Legal requirements for restaurant staff training

By Rhys Martin June 20, 2024

How do you ensure your restaurant runs like a well-oiled machine? By training your restaurant employees properly! When you’re run off your feet, training a new staff member can feel like a drag. But do you know what you’re legally required to do – as the manager – when it comes to training? We delve further into this topic and equip you with the knowledge to implement an enviable training plan for your restaurant staff.

Why training your restaurant employees is required

This may seem obvious, but proper training prevents major issues, such as:

  • patrons being injured at your restaurant
  • employees getting hurt because they incorrectly used equipment, and
  • damage to your reputation amongst customers.

From a legal standpoint, you are required to train your restaurant employees in the following areas:

Health and safety regulations

You must comply with local, state, and federal health and safety laws to ensure food is prepared and served safely. This all stems from having a strong culture of food safety within your restaurant. If you need guidance on this topic, you’re in luck! Our article, How to build a strong food safety culture, can help.

Labor laws

These all have to do with laws governing your employees’ rights, including training on harassment, discrimination, and workplace safety. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the legal workplace requirements of your local area.

Seek the advice of a legal professional or consultant, or even speak to an experienced member of staff. This can then help you formulate some restaurant staff training topics.

Alcohol service

Training staff on the responsible service of alcohol is vital to maintaining a liquor license. Staff must be trained in this to prevent underage drinking and intoxicated patrons.

Workplace certification requirements

Some states require specific certifications, such as Food Handler Cards or ServSafe certifications. Before you hire someone, make sure they have the right certifications.

How to make sure your staff are trained

Identify must-have training

Time is one of the most precious assets any business can have. When it’s wasted, it can have huge ramifications. Suppose your team is trained incorrectly or improperly, how would that impact the business?

Before you develop a training plan for your restaurant staff make sure you research local, state, and federal laws relevant to your restaurant’s location. Pinpoint required certifications and training topics and have your training curriculum cover them.

Craft a training plan for restaurant staff

Once you have figured out what should be taught to your staff, look at how to educate them on role and venue specific skills.

Create comprehensive training manuals that cover food safety, health regulations, customer service, and legal requirements. If you have multiple venues, you may find it difficult to have the correct training material shared amongst all employees.

Have a centralized training platform accessible to everyone of your restaurants’ staff. A mobile-first program allows your team members to complete training modules across different locations. Remember to include specific modules for roles like:

  • servers
  • bartenders
  • cooks,
  • and managers.

Schedule regular in person training refresher sessions

While a digital-based training plan for restaurant staff is a great tool, it should not be the only way you conduct necessary training. Have your managers or team leaders provide ongoing training face-to-face to update staff on new laws, procedures, or menu items.

This can also open up dialogue between your managers and staff. Why is this important? A staff member may spot something wrong with a current training procedure and raise it.

Track and document training

Make documentation an essential part of your training process. Keep detailed records of who has completed training and when. Ensure all certifications are up-to-date and accessible for inspection.

Traditional paper and pen methods of recordkeeping can be a tricky thing to master – and keep clean. Whereas if you have a digital-based form of recordkeeping, like a centralized digital audit system, you can remain informed on training progress seamlessly.  

Evaluate and update your restaurant staff training topics

A student is only as good as their master. Your staff are placed in the best position to perform well if they are trained with current material. It’s vital you regularly review and update the training for your restaurant employees to reflect changes in laws or industry best practices.

How Operandio’s compliance software makes restaurant staff training simple

Operandio helps you manage all training materials and records in one place, making it easy to track employee progress and certification statuses.

It can automatically send you reminders for upcoming training, ensuring nothing is missed. You can customize training programs for different roles in your restaurant, allowing staff to access relevant modules.

The software also generates reports for audits or inspections and makes it easy to show proof of compliance. Additionally, it monitors employee engagement with training, ensuring accountability through progress tracking and completion certificates. Book your free demo today and witness firsthand all of the innovative ways Operandio can simplify help you when it comes to training your restaurant employees.