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Rules are not made to be broken. Or else why write them? Just as important as having a policy and procedures manual is abiding by it on a consistent basis. For instance, if you state that you will not condone any form of theft and that theft will result in immediate termination of employment, then you must be capable of firing your favorite bartender when he steals $4.

I have seen many cases where a restaurant was correct in the way they handled a termination only to lose in court because it didn’t handle all policy infractions and terminations consistently. Apparently the employee can assume that if Bill stole $20 and only got a reprimand, then if he or she is caught stealing a $1,300 bank deposit, a reprimand is all he or she should get as well.

Don’t write your rules with any leeway. Make them clear and use them consistently, and your life will be easier.

Food for Thought: Health insurance for employees is not mandatory, but it is a powerful benefit and a strong recruiting tool you should consider. It is very expensive, but it may well be worth the cost. A restaurant that doesn’t provide health insurance is left out of the competition for mature employees and is more likely to have a higher

Read more on Howard Cannon’s, Restaurant Expert Witness BIO at

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