Handling Prescription and Illegal Drug Use in the Workplace

The costs of an employee lawsuit can devastate both sides of a case. At her practice, former litigator and current restaurant employment lawyer Lexington Wolff advises industry employers on how to avoid such lawsuits in the first place.

In the latest episode for the new podcast Restaurant Masters, guest host Wolff discusses how to handle employee use of illegal and prescription drugs at your restaurant within the bounds of the law.

Drug use has always been a problem in the restaurant industry, but the issue has become more legally fraught for employers and employees alike in recent years.

“A lot of employers are under the misconception that they are entitled to a drug-free workplace, and that they have the power to influence that by any means,” says Wolff. “That is not exactly accurate. The law is really much more nuanced.”

In general, employers can test for illegal drug use at any time, and discipline employees who refuse to take a test. However, prescription drug employment laws are a bit less clear.

“If you’re going to test for prescription drug use, it’s very likely you’re going to learn about a medical condition or a protected disability that you otherwise had no reason to know about,” notes Wolff. And despite what some employers may think, “the less you know about a person’s protected status, the better.”

If you fire an employee or do not hire a candidate for a role after such an extensive test, you are opening yourself up to the possibility of a lawsuit. A candidate could effectively argue in court that you did not hire them because of their disability.

Listen to the episode above to learn more about developing a company-wide drug policy and the ins and outs of current marijuana laws.

Produced by:

Darisha Beresford

Darisha Beresford

Production Manager / Sr. Producer

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Butter-Poached Alaska Flounder Cooked Mexican Style in Kansas City

Chefs and consumers alike need to be conscious of the origin of their seafood. While generally more sustainable than other protein sources, seafood can vary in nutritional value depending on its source and supplier.

The second season of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen & Bar is partnering with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to highlight chefs who understand and value sustainable seafood sourcing practices. These chefs share innovative, fish-focused dishes that will revitalize your menu, and also explain their own contributions to and investment in the sustainable seafood movement.

This season is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On-Demand.

Alaska Sole—commonly known as flounder—is one of the healthiest and most nutrient-dense types of flatfish. All wild Alaska fisheries are responsibly and sustainably harvested throughout the state.

The above video provides a glimpse of Chef Carlos Falcon at work. Falcon shares his delicious Butter-Poached Alaska Flounder recipe with host Paul Barron, and he keeps the flavors simple with such ingredients as bomba rice, lobster fumet, Alaska king crab meat, and duck egg aioli.

As the owner and chef of Jarocho in the landlocked Kansas City, Falcon missed the seafood of his hometown. Despite some skepticism, he decided to bring a Mexican-infused seafood menu to the midwest and swiftly won over his critics. He and his culinary staff prioritize keeping things simple at the restaurant: at the end of the day, just make delicious, uncomplicated dishes that everyone can enjoy.

To learn more about the recipe and best practices for sustainable seafood, watch the full episode now on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On-Demand.

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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Data is King: How to Leverage Your Consumer Insights to Drive Catering, Delivery Sales

On this episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, podcast host Valerie Killifer sits down with Daring Solutions founder and CEO Jeff Chasney.

Daring Solutions uses artificial intelligence to optimize restaurant kitchens and directly help staff improve sales, profits, and customer satisfaction. In this episode, Chasney shares how industry operators can leverage data to grow long-term sales in a marketplace that has been trending toward off-premise—according to Chasney, a reported 22 percent of delivery drivers tamper with orders.

“Data is of paramount importance not in and of itself, but in the analytics that you can draw,” says Chasney. Data needs to be kept in a coherent system that is properly validated and updated as needed. “There’s a lot of data that gets accumulated by any point of sales system. The key is not getting as much as you can, but is getting great quality data as it is coming into your system.”

For Chasney, analytics is key to keeping in line with—or getting ahead of—competition. “Our competitive landscape is getting more and more crowded, and we’re all fighting for the same share of stomach,” notes Chasney. “Everybody can only eat so much in a day.” How you leverage data to identify and attract your customer can mean life or death for your restaurant.

Check out the episode above to learn more about properly storing data and how Chasney’s company uses artificial intelligence to improve a restaurant’s maximum number of customers during peak hours.

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Produced by:

Darisha Beresford

Darisha Beresford

Production Manager / Sr. Producer

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The Sylvester Brings a Non-Alcoholic Buzz to Miami

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In today’s overcrowded food and beverage market, bar owners often struggle to make their bar unique. And in South Florida, competition is fierce. New bars and restaurants open and close every day, and the only way to stay afloat is to offer high quality products that are truly different.

The Sylvester, located in the heart of Miami, aims to do exactly that. This season of REACH explores the unique stories behind the making of emerging and successful food and beverage businesses in South Florida. The Sylvester was just established this year, and is already making a name for itself in the city.

Ben Potts, the bar director for The Sylvester, co-founded the joint with Chef Brian Nasajon after quitting a “miserable” job in investment banking.

“I quit my job without having a plan,” says Potts. His goal was to craft drinks that were truly innovative. “Non-alcoholic beverages are what we’re trying to push and highlight.”

In addition to typical alcoholic drinks, The Sylvester offers kombucha, an extensive coffee list, tea, and wellness water and cocktails infused with CBD. There are even a few mushroom elixirs on the menu.

“We’re trying to push the envelope from a cocktail perspective,” adds Potts. The goal, for him, is to allow customers to “reap the benefits of a medicinal product in a food and beverage setting.”

The bar is designed to look nostalgic and “very distinctly” Miami. With vintage wallpaper, retro stylings, and a wide selection of board games, the place immediately feels welcoming and familial.

Check out the full episode to learn more about the bar and some of the recipes behind the unique drinks available at The Sylvester!

Denver Chef Infuses Classic Seared Alaska Halibut with Thai Flavors

Throughout the world, people rely on the ocean for sustenance and survival. Sustainability practices in harvesting are essential for ensuring the future quality and continuity of seafood. And rapidly evolving technology possibilities are making sustainability a much simpler and more attainable goal.

For its second season, Foodable’s Smart Kitchen & Bar has partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to feature chefs who are passionate about sustainable seafood sourcing practices. These chefs share why they love seafood, explain how they select responsible seafood purveyors, and showcase innovative, fish-focused recipes.

This season is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On-Demand.

The largest type of flatfish, Alaska Halibut is equal parts simple and elegant with a unique, flaky texture and a mild, sweet flavor. Alaska is the largest provider of domestic halibut in the United States, and all wild Alaska fisheries harvest responsibly and sustainably.

In the clip above, Chef Jennifer Jasinski shares her Thai-infused mango Alaska dungeness crab salad and seared Alaska halibut recipe with host Paul Barron. Jasinski's unique recipe pairs halibut and dungeness crab with coconut crusted risotto. As you can see in the video, the dungeness crab that was used is classified as "ugly crab," which simply means it has a less attractive shell (barnacles, discoloration, war wounds), but it is just as safe and delicious to eat as a crab with an attractive-looking shell.

Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Chef Jasinski has always loved the ocean and the diversity of fish it offers. After traveling for over a decade with Wolfgang Puck Food Company, she put down roots in Denver and currently owns five acclaimed restaurants in the city under the group name Crafted Concepts. One of her latest restaurants, Stoic & Genuine, opened in 2014 and features fresh-from-the-water seafood.

Check out the full episode on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On-Demand to learn more about sustainable seafood practices and Jasinski’s philosophy on leaving no scraps behind.