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Restaurant Employee Policies & Procedures

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Running a professional and successful restaurant requires that you set real policies and stick with the enforcement procedures. Employees must be made clear of all the responsibilities that go with their jobs. Management needs to make regular practice of checking on employees and taking the appropriate action to correct any discrepancies. This clear communication of the restaurant rules and policies will make the work place a better environment for customers and employees.


Traditionally the general manager is responsible for the keys and security codes. Restaurants with assistant or part-time managers often have a second key holder to open and close the restaurant in the general managers absence. Key holders are responsible for ensuring that all doors are locked and engaging the alarm system. They may also be asked to open the restaurant in the morning and disengage the alarm to allow early arrival employees to begin daily preparations.


Only one other person, besides the manager, should be given access to cash. Give this cash register operator a unique access code for use on the point of sale system and ask them to count and sign for their drawer at the beginning of their shift. Make sure that they fully understand that they must be careful with the money and their password. Limiting the number of hands and therefore the people responsible for the cash will lower instance of employee theft.


Clear limits must be set on behavior that is allowed during working hours. In many restaurants the servers and kitchen staff are constantly vying for the best shifts. Use this as an enforcement tool to reward those who adhere to behavioral standards and punish those who stray. Inappropriate activities like drug and alcohol use should be met with immediate and professional verbal warning response as well as the employee or employees being asked to end their shift.


The appearance of restaurant employees reflects directly on the restaurant's standards. Advise all employees that they will be sent home to change or shower if they show up to work looking dirty. Allow employees to return permanently stained or damaged uniforms for a new clean version. Any employee, whether they handle food or not, must be told to take their personal hygiene and cleanliness very seriously. Repeated offenses by an employee may require that you demote them to a back of house position where they will not come in contact with customers.


Each employee is responsible for knowing and adhering to the precise times written on the schedule. Make it understood that employees are to be in uniform and completely ready to perform job duties at their scheduled time. Any changes must be approve in writing at least 24 hours in advance by the manager. Employees who do not show up for a shift or get permission for missing it will permanently lose that shift from the schedule. Give equal treatment to all scheduled employees and never allow them to make their own adjustments and changes.


Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.

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