How To: Let Go Of Staff

There’s an eventuality with even the best business, and you’ll have to do it one day as a restaurant owner or manager. Some staff will invariably have to be let go, for one reason or another. In some cases, it might be due to no fault of their own, such as sluggish business, tight budgets, or redundancies being made clear. In other, less pleasant situations, it may be due to a number of problems; theft, constant tardiness, conflicts, and more are common reasons in the restaurant world for having to let go of a staff member.

One restaurant received immense backlash after letting go of staff members via text message. Clearly, this is not a way to handle it.

What measures should you take when letting staff go?

  • Make sure you have all the forms and paperwork prepared. Much like ripping off a bandage, you want this to be quick and painless, and don’t want to go looking for paperwork while the employee is distraught.
  • Consider the time and transportation of the employee. If this is a person who tends to be dropped off instead of driving by themselves, you may want to let them go at the end of their shift when the ride is ready to pick them up, or offer to call them a cab.
  • In the case that the employee is being let go of no fault of their own, remind them that you’ll keep the door open for them. If business picks up down the road, you might be able to rehire them. It’d be easier to hire a former employee and catch them up to speed than hire a new employees and fully train them from step one.
  • In the case of theft, you may want to consider your options. If the employee has been exemplary and is going through some readily-apparenty tough times, you may want to give them a chance to repay or have their pay docked. If the employee is tough to handle and prone to anger, or you’re wishing to press charges, you might want to have police ready.
  • In any situation where it’s the employee’s fault they’re being let go, make sure you have evidence ready in case of an argument. Video or photographic evidence of damage done to your business, customers, or brand will make your case easier, and deflate any argument they might have.
  • Hold your ground. If you’ve come to the decision you must terminate someone’s employment, make sure you’ve thought it out and won’t back off.
  • One of the most important facts that needs to be stated? Never let your customers see you fire an employee. In any sort of reprimand situation, you need to keep this out of the eyes of the customer. In many cases, an argument might happen out on the floor that ends with a dismissal. Take it in the back. If you can let go of an employee off-hours, all the better, but decidedly do not let customers see the interaction. Likewise, this needs to be a closed-door meeting; unless another staff member needs to be present for various reasons, non-necessary staffers need not be present.