Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Find out more about Nathan Ares here.

Key takeaways  

  • The latest on Phoenix and Tucson 
  • It's not about competition, it's about supporting the community/team members and getting through this. 
    • Collaborate with other business to put together Grocery bags
  • Create TV dinners. The idea is not to be profitable, but to give an opportunity for cash flow for your employees. Slow the bleeding. 
  • Advice on how to talk to the landlord get an extension on paying your rent.
  • Advice on how to talk to your employees; don’t be negative
  • How to speak to your community
    • Nathan and his team are sharing recipes for the frozen vegetable they’re guests are buying at the grocery store. 
  • Don’ talk about it.

Resources mentioned in this Chronicle:

  • None
Direct download: 11COVID19_Nathan_Ares_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

Find out more about Juliette Gust here.

Key takeaways

  1. The similarities between 9/11 and COVID-19
  2. Give staff the opportunity to work out their reduced schedule themselves
  3. If an employee is more in need of work, give him/her privilege
  4. Become aware now of opportunities for fraud and theft
  5. Be sensitive to employee needs in this particularly stressful time
  6. Be present, be aware of what's happening with all your staff
  7. You may be busy trying to save your business but you are also a leader; you must lead

Resources mentioned in this Chronicle:

  • Find the Ethics Suite hotline here.
Direct download: 10Covid19_Juliet_Gust_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EDT

Aaron Colby is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Southwestern University of Law. 

Today he’s practicing law at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP where he represents employers in single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class action disputes involving allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wage and hour issues such as overtime, meal and rest breaks, and off-the-clock work.

 Aaron defends organizations on public accommodations claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and California Unruh Act, and claims of defamation, trademark, and other business-related matters.

Today we’re going to cover the "Top 20 Employee Legal Hotspots" restaurant owners and operators struggle with when it comes to compliance.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Be direct and know your audience."
In today's episode with Aaron Colby we will discuss:
  • The 20 Employee Legal Hotspots

    • Hiring Decisions and Process 
    • 1. Use of Staffing Agencies and Joint Employment
      • Gig economy
      • Hiring vs. contracting
      • Unfair vs. against the law
      • Document when an employee does something wrong so you can prove it later on
    • 2. Independent Contractor (1099) v. Employee (W-2) Classification
      • The difference between independent contractors and employees - defined by the law
    • 3. Form I-9 Compliance
      • You need to make sure someone is legally allowed to work in the United States
      • Be vigilant
      • Ask relevant questions - know what they are
      • Get the I-9 BEFORE they start working
    • 4. Hiring - Background Checks and Criminal History Inquiries
      • Highly regulated
    • 5. Employee Arbitration and Class Action Waiver Agreements
      • Why do you need it?
      • You can make it mandatory
      • Is it a red flag if an employee doesn't want to sign it?
    • Wage and Hour
    • 6.  Non-exempt (Hourly) v. Exempt (Salary) Employee Classifications
      • Everyone is qualified for hourly but not salary
      • Some salary workers still require over-time
    • 7. Local Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Regulations
      • City, county, state laws all apply - NOT only state
    • 8. Equal Pay
      • Everyone deserves the same pay for the same job
      • Some states don't allow employers to ask applicants past payment
    • 9. Timekeeping for Non-Exempt Employees
      • You MUST keep records for all work done
      • No insurance for time-keeping in business
      • Don't ignore it - address it
    • 10. Travel time
      • You MUST be paid for it
      • Delivery functions
    • 11. Meal and Rest Breaks
      • You MUST provide the opportunity to all employees
      • Police it vs. Provide it
      • Not just IF you took a break but also when and for how long and was there an interruption?
    • 12. Paystub and Payroll Practices
      • Federal is baseline - states individually break it down more specifically
      • Paystub requirements
    • 13. Commission Agreements and Bonus Plans
      • Overtime is much more complicated than "time and a half"
      • Anything outside of hourly is complicated and must be understood
    • 14. Expense Reimbursements
      • No federal laws - all state-by-state
      • Driving, getting, phones, insurance - if it's required for the job you must reimburse by state law
    • 15. Uniforms and Tools
      • If you require someone to wear something, you have to reimburse for it
    • 16. and 17. Tips and Service Charges
      • Voluntary
      • You must categorize them
      • Tips are state-by-state
      • Tips belong to the employee not the business
      • Service charge is demanded by the business
    • Harassment and Conduct
    • 18. Anti-Harassment Training and Policies
      • Major differences from every other work environment
      • Some states have harassment training requirements
    • Leave of Absence
    • 19. Leave of Absence
      • Different in restaurant industry than all other industries
      • You need to know what rights the employee has
      • Get a doctor's note
    • Termination Decisions
    • 20. Termination Decisions
      • All the categories where you're unable to fire someone
      • EVERYONE can be protected by discrimination laws
      • Separation agreements
      • Have policies in place before firing someone for a made-up policy

Today's sponsor:

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Contact info:

Aaron Colby @ Davis Wright Tremaine LLP website

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Huge thanks to Aaron Colby for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


Restaurant Unstoppable is a free podcast. One of the ways I'm able to make it free is by earning a commission when sharing certain products with you. I've made it a core value to only share tools, resources, and services my guest mentors have recommend, first. If you're finding value in my podcast, please use my links!
Direct download: 702_Aaron_Colby_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:55pm EDT