Restaurant Employee Handbook – Why Every Restaurant Needs One
Why Is A Restaurant Employee Handbook So Important?
A restaurant employee handbook can be an important resource in managing a restaurant. The handbook may provide useful information to employees throughout their employment as well as protect the restaurant from lawsuits (i.e. employee discrimination, health codes, attendance policies, etc.). Employee handbooks serve as a way to communicate what you, as a restaurant owner/manager, expect from your employees in terms of attendance, performance, presentation, and service.
What Should Be Included In A Restaurant Employee Handbook?
It may be helpful to think about some of your previous job experiences in order to come up with items to include in an employee handbook. Did businesses that you have previously worked for provide you with a handbook? Another idea is to use the internet to search for examples of employee handbooks. There are several sample ones that you can look through on the internet that may assist you.
At the very least you may want to cover the big ticket items in your restaurant employee handbook that include the following topics:
>Wage and hour laws
>Employee benefits (part-time and full-time)
>Equal employment requirements
When discussing laws and regulations, it may be a good idea to research them at both the federal and local levels. In addition, it would not hurt to consult with an attorney to ensure proper understanding and wording of the laws and regulations. This will not only protect you and your business but also act as a resource for your employees.
For example, in the restaurant industry there are environmental regulations about what can be placed down certain drains and if these regulations are in your employee handbook then employees can consult the handbook if they are unsure. Similarly, the employee will know what is expected of them and the restaurant employee handbook could be used to justify corrective action if a regulation is not adhered to.
Distributing The Employee Handbook
Most jobs offer some sort of orientation or training class prior to an employee’s first day of work. This class would seem to be a good time to distribute the handbook and cover the topics in the handbook. It may be useful to have each employee sign off that they received a copy of the employee handbook in order to eliminate doubt that an employee was not given a copy.
A restaurant employee handbook should be distributed to all employees regardless of how much experience they have. It is important that all employees understand and know what is expected of them. It is equally important for them to understand all federal, state, and local laws regarding all aspects of the restaurant itself. Reportedly, some restaurants make their employee handbooks available online for their employees to reference in case they have misplaced their copy.
Restaurant Employee Handbook in Summary
Restaurant employee handbooks can be useful to owners, management and employees. The topics should cover all laws and regulations pertinent to the given jurisdiction in order for a restaurant to be compliant. Employees have the responsibility to follow the policies and guidelines set forth in the employee handbook just as much as restaurant owners and management staff have in enforcing and implementing them.
A restaurant employee handbook in general may help protect a restaurant from lawsuits. It may be advantageous to have an attorney read over the handbook to ensure that there are no gaps or holes in the policies. The handbook can become an important resource for employees to consult if they are unsure about something. The handbook can also make aware the expectations that the restaurant owner has for his/her employees.
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