Fairness in employment. A restaurant employee handbook sets your employee policies and procedures in writing. With a well designed restaurant employee handbook, your HR policies will be clear and consistent, you will lower the chance of misunderstanding or frustration among staff, you will offer protection to the business, and you will equip your supervisors with a good HR resource. Whether your business is a fast-food restaurant, full-service restaurant, catering service, or other food service, an employee handbook is an essential for getting your HR policies in writing.
Some policies are necessary for any employee handbook: at-will employment, non-discrimination, non-harassment, professional ethics, benefits, and a confirmation-of-receipt page. Consider some of the other policies that can be included:
What typical policies are specific for restaurants? Restaurants often add employee policies specific to the industry, such as personal hygiene, food handling, licensing/certification, money handling, serving alcohol, driving while on duty (deliveries), company vehicles, and customer service.
What is not included in a typical handbook? A typical handbook (30-40 pages) does not cover job procedures which are too intricate and restaurant specific. Those topics not covered include things like job descriptions, day-to-day work procedures, table settings, recipes, food presentation, and so forth. Also, most handbooks are only in English, since good translation services are rather expensive to maintain legally compliant terminology.
How do I get a restaurant employee handbook? You have 3 basic options for designing a handbook for your restaurant staff:
1. Download a Template. Priced from $50 to $350, these templates will require you to invest many hours into personalizing the handbook to your state, employee count, and restaurant specifics. Templates do NOT have typical restaurant-specific policies. Expect to spend at least $200 for a decent template. Also, expected to invest 100-140 work hours to develop all the policies.
2. Have a consulting company design a professional handbook for you. Pricing is a little higher, but the work is done by someone else. Pricing is usually between $1,500 and $3,000. Often the consulting company will customize policies for each restaurant or catering service:
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3. Go to a labor law lawyer. This is by far the most expensive option, but you will receive a restaurant employee handbook that considers all the legal intricacies of your business (though maybe not restaurant-specific policies). This is a good option for complex businesses concerned about employee lawsuits. Expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000 for a typical lawyer-designed handbook.