With today’s contentious political climate, more and more people have steadfast opinions on the key issues and are debating and fighting with friends or co-workers either in the flesh or on the place where things can quickly get out of hand — social media.
People attend restaurants to eat, socialize, and post pictures of their meals. A political debate with their servers is not expected by most patrons as a side order. To prevent employees from getting customers riled up by talking politics, many restaurants set some rules.
To keep their personal political thoughts off their duty is the responsibility of employees, says Licia Gliptis, VP for Restaurant Consultants, Inc., College Park, Maryland.
Nannina Angioni, a labor and employment attorney and partner with the Los Angeles-based firm Kaedian LLP, says it’s always an honest idea to own clear guidelines in situ for workers because when expectations on either side of the link are clear, you see fewer issues.
“Employers have to know their own rules cold. Supervisors and managers should be trained to seek advice from the foundations and have the know-how to hold them enter the workplace,” she says.
Rules that provide an employee with a transparent path to management, with options for handling workplace conflict, are key to a successful work environment. Besides, allowing staff to mention whatever is on their mind may be harmful to the restaurant and its reputation.
Gretchen Van Vlymen, head of HR at StratEx, a personality’s resources software and firm focused on the restaurant industry, says having a code of conduct is important, not most saying people can’t express their personal views but that they have to do so in an exceedingly way that meets this code.
Van Vlymen notes that whether or not someone overhears customers talking about a couple of subjects they’re addicted to, they shouldn’t intrude.
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Incidents Do Happen
In 2011, claiming it had been because she was wearing a bracelet advocating for the party, and customers complained to her boss, though the restaurant claims her dismissal had nothing to do with it, an Outback Steakhouse waitress in Crystal Lake, Illinois was fired. Angioni says that would have led to a messy legal fight if rules weren’t in situ.
And a Rhode Island state legislator who worked as a waitress for traditional Café in Providence, Rhode Island, was fired after owner Raymond Burns warned her that political talk was interfering together with her shift, and he saw a scathing review online due to it, in keeping with a story that appeared within the Associated Press. Having rules written down about such talk protected his decision.
“As a family restaurant, who our customers are and what we expect of them are what we have a conversation with all of our employees about,” Gavin Coleman says.
Over the years, everyone from President Barrack Obama to Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil to a number of the leading Republicans and lobbyists has stopped sure a bite, and Coleman makes sure that every one conversation between staff and patrons are respectful.
“Considering or disagreeing would be alienating us with other groups,” he says. “Catering to just one demographic is what we don’t want to be known for, that is what I tell my staff.”
Coleman recalls an occurrence where someone was drinking at the bar and tried to interact with the bartender to discuss immigration issues.
“I tell my employees to keep replies short. Because political debates often surface when people are drinking,” he says.