Food Manager Certification MN and Employee Meal Benefits

One of the perks about working in the food industry is that you get to be around creative professionals and from time to time are able to sample some of the great cuisine your restaurant has to offer. Many restaurants offer free or discounted shift meals to their employees, and we’d like to examine three different schools of thought on the subject that we’ve heard discussed in our food manager certification MN courses.

Shift-Meals and Food Manager Certification MN

When it comes to employee meal perks in the restaurant industry, kitchen managers have a few different options when it comes to offering this benefit to employees. Here are what we have found to be the top-three prevailing systems:
• Employees should be on their own and eat at specified breaks
• Employees can order menu items at a discount
• A special employee meal is served before or after service

One idea that we hear from time to time is that restaurant professionals should be treated like professionals from other industries. If a restaurant owner offers his employees all of the benefits that are associated with other jobs, why should he dip into his profits to provide a service not available in other professions? With so many restaurants choosing to provide meals or discounted menu items for their employees, we’ve heard that this system may reduce employee morale when staff members compare the no-meal policy with other restaurants’ treatment of the issue.

Some outlets allow employees to order off of the menu at a discount when they are off the clock. This allows the staff member to eat at a reasonable price as well as sample the cuisine that is served at their place of employment. This is often the choice of restaurant managers who are seeking a middle ground between forcing employees to be responsible for their own meals and having the restaurant provide a shift meal at no cost to the staff.

Our favorite idea is the concept of the family-style shift meal served to the staff before service has started or after the restaurant has closed. This tends to bring employees together and may be a great time to test specials and explore new menu concepts. If you choose this method of providing meals for your employees, keep in mind that this could also provide an opportunity to reduce waste by repurposing some of your inventory surplus. We also find that a well-fed employee tends to be a satisfied employee.

If you’re a restaurant owner or manager, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.

For over 20 years Safe Food Training has been known as the # 1 provider of food manager certification in Minnesota. We offer both instructor lead and on-line food safety certification courses. Our instructor lead courses are regularly scheduled at several central Minnesota locations. If you have special training requirements, we can even customize ServSafe training for your group. Which ever option is best for you, we would be happy to serve your needs.

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