Running a Restaurant/HELP Labor laws


"Hello, and thank you for reading my question. I am from Mexico and buy a restaurant in Miami a year ago. As you can guess I am not familiar with labor laws, specially about wages, unemployment and those kind of things. I fired an employee because insubordination (he shout and threaten me in front of all employees) and he filled an unemployment. When I receive it I answer that I fired him because of that. Now I receive a notification for the benefits paid to this person. I don't understand why did they give this to him even though I fire him for a very good reason. How did they calculate the benefits? and the dates of the reporting period were when this restaurant was not even ours. HELP!!! I need someone that can explain all this to me.


I live in Missouri, so I can't speak for Florida's unemployment laws.  But I can tell you some general information that should be helpful:

1) In most states, you have the right to appeal the unemployment ruling.  This means contacting the unemployment office and setting up a hearing.  If you had a legitimate reason for firing an employee, you may get them to reverse their decision.  There is a time limit on an appeal, so if it is available, you will need to contact them as soon as possible.

2) To prevent this in the future, I would strongly suggest you do two things: First, you need to create an employee handbook that clearly states your policies.  Give this to each existing employee and to all new employees as a part of their orientation. Secondly, if an employee is out of line (but not being fired), you need to use a "counseling" form to write out what the employee did wrong (for instance showing up late for work)and have the employee sign that he or she acknowledges that you have provided them with a warning about what will happen (termination, etc.) if they do this again in the future.  Then file this in the employee's file.  This gives you written documentation and will help you with unemployment claims should they repeat the violation and you terminate them.

If you are not familiar with how to create an effective employee handbook or how to create and use a counseling form, we can help.  Our fees for this are very reasonable.

Feel free to email me directly if we can help you.

David Foster
(417) 877-0428 office
(417) 849-1903 cell

Running a Restaurant

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David Foster


We have been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and consult with restaurants, casinos, food court concepts, bars and hotels nationwide. We love helping restaurant operators succeed and can answer any questions related to restaurant start-ups, business plans, operations, labor costs, food costs, liquor costs, employee turnover, marketing, operational improvements, franchising etc.


I am a seasoned foodservice veteran with nearly 50 years experience in the industry. My extensive background includes overseeing multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant operations ranging from cafeterias to fine dining, and everything in between. I have a strong hands-on operations and marketing background that give me a unique insight into the “Real World” challenges of the restaurant industry. I have extensive concept development, menu and recipe development and kitchen layout and design expertise. I am effective in analyzing operational needs and identifying practical solutions in today’s very dynamic foodservice environment. In the industry, I am respected by my peers and have served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Restaurant Association and have been a featured speaker on the subject of Home Meal Replacement at various national events. I also served on the Culinary Advisory Board of the Ozark Technical College as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Member of the National Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of the Missouri Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks

The Consultant, Seasoned Views (a trade magazine for the restaurant industry, QSR - a publication dedicated to quick serve and fast casual concepts.

Attended Drury University, Springfield, MO, Varsity Management, SRI

Awards and Honors
I have had restaurant projects featured in The Consultant (a magazine for foodservice consultants with worldwide circulation). I was honored for achieving the highest level of management competence by the Selection Research Institute.

Past/Present Clients
Sugar Creek Casino, Classic Rock Coffee Company, Mark Twain Brewing Company, Springfield Brewing Company, Bruegger's Bagels, M&M Grill, Paco Joe's, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Buffalo Run Casino, Golden Corral Corporation, Crosswinds Café, Chinese Chef, Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Market & Café, Bullfeather’s Wings and Grille, Mainstreet Market, Bear Rock Café, Cartoon's Oyster Bar & Grill, T's Redneck Roadhouse, Jim's Steakhouse, Neighbor's Mill Bakery & Café, Crazy Vine, San Francisco Oven, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Andy's Frozen Custard, The Granite Club, Umi Japanese Steak, Seafood and Sushi, Springfield Grocer Company, US Foodservice, Premium Standard Farms, Smithfield, Dakota Organic, Kraft Foods, Allens, Inc.

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