HotelManager’s Legal Aspects
Thehospitality industry is marked by varied legal aspects, which anoperator or manager should be in a position to deal with. Therefore,a manager in a hospitality industry such as a restaurant firm musthave an extensive knowledge of laws, which apply to the running ofthe restaurant. For instance, a restaurant manager should be capableof understanding the laws governing the preparation and safety offood sold in the restaurant. Without such information, it would becumbersome for a restaurant to operate in a smooth manner becausefood poisoning may lead to legal liability that may even lead to theclosure of the restaurant. Hence, a restaurant manager shouldunderstand the different legal aspects that are relevant to thefield. The aim of this paper is to discuss the various legal aspectsthat a restaurant manager should consider, while holding the positionof a manager. Before discussing this, I would indicate reasons behindbeing hired as a manager.
ReasonsWhy I Would be Hired as a Hotel Manager
Oneof the things that would lead to being hired as a hotel manager isthe academic qualification. As a hospitality major student, I amacquainted with the different operations of a hotel. This offers ahigh opportunity of acting as a manager. For instance, I am familiarwith different aspects of hotel management such as budgeting andemployee relation. Besides, the skills that I possess are alsocritical towards being hired as a hotel manager. I have effectivecommunication skills, problem solving skills, organization skills andgood leadership skills. furthermore, the experience that I haveacquired in several areas will also help in being hired as a hotelmanager. For example, I have worked as an intern, where I acquiredbook keeping skills and how to deal with hotel related issues such assolving problems amid employees and how to communicate effectivelywithin an organization. I have also worked as a receptionist in ahotel, which provides the capacity to communicate with guests andresolve any problems that may emerge while serving them in a hotel.In addition, I have worked as a caterer which offers the opportunityof dealing with customer-focused plans. Through these qualificationsand skills, I fit well to work as a hotel manager.
Whileworking as a restaurant manager, there are several activities thatone has to get involved in such as managing the provision of foodand beverages, supervising catering, recruiting and training staff,and ensuring health and safety guidelines are adhered to among otheractivities. These activities involve the application of differentlaws that the restaurant manager has to be conversant with asprovided by various bodies such as the OSHA and EPA.
Accordingto the hospitality laws, hotel operators are required to show theirguests a duty of care and this is extended to their property. Thisduty is transferred to the restaurant manager, who acts on behalf ofthe owner of the restaurant. The duty of care towards the guests doesnot insure the safety of guests, but requires the restaurant managersto act in a prudent manner and use reasonable care (InO`Fallonand InRutherford48). This implies that the restaurant manager can be held accountablein case he/she acts in a way that shows negligence. For example, inextending the duty of care to the guests, it is the duty of themanager to ensure that there are security lights and alarms that canhelp in countering theft in hotels. Thus, in case the property of aguest is stolen due to the failure of manager to provide adequatesecurity, then he/she would be held liable for the theft because ofhis/her negligence. The restaurant manager should be capable ofoffering adequate security to the guests and their properties, andshould act promptly in case he receives information concerning anysecurity breach within the restaurant. In case, he is informed of asecurity situation and shows negligence by not attending to thesecurity concern, he can be held liable for negligence.
Arestaurant manager, on behalf of the owner, should also ensure thatthe food prepared and sold in the restaurant is secure andappropriate for purchasing and selling. A restaurant manager shouldensure that he follows “Truth in Menu” laws, which govern thedescriptions of food provided in menus. “Truth in Menu” lawsensure that customers receive what the menu indicates they shouldreceive (InO`Fallonand InRutherford68). Besides, they also govern nutritional descriptions, ingredients,and preparation styles among other things. The restaurant managershould ensure that the staff involved in the preparation of foodfollows the laws in order to avoid liability in instances, wherecustomers receive different food from what is described in the menus.The US Food and Drug administration (FDA) offers a helpful guide forthe restaurants, which a restaurant manager should follow in ensuringthe food offered to customers is the food described in the menu.
Apartfrom ensuring that the food fits the right description as provided inthe menu, a restaurant manager also has the duty of ensuring that thefood prepared and provided to the customer is fit for humanconsumption. Food poisoning may occur during the preparation of food,which may lead to a restaurant manager being answerable to the actionof food poisoning (Hayes andJack55). It is the responsibility of the restaurant manager to ensurethat food is fit for consumption right from the initial stage to thelast stage of preparation. Moreover, the restaurant manager has toensure that strict levels of hygiene are followed in the preparationof food. In case the restaurant manager fails to ensure that hygieneis followed in the preparation of food, he may become liable foranything happening to customers after consuming the food preparedunder his leadership. In such a case, the restaurant manager can beblamed for not providing adequate supervision of proper hygiene inthe preparation of food. For instance, the restaurant manager shouldensure that individuals involved in food preparation are clean andmedically fit.
Therestaurant manager also has a responsibility of ensuring that law isfollowed during the hiring process. According to the Equal Employmentopportunity Commission (EEOC), hiring should not be in line withrace, age, sex, religious belief or nation of origin (Hayes andJack84). During the hiring process, the restaurant manager should ensurethat he hires employees based on qualification and skills that onehas in performing a certain duty. For instance, in hiring anaccountant for the restaurant, a restaurant manager should considerthe qualifications and skills that the persons applying for theposition have, rather than discriminating them on the ground of age,nation of origin, race, or sex (Sherryand Sherry46). In case a restaurant manager fails to offer job to a personemanating from a show of discrimination, then the restaurant managercan be held liable for showing discrimination in hiring.
Besides,during the hiring process, the restaurant manager should not deny adisabled persons an opportunity to work in the restaurant in case thedisabled person has the required qualifications and skills to work inthe position that is required to be filled. The EEOC and People withDisabilities Act are against the discrimination of the disabledindividuals (Hayes andJack92). In case the restaurant does not offer a job opportunity to adisabled individual that has the necessary skills and meets the jobrequirements, then the restaurant manager can be held liable fordiscrimination of the disabled.
Furthermore,the restaurant manager should provide equal working opportunities toall employees during the working process without showingdiscrimination. Different opportunities emerge in the restaurant,where employees of the restaurant should be given equal opportunitiesto work without depicting any form of discrimination (Hayes andJack96). For example, overtime schedules can emerge in the restaurant asa result of increased guests to the restaurant, which can call forthe restaurant manager to organize the overtime schedules. Theovertime schedules should be organized without discrimination, whereall employees should be organized according to the availableschedules. In case the restaurant manager does not give equal workingopportunities to the various employees based on racism, or any otherkind of discrimination, the restaurant manager can be held liable forpracticing discrimination.
Anotherarea that the restaurant manager has a legal duty includes thereservation of the guests. Whenever a guest comes to the restaurantand requests for reservation, the restaurant manager on behalf ofthe owner of the restaurant, enters into a contract with the guestindicating that he will have the responsibility of providing theguest with the best reservation with no problems occurring (Sherryand Sherry28). Therefore, in case any reservation problem occurs, therestaurant manager will be deemed not to be in a position to providethe reservation as per the contract with the guest, which will beconsidered a breach of reservation contract. In case there is anissue that will incapacitate the restaurant from providing thereservation as agreed between the restaurant and the guest, then therestaurant manager has to communicate early enough to the guest inorder to avoid a breach of reservation contract. However, in case therestaurant manager fails to inform the guest of any situation thatmay arise in the provision of the reservation, the restaurant managercan be held liable for breaching the reservation contract.
Whoeverbecomes employed in the restaurant should be a concern for therestaurant manager because legal steps can be taken for a restaurantmanager considering minors for a position in the restaurant. Offeringminors job opportunities is illegal according to the labor laws (InO`Fallonand InRutherford28). This implies that through the restaurant manager offering jobopportunities to minors, he can be held liable for going against thelabor laws prohibiting the employment of minors.
Onthe other hand, the restaurant manager has a responsibility ofensuring that there is a proper risk management initiative (Sherryand Sherry42). Risk management has a paramount concern for any restaurant dueto the issues that arise in the area of hospitality law. Some of theusual concerns involving risk management include slip and fallscenarios or crimes against guests. Restaurant managers should be inthe forefront of ensuring that employees become trained on the issueof risk management. Besides, a restaurant manager should ensure thathe provides proper guidelines and procedures that address riskmanagement. A restaurant manager should come up with policies thatwork towards guiding employees on how to mitigate risks in therestaurant.
Employeesafety is a significant concern that a restaurant manager shouldconsider in discharging his responsibility. When an employee becomeshired, he enters into a work agreement, where the employer has theresponsibility of ensuring that the employee is safe while executinghis responsibilities in the workplace (InO`Fallonand InRutherford34). An employee can sue a restaurant manager for breaching animplied term of her/his contract of employment. Such a principlebecame applied in the case of Waltons and Morse V. Dorrington (1997)in the case, a woman resigned from job since her employer did notprovide her with a smoke-free working area. Under common law, anemployer has a duty of taking reasonable care in order to ensure thehealth and safety of employees. Since the restaurant manager acts onbehalf of the restaurant owner, he has the responsibility of assumingreasonable care to employees working in the restaurant (InO`Fallonand InRutherford54). For example, in a working environment, where employees have tooperate cooking machines such as gas cookers, the restaurant managerhas to ensure the safety of employees by ensuring that the machinesare regularly checked so as to take care of any danger that themachines may pose to employees.
Employeesshould also be provided with an appropriate working environment thatis free from discrimination. An appropriate working condition shouldbe offered to the employees by the restaurant manager, which mayinclude providing employees with the right tools that can help themin performing their work well and offering a friendly environmentwhere one is not harassed because of his/her gender (Barthand Hayes 22). Harassment in the workplace is a reality andrestaurant managers should be in the forefront of eliminating themenace (Sherryand Sherry53). For example, in order to eliminate harassment issues in therestaurant amid employees, the restaurant manager can formulatepolicies and guidelines that guide employees on the issue. In case arestaurant manager does not protect the employees against harassmentwith a clear knowledge that it exists in the workplace, then he canbe held liable for not taking the initiative to protect employeesfrom harassment.
Inaddition, the restaurant manager has a responsibility of ensuringthat consumers are not extorted or discriminated against by payingmore money than the required amount after receiving a service fromthe restaurant (Barthand Hayes 67). In case the restaurant manager does not protect theconsumer from being overcharged, he is considered to collude inovercharging the customers and may be held liable for such a scenariooccurring in the restaurant he manages. In order to prevent thecustomer from being overcharged, it is required that the restaurantmanager should provide price list to customers prior to the customersmaking a request concerning what they will eat or drink. Everythingthat is offered to customers should be priced and the prices that areindicated on the price list should be final, which implies that anyextra charges such as VAT must be included in the prices listed onthe price list (Barthand Hayes 82). The price lists can be provided on every table ordisplayed in a place, where it is clearly visible to customers. Thiswill provide customers with the actual price that they should pay onthe drinks or food that they will order to their tables therefore,price discrimination would be avoided, where customers could becharged more than what they are supposed to pay for a particularserving.
Thehospitality industry has laws that should be applied in differentinstances. In a restaurant, the restaurant manager is responsible forvarious activities since he acts on behalf of the restaurant owner.As such, there are different legal aspects that are associated withthe restaurant manager, which he must consider when delivering hisduty as a restaurant manager. One of the legal aspects entailsshowing guests a duty of care and their properties. The duty of caretowards the guests does not insure the safety of guests, but requiresthe restaurant manager to act in a prudent manner and use reasonablecare. This implies that the restaurant manager can be held liable incase he/she acts in a manner that shows negligence. The restaurantmanager has a responsibility of ensuring that there is a proper riskmanagement plan, which also constitutes a legal aspect. Besides, therestaurant manager should provide equal working opportunities to allemployees during the working process without showing discrimination.Discrimination should also not be shown to employees during theprocess of task allocation.
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Hayes,David K, and Jack D. Ninemeier. HumanResources Management in the Hospitality Industry.Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Print.
O`Fallon,Michael J, and Denney G. Rutherford. HotelManagement and Operations., 2011. Print.
Sherry,John E. H, and John H. Sherry. TheLaws of Innkeepers: For Hotels, Motels, Restaurants, and Clubs.Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993. Print.