The Ins and Outs of Foodservice Law

The Ins and Outs of Foodservice Law

We all love to go out to eat at a restaurant but for the owners of an establishment, there’s a lot of hard work and heart that goes into making an establishment a local favorite. For the best version of that restaurant, you need an instant draw, continuous flows of new and repeat business, and an especially amazing staff.

However, you also need to have a safety net in the event of any accidents or incidents in your restaurant to assure the safety and wellbeing of that loyal crew.

Acquiring a Lawyer


It is important for a restaurant, bakery, deli, or any food establishment to have legal counsel should any issues arise within their four walls. Malliha Wilson, a former Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the Canadian province of Ontario, specializes in corporate and labor law, along with other complex litigation. Ms. Wilson advises companies dealing in food service to make sure that their employees are advised to local, state, and federal statutes regarding food service law and their rights as employees and human beings.

Wilson, who currently serves as the Senior Partner at the Toronto law firm of Nava Wilson LLP, believes that employees no matter where they rank in a company should be treated by that employer as they would a family member. The important thing is for employees to be aware of their rights should an accident or any event occur where they feel there might be grounds for some form of legal intervention.

Food Service Law


Within the United States, there are not just federal regulations when it comes to food service, but also local and state laws that need to be adhered to by any food establishment. For example, the Department of Labor recently raised the federal “standard salary level” for those who qualify for overtime to $684 per week. More states and cities are also joining the push for a $15 an hour minimum wage with recent discussion on the federal level to make it happen throughout the U.S.

Foodservice law is also making strides with discrimination statutes. In places like California, there is legislation that bars employees from being fired on the basis of their hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists. In Illinois, restaurants, and bars are required to have written sexual harassment policies available with the consultant of labor law attorneys.

In addition, in today’s society, businesses more than ever are encouraging employees to also improve their quality of life with inspiring mottos like, “Become the best version of yourself.” Workers are encouraged to kick bad habits for their benefit, like poor diet or smoking, with some underlying work perk. Some have also managed to adjust a schedule for workers to give them enough notice on when their shifts are coming up to accommodate having someone switch in.

Health and Safety


A safe working environment puts employees in a better mindset to complete their tasks. It’s important that restaurant owners adhere to strict sanitation guidelines when it comes to not only the food but the products used to make the menu. From dishwashers to pots and pans being used on a daily basis, it’s important to find the best equipment for your business. Say you’re in Seattle, for example. A simple online search of “restaurant equipment Seattle” will help build your restaurant from the ground up with all the necessities that you will need.

While dinnerware can come at a low price, it doesn’t have to be at the cost of sanitation and safety. Hands and equipment must be washed before and during food preparation. Sinks for handwashing must also be easily accessible and the temperature and concentration of dishwashers, sanitizing rinses, and other cleaning supplies must meet standards.

The number and certification levels of employees must meet set standards. Employee health, hygiene, and dress code are also regulated. It’s all for the sake of safety, sanity, and at the end of the day, a successful business.

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