Lesson 7, Topic 8
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Incompetant Employees

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It can be irritating for customers when an employee doesn’t know the answer to a basic question – whether it’s the ingredients in your restaurant’s signature dish or how much it costs to rent the banquet room for a special event. When customers ask staff members a question, they expect them to know the answer, or at least be willing and able to track down someone who does.

To help minimize the potential for these kinds of complaints, make sure employees who work directly with customers understand the products and services they’re selling (including ingredient lists, nutrition facts, allergens, pricing, etc.) and where to find help if they can’t answer a customer’s question (e.g., asking the chef, consulting company literature, etc.).

If the issue is more serious, such as a customer who becomes sickened by food eaten at your restaurant, a staff member may not be able to smooth things over, especially if the customer decides to sue. In cases like that, restaurant owners will want to turn to their product liability insurance, which can pay for legal expenses if customers sue over a product they claim caused them harm.


  1. Customers don’t like it when staff can’t answer questions

  2. Staff do not have to know the answer but they must be able to find the answer

  3. You must have liability insurance to cover your legal fees