better service, cleanliness and order accuracy."

Eby expects as many as 20 Taco John's restaurants may become nationally certified during the program's first year. To date, four have completed the process. In addition to Fergus Falls, restaurants in Lincoln, Chadron and North Platte, Neb., as well as Paducah, Ky., are now Nationally Certified Training Restaurants.

Read more about operations management.

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