Whether small or big, an employee handbook is a valuable tool that encourages healthy workforce relationships and will enable the daily running of your pizzeria to be efficient and consistent. Without consistency, it’s hard for any aspect of the restaurant to flow smoothly.
More often than not when an employee does something they shouldn’t, it is your fault as the business owner. How do you expect your employees to follow the rules when they don’t know what the rules are? You have to put your business’s rules and guidelines in writing. You must have an employee handbook.
Not only will your employee handbook layout all of your rules, but it also gives you the opportunity to hand your staff the history of your pizzeria, the culture, the vision, and the goals. It allows you to have a guide to help all of your employees stay on the path that you want them on while offering your managers a reference tool when running your business for you. Having an employee handbook is critical to your business’s success and survivability.
A handbook can also become an invaluable tool when defending yourself against unemployment and wrongful termination claims.
Whether you are building your own handbook, having one created for you, or using a template, it should be well structured with easily accessible information. A useful handbook should list the following:
- Mission statement: Your mission statement is your opportunity to define the pizzeria’s goals and a description of the services and atmosphere you intend to have your employee embody.
- Background: Who are you, how did this pizzeria come to be? The history of your restaurant.
- You and your team: Introduce yourself and vital members, along with a description of their role.
- Management structure: Who reports to whom? An easy-to-understand hierarchy is convenient for everybody.
- Staff training: Who does a new member report to, who is responsible for training them; do you have a training schedule?
- General information about your establishment: opening hours, menu and delivery information, operating procedures, etc.
- How things should be done and why: Get everyone on the same page from the moment they step through the door, go into as much detail as possible; there’s no such thing as too much information on this one!
- Health & Safety, including first aid: This one is critical and often missed; you don’t want to wait until an accident happens before teaching your team what to do.
- What is expected of employees: Guidelines on uniforms, switching shifts, sick days, vacation entitlement, pay schedules, etc.
- How can an employee progress: Do you offer bonus schemes? How can an employee work towards a promotion?
A handbook can also strengthen your team and have everybody on the same page from the start. Your employee handbook should explain what is expected of every team member and precisely how you want things to be done; leave no room for confusion.
However, an employee handbook will not help your staff unless it remains consistent. Are the policies within the handbook accurate? Do these things actually happen? Is everybody within the team doing it this way? If it’s not accurate, your handbook will only serve to confuse and allow your efficiency as a pizzeria to fall apart. You want to keep your information up to date to serve a legitimate purpose, or otherwise, you are only wasting paper.
As a new establishment, this is a great opportunity while in the planning stages to bounce ideas off of one another and put into place what actually works. If you believe in every word written in your manual, your team will too.
We know that taking the time to create a comprehensive handbook specific to your business can be a monumental task that many just don’t have the time for, hiring an attorney to build one from scratch can be very expensive, and many of the low-cost templates on the market are just too broad and generic to be useful. However, there is an alternate option, by drawing from over 20 years of employer experience in the pizza industry we have created a pizza specific Team Member Handbook that is mostly ready to implement. We like to think that we did most of the heavy lifting for you.
It was written in plain and simple terms so it could be easily understood and easy to read. Here are some examples of what you will find inside our Team Member Handbook.
- Employment Policies: such as At-Will Statements, Non-Harassment & Discrimination Policies, and Drug-Free Workplace Rules
- Pay Policies: such as Tip credit. Tip pooling, Overtime, Lost Checks, and Deductions
- Benefit Policies: for Vacation, Unemployment, Meal Discounts, and Retirement Plans
- Attendance and Paid/Un-Paid Leave: rules and guidelines for establishing what is acceptable attendance, Holidays, Scheduling Requests, Jury Duty and Voting
- Workplace Behavior/Conduct: to layout your Dress Code, Parking, Smoking, Social Media, and Disciplinary Action Policies
- Specific Qualifications: for Drivers, Servers, Bartenders, and Kitchen employees
- Customer Service Rules: that layout your expectations for dealing with customers
- Basic Food Safety Guidelines: to help prevent Foodborne Illness
- General Restaurant Safety: rules to keep your staff safe
There will still be some work required on your end to make this a complete document ready to implement in your pizzeria.
- Read the document thoroughly and make sure you understand it. Make notes as you go on policies that you want to modify, remove, or add that are unique to your operation.
- You will notice throughout the handbook that there are areas of green text contained in brackets [like this.] This is to quickly identify text that you should change to make the handbook personal to your business. Some of the green text will also be alternative policies to consider or research.
- The laws across our country vary considerably from state to state. Some of what is in the handbook may not be legal or need to be changed to fit your state laws. It is up to you to make sure your handbook is legal in your area.
- Once you have completed your handbook have your attorney review it and keep it up to date.
- Keep your handbook mostly on the topic of employment and safety issues. Create separate training manuals for specific positions, or you will end up with a large book trainees will not want to read.
Always remember, when it comes to business if it isn’t in writing it doesn’t exist.
Good Luck and Enjoy!
- This document comes with no guarantee, no warranty (express or implied), and no representations as to effectiveness or outcome. This document has not been reviewed by an attorney or human resource professional. We are not a law firm and we do not represent that this document complies with local, state, or federal law. We will not assume any liability for your use of these documents.
- This handbook is meant to be used as a starting point and not a complete solution. Laws are constantly changing and vary from location to location. You are strongly encouraged to have your attorney review this document. This document is meant to be tailored by you to your unique and custom situation.
- Use this document at your own risk. It is provided as is.
The Team Member Handbook template is provided in Microsoft Word® (.docx) format so that you can easily customize it to fit your unique needs.
Always be thinking outside the box – check out this amazing handbook from Zappos!
Take a look at more resources from Zappos – https://www.zapposinsights.com/culture-book