Behind every good restaurant is a team of good employees — they keep things running smoothly. Yet as necessary and valuable employees can be, they can also be a company’s biggest headache. Poor hires slow things down, and, in the most extreme cases, they can bring you lawsuits. As an employer, you can be held liable for your employee’s actions — employees are your responsibility. Luckily, you can protect your business in the event of legal action through three simple steps.

Hire Well

Unreliable, dishonest, and inattentive employees pose a risk to restaurants. However, thorough hiring practices can weed out bad eggs before the worst occurs. Our hiring experts recommend restaurants focus on candidates with strong hospitality traits, such as reliability, good communication skills and the ability to remain cool under pressure. 

It is also recommended that restaurants complete formal screening processes for each candidate prior to hiring. One simple and efficient way to vet potential employees is through online tools and surveys, such as Bikelane HIRE’s vetting tool. For restaurants willing to spend some extra time screening candidates, behavioral interview questions are also an option.

Train Well

Even the most experienced hires will need a refresher course, and all employees should be on the same page regarding restaurant policies and procedures. Because of this, it’s necessary to develop a thorough training plan and distribute a solid employee handbook. What employees can expect of you and what you expect of them needs to be clear to everyone. Furthermore, in the era of “me too,” sexual-harassment training is an increasingly important part of creating a safe workplace. 

While annual sexual harassment trainings are mandatory for all NYC restaurants with 15 employees or more, they should be seen as more than just another formality. In order to ensure that every employee understands and is able to enforce the rules of the workplace, trainings should clearly outline what behaviors are and are not acceptable. Trainings should also include detailed descriptions of the reporting process and repercussions for offenders. We’ve included Sexual Harassment Training as part of our HR ToolKit, understanding it’s importance to limiting liability and maintaining compliance for our insured restaurants. 

Be Well-Prepared

Even some of the best-trained employees make mistakes. Unfortunately, the smallest mistake can have a big impact on a restaurant’s revenue if brought to court. If a crucial step in meal preparation gets omitted, or if a customer’s order is completed in error, restaurants with errors and omissions (E&O) insurance can rest assured knowing they’re covered against negligence.

E&O insurance protects business against claims made in response to employee mistakes, and is just one of many types of coverage available to restaurants. When it comes to managing employee liability, insurance is a restaurant’s best bet. For more information on E&O insurance and other forms of coverage, contact one of Bikelane’s insurance experts.