Advice Guy

An industry expert answers questions on improving restaurant operations

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Q.

We are a small family run operation. Once in a while we get a phone call asking for employment verification concerning present or former employees. I feel uncomfortable giving out private information without the consent of the employee. Are there legal issues involved by us giving such information? What are your thoughts? Thank you.

A.

Employment verifications happen for a variety of reasons—when an employee or former employee applies for a car loan, mortgage or other lending; when she or he applies to a

Q.

How do you handle people who bring in their own lunch to eat with friends?

A.

If there’s a phrase to describe our most recent questions, it’s “season of the mooch.” I’ve gotten questions about

Q.

Can a restaurant make a bartender, who also handles food, shave his beard? There is no employee handbook or company policy on facial hair. 

A.

Buoyed by our body odor discussion last week, a number

Q.

What do you do about an employee who is actively job searching/interviewing and saying that she’s going to give her two weeks notice but hasn’t actually done so?

A.

It’s nice that your employee feels comfortable enough to share her plans with her coworkers and with you, but once an employee makes clear that she would rather be working

Q.

One of my best servers gets complaints about body odor. I’ve casually mentioned it to him, and he says he uses deodorant, but it’s clearly not working. Any ideas on how to broach this without offending him? Or if he doesn’t fix it do I have cause to fire him? He definitely stinks especially later in the shift so it’s a real concern.

A.

While it may sound funny, body odor can definitely ruin a dining experience since most flavor comes to us via the nose.

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