Employee meals are important for improving employee morale and to bring staff together. They usually involve one free or discounted item per shift. Here are 7 tips to improve and control team meal policy.

1. Does your restaurant have a team meal policy?

Are your employee meals properly accounted for? Is the team meal policy adhered to? Clearly define the staff meal allowances and entitlements.

2. Set out a staff meal policy

Print out this policy and clearly display it on your notice board. Remember the team meal policy will vary from unit to unit, so please consult with your regional manager.

3. Ensure all staff receive an equal allowance

Every week remind staff that this policy is in place to ensure all staff receive an equal allowance and that it will be monitored by the manager. Discuss at your weekly chef/manager meetings.

4. Records

Remember to record and cost all staff meals (at cost price) and set a budget for staff meals. What was the value of last week’s staff meals at your restaurant?

5. Don’t eat on duty

Make sure your staff don’t eat on duty, it looks unprofessional, breaks health and safety regulations and results in a lack of control.

6. Smoke breaks

How much are smoke breaks costing you every year . Set out a smoking policy for your unit. You could save thousands of Euros each year in lost productivity as well as ensure that your customers enjoy a smoke-free experience.

7. Left over food

Similarly make a rule that no left over food can be taken home by staff, even if it is surplus. This will create a culture where excess production starts to be made and the line blurs between legitimate leftovers and pilfering. Remember, this is also a health and safety issue.

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