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Create a Policy & Procedure Manual for your Restaurant

You need a Policy and Procedure Manual for your restaurant and for any business for that matter. A Policy and Procedure Manual will help you:
     ** To assist you in obtaining financing for your start up restaurant
     ** To let all your staff know your restaurant rules and to make sure everyone follows them
     ** To keep everyone informed of your expectations of their work
     ** To protect you when unemployment filings and claims start arriving in the mail
     ** To reduce the amount of unemployment claims against your business and other legal action
     ** To update your staff on new rules implemented
     ** To keep your staff accountable
     ** Let everyone know how to deal with customer complaints
     ** To notify your staff of your vendors, contact information and emergency plan of action

Read all the way to the end for our final thoughts on keeping you and your business protected with a signed copy of each employee's understanding and agreement to your Policy and Procedure Manual.

Don't have the resources to create your own policy manual? No problem, check out Food Safety Policy and Due Diligence - an Operational Manual with templates for everything you need in digital and kindle formats and cheap!!

Use our guide below to form your own Policy & Procedure Manual:
   Create this manual using a plain Word document on your computer. Keep it in a binder, clearly marked and handy in your office for easy reference for yourself, managers and the staff.
If you'd like a desk reference always at hand with more help, step by step instructions, examples of good and bad policies using the Writing Format, we suggest you check out 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures by Stephen Page available as paper back or kindle version.

Introduction - use this as the beginning section of your Policy and Procedure Manual to describe your business including background, how you started out in your restaurant, your Business Philosophy, Business Objectives and description of your specific products and services.

Organizational Chart - use this section to list your company name, address, officers, chain of command in the kitchen and bar areas of your restaurant.

General Employee Information - use this section to describe what are important items for each person that will be working for you. (later we'll add the specific job descriptions to hold each employee accountable).
     Areas that are important here would include: Attitude, Phone Calls, Housekeeping, Job Descriptions, Drug Policy and any drug testing requirements, Tardiness, Calls Offs, etc.

Personnel Administration - these are the general rules of your business and should include items such as:
     - Hiring Policy - an equal opportunity employer that hires based on skill, attitude, knowledge or willingness to learn and not based on sex, religion, belief or nationality.
     - Pay Period - explain how you will pay your staff either weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and include any holiday pay, vacation pay, sick pay or other.
     - Hours of Operation - add your own particular hours of business including breakfast, lunch, dinner, after hours in the kitchen and bar areas of your restaurant
     - Breaks - describe the breaks your staff is entitled to so everyone is clear. *The law entitles an employee a 15 minute break after 4 hours of work, a 10 minute break after 2 hours of work and a 30 minute break for any employee scheduled for 8 hours or more. Include any special requirements you need such as only one employee per area on break at a time to keep each area attended for customers, etc.
     - Dress Code - include this area if you have a certain dress code and any uniform requirement for your kitchen, dining room and bar staff.
     - Merit Reviews - include this area to explain any probationary period for newly hired employees and raise information so that employees know what to expect and when to expect a raise and how they can be paid the highest amount.
     - Personal Behavior/Reprimands - include this area to describe any zero tolerance rules you have enacted and general behavior rules to maintain consistency and improve customer service in your business.
     - Overtime - describe your rules on overtime and how staff will be paid. * Time and a half pay is required for all work over 40 hours per week for hourly workers.
          **Check with your state to make sure you follow each state's specific rules of pay and avoid any penalties for not paying your staff correctly!
     - Scheduling - describe how and where employees can find their posted schedules. Make a note of requested time off and how your staff can request time off. Include time off is not guaranteed but, you will make every effort to honor time off in advance notice. Restaurants are busiest on weekends and time off then is not always feasible unless you have a larger staff to cover an employee's absence.
     - Benefits - clearly state any and all benefits your company offers to your employees including employee meals, parking, direct deposit, discounts or any other benefit specific to your company.
     - Personal belongings - make it clear where employees are to keep their personal belongings.

Products and Services - use this section of your Policy and Procedure Manual to describe your rules on:
     - Customer Relations - describe your policy on customer complaints. Will you offer a complimentary meal replacement on the spot for poorly cooked food? Yes, you should if the customer complains immediately. Sometimes, customers wait until the end of the meal to complain. These customers could be offered a gift certificate to return to your restaurant at another time. Ignoring customer complaints is never a good idea and will hurt you in the end. Decide what you can offer customers and let all your staff know how to deal with all customer issues.
     - Supplier Relations
     - Sales Procedures

Safety and Security
     - Premises
     - Emergencies and what to do
     - Slips and Falls - how to prevent them and what to do if they occur
     - Company Assets
     - Confidentiality
     - Proper Hand Washing
     - Maintenance and Repair - who to call if equipment fails or breaks down

Job Descriptions for All Employees
     - Specify your particular rules for each person and provide a copy of this page to each new hire
     - Job Descriptions for Each Employee Based on Title:
          Manager, Chef, Sous Chef, Prep Cook, Baker, Bartender, Server, Bus Person, Food Runner, Bar back, Dishwasher, Cleaning, Coat Check and any other employees in your organization.

** Create a page at the beginning or end of your Policy and Procedure Manual that states that each employee and read and agrees to your rules, regulations and will follow them. Make lines for the employee name, title and date. This page will help to protect you in the event of an employee's termination and assist you during the unemployment process. Edit and update your manual as soon as new changes are implemented and inform you staff so that they can read, sign and understand.

Don't forget 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures - get a copy today!

Get to work creating your own Policy and Procedure Manual for your restaurant before hiring your staff!

Cheers and we'd love your comments and feedback!


  1. Thanks for sharing with us Success tips for restaurants. Behind the success of every business are some rules and instructions. Same concept allow for restaurants. I am thinking about to open a restaurant this tips will be truly help me to run the success restaurant business.
    business loans for restaurant

  2. Hi Alice, thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation with policy and procedure manuals for restaurants. Let us know how it goes for you opening a restaurant and please keep in touch with any questions or concerns. Cheers!

  3. Is there a templetaized version of a P/M for restaurant that I could purchase?

  4. Thanks for asking Alvin, until we create our own for you (coming in the future!) check out the post we just added for you above. Cheers:)

  5. Thanks so much for posting a outline. I just got hire for GM for a new restaurant and they didn't have a policy and procedure booklet. But now they will thanks.


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