The Best Response Restaurants can have in the Face of an Employee Strike

As thousands of fast-food employees around the country organize strikes in demand of higher wages and the ability to unionize, it’s smart for restaurant operators to have a strategy in place for how to deal with potential employee strike demonstrations on their grounds and within their ranks. Ideally, restaurant operators should keep the following guidelines in mind.

Anticipate Restaurant Strike Activity and Ensure the Safety of Guests

Whether or not your own employees may take part in the demonstrations, you would be wise to anticipate the potential of strike activity so that you are prepared to respond appropriately. It’s important to remember that if two or more employees want to create an action, they have the legal right to do so as long as they don’t vandalize property. The worst you can do to them is fire them or cut their hours in retaliation — though this response tends to only worsen the situation.

Instead, it’s best to do what you can to ensure your employees’ satisfaction and focus instead on ensuring the safety of your guests should a demonstration arise on your business’s grounds. If the demonstration gets too big or rowdy, be prepared to close the establishment. Guest comfort and safety is paramount.

Avoid Confrontations when Dealing with Strike Activity

How you handle strike activity is critical. Running out to shout at the protestors to get off of your property is only going to land you a spotlight on YouTube. Instead, support your employees’ right to voice their opinions. Instead of combating them, focus on publicizing the investments you have made into employee benefit programs. Demonstrate that you hear and understand their concerns. Recognize that everyone has a right to believe what they will and that the best action you can take as a representative of your business is to maintain a neutral attitude towards the whole issue, especially in public.

Educate Your Restaurant Employees about Advancement Opportunities

It’s important to keep an open doorway of communication going on between management and employees. It’s also important to show your staff the opportunities for advancement that already exist. Let them know that they can take additional training, get certification, and strive for performance bonuses if they’d like to make a higher income.  Educate them about how your restaurant promotes its staff and the steps that an employee will need to take if they are to receive a promotion.

In short, aside from having a plan of action for ensuring the safety of your guests if strike activity occurs on your property, there isn’t much you can do about the action itself. Instead, it’s better to educate your employees about how they can make more money with your business. You need to listen to and really hear their concerns about their wages and you must possess the ability to tolerate any demonstrations that do occur with a benign eye.

Doing these things will ensure that your public image remains untarnished and that your relationship with your staff and employees remains as unobstructed and positive as possible. We can’t control what other people do, but we can control how we are going to respond!

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