Monday, November 5, 2012

4Q Consulting, LLC | Restaurant Consulting NYC | 4 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs an Employee Handbook

4 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs an Employee Handbook

The employee handbook is one of the most important documents for your business. It establishes the policies and procedures employees must follow in your restaurant, catering business or food service establishment. As we have discussed in previous blogs, having specific procedures in place reduces waste, the possibility of fines and other unnecessary costs. There are tremendous long-term savings and potential for increased profits that can be realized by having clearly defined policies and procedures that are enforced, are adhered to, and become part of the culture of your business.

Here are 4 reasons why every restaurant needs an employee handbook:

1. Communicate Employee Expectations and Job Functions
Restaurant employees do better work when they fully understand their job requirements and specific procedures. A good employee handbook clearly defines job functions, behaviors and work expectation policies for each job role.  Consider translating this document into other languages to improve communications with staff. From an operational efficiency standpoint, the goal is to have every employee doing the same task consistently, which in turn can reduce waste and cut costs.

2. Improve Operational Efficiencies
A detailed handbook can be your most effective training tool, as it spells out how your establishment functions (policies) and how employees are expected to perform their duties (procedures).  You may consider creating procedure-specific manuals for different job functions. A higher level of detail can translate into increased operational efficiency, reduced training time, better continuity, less employee turnover and better customer service. The more specific you are, the better off you will be in the long run.

3. Create a Culture of Accountability
We have discussed creating a culture of accountability in previous blogs; written policies and procedures can facilitate this. With written policies, you can consistently hold employees responsible for their actions, both good and bad. Should you need to take disciplinary action, the employee handbook gives you clear, defined policies on which you are basing your actions.

4. Protect the Business
Having a well written manual in place can protect your business from potential labor disputes and costly legal fees, which can destroy your business.  It should outline unacceptable employee behaviors and related disciplinary policies.  It is important to know your local employment and labor laws to be sure that you are not setting policies that violate them.

There are many issues to consider when writing an employee handbook. Always consult with an employment lawyer or restaurant human resource professional before finalizing and publishing your handbook, as this often becomes a legal document. You will need to update the handbook periodically to reflect changes in your business as well as regulations and applicable employment laws.

Don’t know where to begin?  Ask yourself, do you have the proper written procedures and operational guidelines in place so your staff can help you be as profitable as possible?  4Q Consulting can develop customized operational guidelines and training programs to meet your needs. 
Call us today for a free business consultation!

All original content copyright Noelle E. Ifshin, 2012-2013.

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