Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 121
Employee handbooks help define a company's culture and set
expectations for employee conduct. For restaurants, hotels and
the hospitality industry as a whole, these manuals play a crucial
role in defining the legal rights and obligations of both the employer and employee.
Employers in the hospitality industry
can create value for their employees
by establishing the expectations of
the business and what is important
to the business. Restaurant owners
can establish in writing the importance of customer service and each
employee's role in creating a unique
experience for each customer. Hotel
managers can provide explicit instructions in policies regarding everything from time management to
fraternizing with guests.
Every hospitality industry employ-
er and owner should consider local,
state and federal laws, along with policies and procedures specific to the
organization and its industry when
developing an employee handbook.
While there are many types of policies to consider, there are several key
areas that every employee handbook
1. At-will Statement
If the state is an "employment-at-will"
state, meaning an employer may terminate employment at any time, for
>> Companies in the leisure and hosptiality industry should have a widely applicable code of conduct.
any reason, and without notice, make
certain that there is an "at will" statement in the employee handbook.
The statement should explain that
employment is not contractual nor is
it for a definitive term. Just as the -
head chef, front desk manager, bell
hop or director of room service is free
to resign at any time - the employer
reserves the right to terminate the
employee at any time, as well.
2. Code of Conduct
All companies should have a widely
applicable code of conduct. This is
especially critical in the leisure and
hospitality industry as there is a great
deal of interaction with the general
public. Other businesses may be
more self-contained, but hospitality
requires greater diligence regarding
conducting oneself. It's important to
set expectations for all employees
on everything from dress code to
attendance to social media use.
Address any legal obligations related to conduct, especially when it
comes to regulated aspects of your
business, while taking steps to ensure that any such restrictions comply with the latest mandates issued
by regulatory agencies, such as the
National Labor Relations Board.
Resorts and hotels should be aware
of the regulations that the industry
3. Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation
Policies against discrimination and
harassment help maintain a safe
and productive work environment.
Whether the harassment comes from
colleagues or guests, there must be
clear and explicit language that this
is not tolerated. Policies that explain
this in distinct and unambiguous language provide additional defenses for
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com