Category Archives: Staffing

On #EqualPayDay : There’s Gender Pay Gap Improvement to Celebrate

~~ Equal Pay Day is an important day for the hospitality business, as our industry has provided more management and ownership opportunity to women than most fields. Recent NRA research found more than 45 percent of today’s restaurant managers are women, compared with 38 percent in other industries. Further, the number of restaurants owned by women increased 50 percent between 1997 and 2007.

~~ Equal Pay Day is the day on which the average woman will make what the average man made in the previous year. So in all of 2014 plus every day of 2015 up to today the average woman’s earnings = the average man’s year 2014 earnings. There are many ways to calculate this and it is no where near an unassailable number or date. Yet the issues of why women lag in earning power are important and fair to debate. Here is a well-documented, balanced analysis from Pew Research Group, which shows improvements to be celebrated as the wage gap closes, yet still areas of opportunity for improvement.
~~ My take is that we have to be very careful not to choose “solutions” that will make things worse for women and the workforce as a whole, such as banning salary negotiation.

~~ To read more on the issue of diversity from the National Restaurant Association here.

 

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Be Careful What You Wish For, Anti-Tipping Crowd

A Massachusetts Court ruled a Dunkin Donuts that has prominent signs saying that tips are not accepted can keep any money left on the counters and not give it to employees. Not my style of good morale management, but I can’t fault the court. If there’s “no tipping” than money left on the counter cannot by definition be a tip!
If you don’t like that logic than perhaps we are all better off preserving the personal touch of encouraging tips instead of taking another step toward a society with minimal human interaction.
As someone who earned the money to start out in life as a tipped employee, I say Long Live Tipping!
Read more here in Grub Street about this ruling.

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In N Out, not just great burgers, but a great place to work!

Proud to see a restaurant chain ranked “Best Place to Work,” top restaurant and #8 out of every company in the US by a site specializing in reviews by actual employees, Glassdoor.com.
Thanks to @adamlapetina and @Thrillist for the reporting and cheers to @innoutburger for the excellent burgers and working conditions!

Jimmy John’s Non-Compete Employee Agreements – Fair or Unfair?

A variety of recent articles report Jimmy John’s Subs requires all employees, even line workers and drivers, to sign an agreement not to work for any competing sandwich shop for 2 years after working for Jimmy John’s.  I have been getting some questions on email and social media looking for my take on this as a F&B business person.

The reality is that in most states a non-compete for workers other than management or technical specialists is not enforceable.  There’s a long history of rulings that non-competes can’t be used to prevent someone from making a living with skills they learned working at a company after they quit or are terminated.  I can’t imagine that Jimmy Johns corporate legal and HR staff would not know this.  So the most likely explanation for the existence of the non-compete clause is simply intimidation, to scare employees from leaving for another sandwich shop.  Low level employees don’t have the money to even consider any legal defense, so just the threat of even an illegitimate non-compete clause will almost always be enough to intimidate the worker.

Whether the existence of this clause is an unfair and objectionable move on the part of Jimmy John’s depends on if you think it’s OK to use employee agreements to scare workers with unenforceable clauses, relying on the worker’s lack of resources to force compliance to a legally and civilly illegitimate demand.

While I am a big admirer of the Jimmy John’s rags to riches success story, I don’t agree with this tactic, and professionally I believe a business would lose more than it would gain in genuine staff loyalty and performance with these types of demands.  Additionally it’s “bad PR” that could hurt a chain’s image with customers when it’s revealed.

Read some more information on this issue, the legal, civil, employment law and public perception aspects here, here and here.

 

JimmyJohnsFounder
Jimmy John’s Founder John Liautaud built his huge sub sandwich chain starting with a single shop in a garage in Charleston Illinois.

 

5 worst things restaurant servers can say at a table

The top 5 most ineffective and unhelpful things restaurant servers say to customers tableside:
(5) How is everything? (bland, says “I don’t care”)
(4) Manager doing table greeting without introducing themselves by name as the manager. (“hi stranger coming up to my table like we’re friends, who the heck are you??”)
(3) Everything is great! (as a response for customer asking for a menu recommendation – sounds like the server never tried most of the food!)
(2) Are you still working on that? (or worse yet, “still working?”)
(1) Not a problem! (implying that taking care of a customer is usually a “problem”)