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If you’re a restaurant owner, you know that there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into keeping your business running. From food prep to cleaning to managing orders and customers, it can feel like there’s never a moment to rest. That’s why creating and using daily opening checklists can be such a lifesaver.  

A restaurant employee handbook is a document that outlines the rules and expectations for employees of a restaurant. The handbook should be created by the owner or manager of the restaurant, and it should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Some of the topics that should be covered in the handbook include dress code, work hours, food safety, and customer service.  

A well-crafted employee handbook can also serve as a valuable onboarding tool, helping new employees to quickly get up to speed on the restaurant’s policies and procedures.  

By having a clear and up-to-date employee handbook, you can help to create a positive and productive work environment for your employees. Check out this free template to get started! 

What Is A Restaurant Employee Handbook?

A restaurant employee handbook is a manual that outlines all of the rules, regulations, and guidelines that employees must follow while working in a restaurant setting. 

This type of handbook typically includes information about company policies, dress codes, customer service standards, operational procedures, safety practices, and other types of important information. 

In addition to providing valuable guidance for employees at all levels within the organization, an employee handbook can also be helpful for managers who are responsible for training new staff members or managing performance issues. 

If you work in the restaurant industry or plan on starting your own restaurant business in the future, it is essential to have a solid understanding of what is contained in an employee handbook. 

This will help ensure that you know what kinds of expectations are placed on your employees and that you are able to effectively communicate these expectations to them. 

Additionally, having a well-written and comprehensive employee handbook can help reduce the risk of legal problems associated with employment law violations. 

While there is no one-size-fits-all template for an employee handbook, there are certain topics that should be covered in all restaurant versions. Some of the most important topics to include are dress code, customer service standards, operational procedures, safety practices, and company policies. 

By covering all of these essential topics, you can help ensure that your employees are properly prepared to work in your restaurant and that they know what is expected of them.

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How to Create Your Restaurant Employee Handbook? 

If you’re a restaurant owner, then you know that it’s important to have an employee handbook. This document is essential for ensuring that your employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities while working for your establishment. In this section, we will discuss the steps that you need to take to create an effective employee handbook for your restaurant.  

1. Introduction: 

The first step of creating an employee handbook is to write a brief introduction. In this section, you should describe your restaurant and the philosophy that you have for running it.  You should also include your contact information and the name of your human resources manager. 

2. Mission Statement And Values: 

A restaurant’s mission statement should be a concise, clear statement that describes the purpose of the business. It should answer the question, “What does this restaurant do?” 

For example, Shake Shack’s mission statement is “To Stand for Something Good.” This statement not only tells us what Shake Shack does (serve high-quality food) but also why they do it (to make people happy). 

3. Employee Code Of Conduct: 

If you are a restaurant owner, you know that keeping your employees in check is essential to the success of your business. That’s why it’s important to have a Restaurant Employee Handbook that outlines your expectations for employee behavior. In this blog post, we will provide you with a code of conduct template that you can use to create your employee handbook. 

As a restaurant owner, you must maintain a professional and respectful environment at your establishment. Having an employee handbook will help you do this by outlining your expectations for behavior in the workplace. Below is a code of conduct template that you can use to create your handbook: 

1. Be courteous and professional when interacting with customers, fellow employees, and managers. Always be polite and respectful, even if someone is rude or unkind to you. 

2. Report any issues or concerns that arise at work promptly so that they can be addressed quickly and efficiently. This includes problems with coworkers or customers as well as issues with equipment or facilities in the restaurant. 

3. Dress professionally in clean and pressed clothes that are a good fit for your body. Wear comfortable footwear that is appropriate for working in a restaurant environment. 

4. Refrain from using alcohol or tobacco products while at work and during breaks. The use of these substances can hurt job performance, so it’s important to avoid them while you’re on the clock. 

5. Follow all safety guidelines outlined by your employer to minimize the risk of injury in the workplace. This includes wearing any required protective equipment and ensuring that areas are kept clean and hazard-free at all times. 

6. Respect the privacy of customers and coworkers at all times when discussing work issues or personal matters outside of work hours. It’s OK to vent frustrations with customers when needed, but avoid doing so in a way that could damage the reputation of the restaurant. 

7. Be punctual and present for your scheduled shifts. If you need to miss work for any reason, notify your manager as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made. 

8. Use break time wisely by taking short breaks throughout the shift to stay refreshed and focused on your job. Avoid spending too much time on personal phone calls or social media while at work. 

9. Be honest with customers, fellow employees, and managers at all times. Lying or being dishonest in any way can damage the trust that’s essential to a successful working relationship. 

10. Adhere to all company policies outlined in the employee’s handbook, including any policies that pertain to attendance and performance expectations.

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4. Operational Processes And Systems: 

If you’re looking to create a Restaurant Employee Handbook, you’ll need to develop operational processes and systems first. This may seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple. 

Here, we will outline the steps necessary to develop your operational processes and systems. Once you have these in place, creating your employee handbook will be a breeze! 

Step 1: Define your business processes and systems 

The first step to creating your restaurant employee handbook is to develop your restaurant business processes and systems. This will involve outlining the steps needed for various critical operations that are important in running a restaurant.  

For example, you may need to develop specific procedures for preparing food or managing reservations. The goal of this step is to ensure that every employee understands what their role is within the restaurant and how they can contribute to its success. 

Step 2: Get input from stakeholders 

In order to have a successful handbook, it’s important to get input from all stakeholders within the organization, including managers, employees, and customers alike. Because everyone has a different perspective on what works well and what doesn’t, it’s crucial to get a variety of opinions before finalizing any procedures. This step will help ensure that your handbook is comprehensive and covers all the bases. 

Step 3: Create a draft of the handbook 

After you have input from stakeholders and have developed your business processes and systems, it’s time to create a draft of the employee handbook. This draft should include all of the procedures and policies that you’ve developed, as well as any other relevant information that employees need to know. Once you have a complete draft, you can then begin the process of editing and revising it until it’s perfect. 

5. Employee Compensation And Benefits: 

It’s no secret that restaurants are hard work. Not only do you have to worry about the food, but you also have to manage employees. And, as an employer, it’s important to make sure your employees are taken care of. That means offering a good compensation and benefits package.

A good employee handbook will cover the following topics: 

1. Employment policies 

2. Compensation and benefits 

3. Employee conduct 

4. Work hours and schedule 

5. Dress code 

6. Job descriptions 

1. Employment Policies: The first section of your employee handbook should lay out the restaurant’s employment policies. This includes things like the hiring process, termination policy, and anti-discrimination policy. It’s important to be clear about these policies so that there is no confusion later on down the road. 

2. Compensation and Benefits: The second section of your employee handbook should discuss compensation and benefits. This is where you’ll outline things like salary, vacation days, and health insurance. You should also be clear about any other perks or benefits offered by the restaurant, such as free meals or employee discounts. 

3. Employee Conduct: One of the most important sections of your handbook is the one that outlines employee conduct. Here, you’ll want to clearly define appropriate and inappropriate behavior while at work, as well as disciplinary measures for those who break these rules. This will help ensure a safe and productive work environment for everyone.

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6. Safety Procedures: 

If you own a restaurant, you know that ensuring your employees are safe while they’re at work is crucial to protecting your business. This is why it’s important to create an employee handbook that outlines the safety procedures for your restaurant. 

The first thing that should be included in your employee handbook is an emergency action plan (EAP). An EAP will include information on what to do in case of fire or other emergencies, such as evacuations or severe weather warnings. 

It should also specify who has responsibility for overseeing various aspects of emergency situations and how those responsibilities are coordinated during different types of emergencies. 

Another important element of your employee handbook should be information on how to handle hazardous materials. This includes everything from chemicals used in food preparation and cleaning, to cleaning supplies or other harmful substances that a restaurant may use. 

By having an established protocol for safely handling potentially dangerous components in your workplace, you can reduce the risk of injury or illness due to exposure. 

Along with safety procedures, it’s also important to have policies in place for preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace. As a restaurant owner, you are responsible for creating a space where everyone feels welcome and safe while they’re at work. 

Having clear rules in place regarding this helps protect your employees against unwanted advances or comments, as well as any type of discriminatory behavior. 

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7. Anti-Harassment Policies: 

One of the most important elements that your anti-harassment policy should include is a clear definition of what types of behavior are considered to be harassment. This includes things such as offensive jokes, comments about someone’s appearance or gender, unwelcome sexual advances, and inappropriate touching. 

Your policy should also clearly state that anyone who witnesses this type of behavior (including customers) may face disciplinary action from your company. 

Another element that your anti-harassment policy should include is a process for reporting incidents of harassment. It’s important to make it clear how someone in your restaurant can report an incident – either in person or online. You should also specifically mention that these reports will be handled confidentially and that retaliation against someone who reports harassment is strictly prohibited. 

When creating your anti-harassment policy, be sure to consult with an experienced employment attorney to ensure that it meets all legal requirements. You should also make sure to regularly review and update your policy as needed, in order to keep it current with changes in the law. 

8. Concluding Summary And Signature: 

In order to create a Restaurant Employee Handbook, it is important to have a concluding summary and signature. This will ensure that all employees are aware of the expectations and procedures put in place by the restaurant owner. By having a handbook, employers can protect themselves from any legal issues that may arise in the future. 

It is essential to have a concluding summary and signature on a Restaurant Employee Handbook in order to ensure that all employees are aware of the expectations and procedures put in place. This will help prevent any legal issues that may arise in the future. An example of a concluding summary and signature is provided below: 

“I have read and agree to the terms set forth in the Restaurant Employee Handbook. I understand that these terms are binding and that failure to comply with them can result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.” 


Creating a restaurant employee handbook can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking the time to develop policies and procedures that reflect your specific business, you can create an invaluable resource for both new and current employees. We hope that you found this article helpful and that it gave you some ideas on how to get started creating your own restaurant employee handbook.

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