How to Avoid Unconscious Discrimination When Hiring for Your Restaurant

  • Hiring is one aspect of your business where more information may not always be better.

  • Choose your words wisely when writing up job descriptions and qualifications to avoid Discrimination charges.

Lexington Wolff is a restaurant employment lawyer with a story. After representing a number of restaurants in employee lawsuits, she began to see a pattern. Many of the lawsuits could have been easily avoided had the restaurant just been better informed about their obligations.

But as Lexi says, once you’re in a penny, you’re in a pound. Basically, it won’t matter whether or not your practices are legal. If your employees feel slighted or misunderstand a policy, they may take you to court which is costly whether or not you are at fault.

On this episode of the Barron Report, Paul and Lexi break down the hiring process and everything you need to know about how to approach candidates.

For example, have you reviewed the wording on your job postings recently? Misused language can discriminate against certain races or handicaps. Social media background checks might get you in trouble. Even asking about drug use could get you in trouble if you violate HIPAA laws.

To learn how you should legally be running your restaurant hiring practices, listen in to this episode of The Barron Report. Tune into our last episode with Lexi for more about tip laws and pay practices. And remember, these podcasts do not constitute legal advice. For individualized advice, consult your lawyer.

Show Notes

  • 0:51 - Lexington Wolff, Restaurant Employment Lawyer

  • 2:41 - Your Greatest Risk in the Hiring Process

  • 5:03 - Job Descriptions: Choose Your Words Wisely

  • 6:27 - Qualifications VS Preferences

  • 11:51 - Job Applications Should Not Elicit Protected Information

  • 12:22 - Ban the Box

  • 17:58 - How to Legally Interview

  • 19:08 - Asking About Sexual Harassment History

  • 21:10 - DIY and Third-Party Background Checks

  • 25:36 - Drug Use and HIPAA Laws

DISCLAIMER: This podcast does not constitute legal advice. For individualized advice, seek a lawyer's services.

Restaurant Employee Tip Laws That Could Get You Sued

Restaurant Employee Tip Laws That Could Get You Sued
  • Restaurant employee tip laws and pay practices could get you sued

  • Your legal obligation as a restaurant employer to make a policy and protect against Sexual Harassment

Lexington Wolff is a restaurant employment lawyer with quite the story. After representing a number of restaurants in employee lawsuits, she began to see a pattern. Many of the lawsuits could have been easily avoided had the restaurant just been better informed about their obligations.

But as Lexi says, once you’re in a penny, you’re in a pound. Basically, it won’t matter whether or not your practices are legal. If your employees feel slighted or misunderstand a policy, they may take you to court which is costly whether or not you are at fault.

On this episode of the Barron Report, Paul asks Lexi your burning law questions around pay practices and sexual harassment. We start with the discussion of unpaid overtime.

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Building a Rockstar Team for Your Restaurant

Building a Rockstar Team for Your Restaurant

On this episode of The Barron Report, brought to you by Kabbage, we dive into Agricole Hospitality brands to see how they manage hiring and staff.

In 2011, Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber teamed up to open Revival Market, a butcher shop inspired by City Meat Market in Yoakum. It has since evolved to become a full-service breakfast/lunch restaurant and butcher shop. The success of Revival prompted the duo to open Italian restaurant Coltivare, where Morgan developed the cocktail menu, in 2014.

While building the spirits list and managing the bar program at Coltivare, Morgan's interest in bourbon continued to grow. Once he ran out of room for bourbon on the back bar at Coltivare, the idea for Eight Row Flint, aptly named after the variety of corn first used in American whiskey, was born. Eight Row Flint was named one of the best new bars in the country by Playboy in 2016.

Now with 7 different brands under the Agricole Hospitality umbrella, Weber and Pera are starting to get a knack for building top quality teams. From constantly interviewing to patiently grooming their team, this organization has unlocked some key attributes of a successful brand. Listen along with the show notes below to see how you can start attracting top-quality candidates, too!

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The Importance of Cultivating and Maintaining Company Culture

The Importance of Cultivating and Maintaining Company Culture

Look at any well landscaped garden and you will see careful planning, care, and maintenance. Those are the same elements you need to create a restaurant culture that surpasses the average.

Culture is that secret sauce that separates the good from the outstanding. Restaurants can have the same ingredients and even the same menu items. What separates them often is that one thing that is hard to copycat and that is their culture. Even famous rock bands that break up and go on to form other bands often do not find the same success they had from before. Culture is something more organic and alive. Just like that immaculate looking garden, you need to understand the planning and work that occurred to create such a masterpiece.

There are three key elements to cultivating culture:

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3 Ways Servant Leadership Elevates Staff Performance

3 Ways Servant Leadership Elevates Staff Performance

One of the biggest struggles I have seen in the restaurant business is how to get your team to be forward thinkers. They’ll clock in and then their whole shift will be a series of reactions instead of planning ahead for the day, week, month, etc.

The issue is that there is no defined leadership culture that is created in these types of environments. Even if there is, it’s a philosophy that’s discussed within management meetings behind closed doors, but rarely is it practiced.

I’ve seen different leadership styles and haven’t seen close to the results I have seen when it comes to the philosophy of Servant Leadership.

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