The Only Employee Handbook Template Your Restaurant Will Need

Running a restaurant is tough the hospitality industry is vulnerable to HR, legal or customer service issues that can arise from not documenting your restaurant s policies. To make sure that both new hires and long term employees know your company values, expectations and policies. This restaurant employee handbook template will help you get started on the right foot.

Below we have broken down each section of an ideal restaurant employee handbook so you ll never have to spend hours searching for content again:

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An effective introduction to your handbook will offer new hires a warm welcome. According to SHRM, employee performance improves when workers understand the mission and higher-level objectives of a company, so make sure to include your company s history and a look into your company culture.

Things to include:

  • Welcome Letter
  • About Your Handbook
  • Mission Statement
  • Your Guiding Values
  • Company Timeline

Employment Policies

We d recommend getting a lawyer to help you with this section, as your employee policy manual will provide a basis to protect both you and your employee s rights through equal employment opportunities, non-discrimination laws and age requirements regarding both food and alcohol handling.

Things to include:

  • Policies for Legal Employment
  • Non-Discrimination
  • Age Requirements

You re Hired! Now what?
This is the first section that new hires are looking for after they read about your company history. Let your new hires know what to expect in their first day, week, and month to keep the onboarding process smooth.

Things to include:

  • Orientation Period
  • Evaluations

Schedule Policies

For restaurants, it is important to develop company policies that address schedules, absences, tardiness, and breaks. It is wise to make your schedule changes and requests clear in your handbook to avoid confusion and scheduling issues down the line.

Things to include:

  • Schedules
  • Absences
  • Tardiness
  • Resignations
  • Break Policy

Behaviour at Work

Necessary for all legally binding handbooks, make sure to include a section that outlines acceptable workplace behaviour. When coming up with your social media policy, make sure to check out our guide.

Things to include:

  • Standards of Conduct
  • Cell Phone Usage
  • Social Media Usage
  • Harassment (including Sexual Harassment)
  • Solicitation

Getting Paid!

Do your employees get paid bi-weekly or monthly? Do they need to clock in and out using a Point of Sale (POS) system? Stating your overtime policy, tip reporting, and payroll deductions are all important aspects of your handbook that will save both you and your employees time from going back and forth asking questions.

Things to include:

  • Time Procedures
  • Tip Reporting
  • How do I Get Paid?
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payroll Deductions


Your restaurant s benefits package is undoubtedly going to be one of the most sought after questions a new hire is going to ask. As a food and beverage store company, it is important to have employee handbooks that include policies on employee meals.

Things to include:

  • Family and Medical Leave
  • Holidays
  • Vacations
  • Worker s Compensation
  • Employee Meals

Interacting with Customers

Significant to the hospitality industry, it is important to outline your restaurant s policies when it comes to both handling food as well as serving alcohol. Along with food handling, having a blurb about telephone courtesy may be helpful for new hires who aren t comfortable with all aspects of customer service yet.

Things to include:

  • Serving the Customer
  • Serving Alcohol
  • Telephone Courtesy

Working Together as a Team

Although not necessary, a section about working together as a team is a great addition to any restaurant employee handbook. Let your employees know how often staff meetings are held, channels for communicating with team members, and the relationship between management and your employees.

Things to include:

  • Management/Employee Relations
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication


Being conscious about safety and sanitation is important in the restaurant industry. It is essential to include safe food handling procedures in your handbook to allow employees and new hires easy access to the policies. An effective employee manual addresses both the prevention of accidents and safety concerns, as well as protocol for dealing with emergencies as they arise. For more information on creating employee handbooks for food services and drinking places companies, check out this helpful resource.

Things to include:

  • Maintaining a Safe Workplace
  • Sanitation

Any customer service or hospitality job requires a simple, laid out dress code policy. It is important to be clear about what your restaurant s policies are when it comes to uniform and dress code. If you have an open ended dress code, think about creating a lookbook like Starbucks to ensure each employee is arriving to work in proper attire.

Things to include:

  • Dress Code
  • Hair (including facial hair)
  • Jewelry
  • Makeup and Nails
  • Scents
  • Piercings and Tattoos

Emergency Situations

Accidents, whether small or large, are prone to happen in the restaurant industry ” especially when working in the kitchen. You should let your employees know that they are expected to report all accidents, no matter how minor they seem, to management. It’s important for food manufacturing companies to have clear policies on reporting accidents in their Employee Handbooks.”

Things to include:

  • Accidents
  • Fire Protection
  • Proprietary & Confidential Information


It is always recommended to have a legal professional review your company s employee handbook before it is published and distributed to employees. You can read more on our blog to learn about the legal implications around employee materials including your handbook.

Things to include:

  • Policy Statement
  • Handbook Receipt

Are you looking at creating or updating an employee handbook for your restaurant but unsure where to start? Try AirMason our handbook builder gives you beautifully designed restaurant employee handbook templates, quick creation of content using our wizard, and gives your employees easy access whether that is through an online link or a PDF.

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