How Food Allergy Training Helps Protect Your Restaurant

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Food Allergy Training Helps Protect Your RestaurantWhile most restaurants do not require their employees to be certified food allergen experts, the right knowledge and training for your restaurant’s employees can make a crucial difference in reducing your liability. National Food Safety Month may be over, but safe food handling where it concerns food allergies is a year-round must. Ingredients that are commonly seen in almost every restaurant’s menu – milk, fish, wheat, nuts, shellfish, eggs – can have some uncommonly devastating effects on patrons with certain food allergies. It is estimated that over 15 million Americans are allergic to some of the most common kitchen ingredients, which could very well threaten their lives and your business in an emergency situation.

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to ensuring that your staff is properly trained and educated about food allergies, so your guests can feel safe eating at your restaurant and your staff will feel comfortable knowing how to safely handle restaurant equipment to prepare allergy-sensitive food. The list of food allergy preparedness to-dos include:

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Restaurant industry retention: how can we keep good employees?

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Restaurant industry change is necessary

The restaurant industry is a combination of old and new. Preparing delicious food is a practice as old as humanity — even though the restaurant equipment used varies from a cave campfire to a stainless steel Vulcan range with 32,000 BTU burners. At the same time, diners are a discriminating bunch, and successful entrepreneurs know that today’s trendy restaurant can quickly become passe and bankrupt.

The restaurant industry must adapt to stay viable

Although the restaurant industry is cyclical, responding to the seasons of the economy, it also must evolve to prosper. And it’s apparent that the restaurant industry has often struggled with the retention of key employees. Many smart, talented individuals work in the restaurant industry — and then quickly leave it for other industry that is considered more “career-friendly.” The restaurant industry struggles from the stigma of this popular perception, and it’s not without cause. Although they can be immensely rewarding, creatively, financially, and emotionally, restaurant industry jobs can be hard and the pace is fast. This situation costs the restaurant industry dearly in high turnover rates, training costs, lower productivity, and of course, the loss of talent.

The National Restaurant Association, as part of their Cornerstone Initiative, has taken positive steps to address this situation. Their Retirement Benefit Program allows Association member restaurants can offer retirement benefits to owners and employees. The program is administered by the American Buying Retirement Services, Inc.

Restaurant industry businesses should investigate retirement benefits

If you’re interested in retaining your best restaurant employees — and who isn’t? — you should take a look at setting up retirement benefits. In this era of do-it-yourself retirement plans, you might be surprised at how little it might cost. For some no-nonsense restaurant retirement plan advice, refer to these restaurant industry tips at the NRA website.

The employees at your restaurant or kitchen won’t be expecting a full-blown pension. If you can construct a sensible 401(k), SIMPLE-IRA, or SIMPLE 401(k), though, many of them will be more apt to visualize a long-term career with your restaurant — and that’s a future you should be encouraging.

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