More Lesson’s Learned From “Amy’s Baking Company”

Ah, Amy’s Baking Company. The restaurant featured on the season finale of Kitchen Nightmares has captured the culinary world’s imagination as an interesting train wreck of marketing, PR, and management. If anything, we hoped to show what you can learn from the very-public failings found in their episode.

Recently, Radar Online acquired a copy of the new contract the owners are having staff sign and agree to before employment. Here’s a few highlights, and our thoughts. You can view the contract here.

  • “No Cell Phones allowed while working”
    This is not an uncommon practice in many workplaces, and sets a sane tone for the beginning of the contract.
  • “No outside food or beverage may be brought inside ABC”
    Once again, not uncommon.
  • “You must leave the premises immediately after your scheduled shift…”
    Oddly particular, most restaurant-owners wouldn’t particularly mind if an employee stayed in for a second waiting on a ride, waiting out a storm, and so forth.
  • “At no point is any food or any type of open beverage allowed in the kitchen.”
    This rule makes it slightly harder to cook.
  • “Holidays and Weekends are Mandatory” and “No-Shows will be monetarily penalized with a fee of $250.00″
    Usually, if a worker fails to show up for a shift, they’re penalized via loss of pay, tips, and even their job, which is significant enough for most. Many businesses are willing to work with staff in an effort to let them have the occasional weekend or holiday off.
  • “The wait staff understands that any and all ‘tips’ are the property of the ‘house’.”
    This was one of the largest points of contention against the restaurant after the episode aired. It’s a struggle to find any restaurant that would prevent staff from receiving tips.
  • “… shall not work for any other competitor within a 50 mile radius of ABC within one year of termination or voluntary resignation.”
    Hoping an employee doesn’t bail on you to go across the street to a direct competitor is one thing, but banning an employee from working at a business 45 miles away is absurd.

As a restaurant owner, do you find these stipulations to be over-the-top and absurd, or just right for the business? Naturally, this business may be wanting to tighten things up after a disastrous public-relations breakdown in recent months, but is this contract going too far?