Saturday, March 17, 2018
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Strike Back Against Restaurant Employee Theft
Can you Afford to Lose $6M a year?
Are you Letting Staff Steal From You?
You Need Eyes Everywhere
Training and Procedures That Reduce Theft
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Do you really need a restaurant website?
In the era of social media is it worth hassle to make your own restaurant website?
What’s the point of a restaurant website?
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Working in a restaurant is very fast-paced and the restaurant’s staff must meet the needs of the guests and the needs of the restaurant. It can be very demanding and stressful, especially during busy hours.
We understand that food will be made wrong, waitresses will sometimes not get the order 100% correct, etc. Mistakes will happen, and we understand that, but when you are a guest at a restaurant, there are certain expectations of the restaurant staff.
We do not understand or agree with waitresses partaking in rude or unprofessional behaviors that affect the guest’s experience.
I came across a great read by Bruce Buschel about things the restaurant staff should never do. While reading this, I was surprised at how many things that should not be done, are done by restaurant staff.
The restaurant’s success will be decided by the staff and how they treat the guests. It is important to ensure the restaurant staff is not giving negative experiences to make the guests not want to return to the restaurant.
Let’s take a look at Bruce Buschel’s 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do Part 1 and Part 2 that was published in the New York Times Blog.
We will not discuss all 100 things, but we will discuss some that I have personally experienced that should not be happening as common as they do.
Number 50: Do not turn on the charm when it is tip time. Be consistent throughout.
This is personally one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to waitresses. The tip is for the service received throughout the entirety of the meal, not just at the end.
Please, do not waste your time turning on the “charm” at the end. It will not change the impression you made during the meal.
Being consistent throughout the meal will earn yourself a tip because that is the demanding work. The end of the meal, when the guest is paying, that is the easy part. If you want a tip, you must earn the tip.
Number 62a: Do not let a glass sit empty for too long.
Okay. This is my BIGGEST pet peeve when I go to a restaurant. Nothing else can make me as irritated as this. I must have something to drink while I am eating. If I do not, I will not eat my food until I have something to drink.
Of course, guests understand when a waitress is super busy, it may take a moment or two to receive a refill. But if it is not busy, what is the reasoning?
The biggest thing I see is a waitress talking to other employees and they are not paying attention to their tables. That is very unprofessional and will create the guest to have a bad impression.
Number 75: Do not ask if someone is finished when others are still eating that course.
Asking one guest if they are finished, makes the other guests feel as if they must hurry to finish too. It makes the guest feel rushed. Guest want to enjoy their food and conversate.
A waitress should never make the guests feel rushed to finish their meal. Why? Well, because they are paying to dine at the restaurant and they are also going to pay for the tip.
Number 77: Do not disappear.
Disappearing for anything longer than a few moments is not good. The guest will feel as they are not important enough for the waitress’s attention.
If the waitress is taking too long, the guest may get impatient and ask another waitress for their assistance.
This will then cause the other waitress’s tables to have to wait longer for stuff. It just is not fair to the guest and the other waitresses.
Number 88: Do not ask if a guest needs change. Just bring the change.
If the waitress asked me if I wanted the change, I would say YES. And guess what? Because of that question that was asked, I will keep all my change.
Because more than likely, I was going to leave the change for the tip. Asking if the guest wants the change is just the same as, “are you tipping me”.
It is rude and very unprofessional. That is one way to lose out on tips.
The restaurant staff tends to do things that should not be done quite often. Not only do their actions affect the guest and their experience, but it affects the restaurant and even the servers because of the reduction in tips.
It is important, as a waitress, to ensure the guests have a wonderful experience. This will make the guests want to come back to the restaurant, but it will also increase the waitresses tip amounts.
Who does not love more money? So why not? Of course, you can do the bare minimum, but it will not be beneficial.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Animals in public draw a lot of attention. Usually, it is because everyone loves animals and want to pet the animal or something along the lines of that.
But the majority of society is not supportive of animals at the dinner table, especially in a restaurant. If you are reading this, you have probably had a guest enter your restaurant with an animal by their side and did not know how to address the issue.
This situation requires knowledge of the laws and understanding that if not handled correctly, could result in a lawsuit. That is because of the laws that protect individuals with disabilities that require a service animal.
If someone enters your restaurant with an animal by their side, you must determine if it is a service animal. This way, you can understand how to address the issue.
But it can be difficult to determine if it is a service animal or just a pet. There is numerous of laws protecting individuals with disabilities.
Luckily, most of the time, there will be an indicator that the animal is a service animal, such as a leash, vest, collar, or harness.
In 2011, the Department of Justice implemented revised regulations regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is extremely important to understand the laws associated with service animals to avoid violating the laws and potential lawsuits.
For this purpose, we will refer to the updated regulations of the ADA.
Service Animals: What they are
The first step to understanding the laws for guests with service animals is to understand what a service animal is. Under the ADA, “service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.”
The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. Examples of tasks service animals may perform:
- Guiding people who are blind
- Alerting people who are deaf
- Pulling a wheelchair
- Alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure
- Reminding a person of mental illness to take prescribed medications
- Calming a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack
Service animals are trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
The tasks a service animal has been trained to do is solely directed to the person’s disability. Service animals are NOT pets, they are working animals and have a job to perform.
Dogs who provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. But some State or local governments have laws that allow people with emotional support animals to go into public places.
They are allowed in your restaurant, no matter what.
“Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.”
For service animals to be allowed in public places, especially restaurants, the service animal must be under control. Service animals, under the ADA, must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless the devices would interfere with the service animal’s duties. If it does interfere, the individual must remain full control of the animal through voice, signal, or other controls.
You can ask two questions to determine if it is a service animal.
If you are unsure that the animal accompanied by the guest in your restaurant is a service animal or the task that they service animal may provide, you are only allowed to ask two questions.
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
If you ask anything more than the two questions, it is violating the law and may be discriminating towards the guest.
These two questions can be asked to determine if the dog is a service animal or not. It is important to not ask more than these questions because it violates the guest’s privacy.
You cannot ask this.
It is important to understand what you cannot say or do to an individual that requires a service animal. Not only is it against the law, but it is extremely rude and can result in a lawsuit.
After asking the first two questions that can determine if it is a service animal, you should not ask any additional questions.
The following questions should be things that you avoid completely when addressing the guest with a service animal:
- You cannot ask about the person’s disability
- You cannot require medical documentation
- You cannot require a special identification card or training documentation for the service animal
- You cannot ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task
Unless the animal is not behaving, you cannot ask them to leave.
You cannot discriminate or ask the individual with a service animal to leave just simply because. Even if allergies or fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to individuals with service animals.
There are only two scenarios it is okay to ask the individual to remove the service animal from the premises:
- If the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control the service animal
- If the dog is not housebroken
If you do ask the individual to remove the service animal from the premises, you must still offer the individual the opportunity to obtain services without the animal's presence.
There is other stuff that is important when regarding an individual with a service animal. The following are:
- You cannot isolate the individual from other patrons
- You cannot treat them less favorably than other patrons
- You cannot charge fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals
- The service animals can accompany their handler through salad bars or self-service food lines.
It is important to not discriminate towards an individual with a disability that requires a service animal. Understanding what you can and cannot do will allow you to avoid discriminating and avoiding lawsuits.
Remember, service animals are not pets. They are trained to complete specific tasks for individuals with disabilities.
The information for this blog was retrieved from: https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
Friday, October 27, 2017
Today, the topic of tattoos is a frequent issue that is circling the workplace. We are constantly surrounded by individuals who have tattoos, and sometimes, we may not even know it. Tattoos are becoming a mainstream part of society.
The millennials are changing the dynamics of tattoos. There are 42% adults in the United States that have at least one tattoo and there are at least 21,000 tattoo parlors in the United States.
The millennials are the reason for the evolving change because they have more tattoos than any earlier generations. Because tattoos are growing in acceptance to society, it is leading to acceptance within the workplace.
Medical professions, corporate, academic, and much more are accepting tattoos in the workplace because if they did not, they would lose great candidates.
Just in 2015 alone, more than 520,000 companies changed their dress code policies to allow visible tattoos in the workplace because it creates more hiring options, positive public relations, and better retention rates.
Although a high amount of companies has changed their dress code policies, many have not. That leads to the question, should tattoos be allowed in the workplace?
History of Tattoos.
They have been around longer than we want to accept.
Before we can decide if tattoos are right or not right in the workplace, we need to understand the history of tattoos and where they originate from.
We need to face it, tattoos have been around since the beginning of human history. Scientific evidence proves tattoos have been a part of the human culture for thousands of years.
In 1991, German hikers on the Oztal Alps near the border between Italy and Austria discovered the mummified remains of a prehistoric human.
Carbon dating proved that the human, named Otzi, had been mummified for more than 5,300 years. The interesting fact about Otzi, he had no less than 55 tattoos on his body, ranging from his upper-neck to his ankles.
Although tattoos have been around for thousands of years, tattoos did not appear in the United States until 1891, when the first tattoo machine was issued to an Irish Tattooist, named Samuel O’ Riley. Samuel opened the first tattoo parlor in the United States in New York City.
According to the Time Magazine, only about 6% Americans had at least one tattoo. There is a drastic difference compared to today. Tattoos were common amongst sailors, prison inmates, motorcycle gangs, and gang members.
The tattoos use to be the mark of rebels and individuals who were living on the outskirts of society and operated outside the social center. But what changed? How did tattoos become mainstream to society?
The start to the change.
Tattoos were once frowned upon and our society held prejudices against people with tattoos because of what they use to represent. Tattoos are no longer limited to just sailors, prison inmates, motorcycle gangs, gang members, etc.
But what was the cause of that? What changed to create the 6% of Americans with tattoos jump to 42% of Americans with tattoos. Society started to accept tattoos because of reality TV and famous people.
In 2005, the first tattoo TV show, Miami Ink, first aired. This is when the acceptance of tattoos for our society changed. Since Miami Ink first aired, there has been 6 seasons, last season aired in August of 2008, and two spin-offs; NY Ink and LA Ink.
The tattoo artists of the TV show Miami Ink, NY Ink, and LA Ink became very famous for their tattoo work. This led to famous people wanting to be inked by the tattoo artists.
The famous people openly displaying their tattoos and being mainstream media icons, it created the society to view tattoos as acceptable. But the rise of acceptance has created issues within the workplace.
How are employers supposed to approach the topic of tattoos being visible for their employees? First, the employers will need to decide if they want tattoos to be visible to their employees or not.
It has been proven that people will still conduct business even if the employees of the company have tattoos.
Employers are still against tattoos, but not all.
Corporate America is trying to figure out how to address tattoos policies; if to accept tattoos, or not to accept tattoos. There are various underlying issues that concern employers when making the decision of hiring individuals with tattoos, especially visible tattoos.
Employers are concerned that individuals with tattoos will not be taken seriously because of them, the image or brand of the organization can be changed or viewed differently, and the concern if tattoos are being perceived offensive or hostile towards others.
Tattoos are considered a form of expression, which is protected by the U.S. Constitution but does not mean companies must hire you. Tattoos are not protected by any laws.
The employers that are concerned about tattoos are trying to figure out tattoo policies and how to implement them into the dress code.
Employers, by law, can restrict the display of tattoos only if it is in their dress code policy and not discrimination.
Even though employees are afraid their customers will not be involved if employees openly displayed their tattoos, a Fox News Survey found that 96% of Americans claimed tattoos would not change anything if they are receiving quality services.
Employers, here is what you can expect.
If the employers do not accept tattoos, it will eventually have negative impacts. It is pretty simple as to why the millennials.
The millennials are becoming of working age and they have the most tattoos compared to other generations. The biggest impact that tattoos may affect in the workplace is recruitment.
People with tattoos will begin to turn down jobs due to the strict tattoo regulations for the dress code policies.
Business will lose chances of finding qualified, experienced, and skilled employees because of their strict regulations on tattoos.
Businesses are already seeing the impacts. Disney had to change their recruitment policies and dress code due to the issue of not finding enough qualified individuals without tattoos.
The U.S. Military has the highest percentage of employees with tattoos, the U.S. Navy even changed their tattoo policies to allow bigger and more tattoos in hopes to recruit millennials.
But businesses are seeing the positives from accepting tattoos. PetSmart changed their policies to allow visible tattoos if they were not vulgar.
The results achieved by doing this was not expected. PetSmart gained over 20,000 social media followers, thousands of new website backlinks, and a press value of over $500,000 because magazines, televisions, and newspapers covered their story.
Sailors, prison inmates, motorcycle gangs, etc., are not the only ones with tattoos anymore; CEO’s, bankers, business owners, lawyers, doctors, and even pastors have tattoos now. Companies will need to change their policies eventually or their business will suffer.
Only 4% of individuals that have tattoos have faced discrimination. While 76% of employees felt tattoos would hurt their chances with job interviews, 73% of employees say they would hire staff with visible tattoos.
Tattoos in the workplace will show diversity, acceptance of different beliefs, etc. Tattoos are unique to individuals and can be a form of an expression of who they are, what they believe in, and cherish.
Individuals that have tattoos will be judged regardless of how accepted tattoos are in society. It could be positive, or it could be negative. Tattoos are everywhere, regardless if you like tattoos or not, they are everywhere because of the millennials and being a part of mainstream media.
A polled of surveyed adults displayed that they do not display tattoos as unprofessional. Tattoos do not justify how hard of a worker an individual is or how efficiently they can do their job.
A strong work ethic, character, and values are in high demand, especially in the workplace. Professionalism is not based on how you look, it is based on how you treat others.
In the United States, tattoos are becoming disconnected from unprofessional stereotypes. Personally, tattoos are fine to me. I would not judge an employee based on their tattoos. It does not define their work ethic to me.
What do you think of tattoos in the workplace? Would you refuse service because the employee has tattoos? If so, why?