Case study for restaurant communication barriers

Case study for restaurant communication barriers

David is a 27-year old who is a foodservice manager at a casual dining restaurant. David is responsible for supervising and managing all employees in the back of the house. Employees working in the back of the house range in age from 16 years old to 55 years old. In addition, the employees come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. For many, English is not their primary language.

David is Food Hygiene certified and tries his best to keep up with food safety issues in the kitchen but he admits it’s not easy. Employees receive “on the job training” about food safety basics (for example, appropriate hygiene and handwashing, time/temperature, and cleaning and sanitizing). But with high turnover of employees, training is often rushed and some new employees are put right into the job without training if it is a busy day.

Eventually, most employees get some kind of food safety training. The owners of the restaurant are supportive of David in his food safety efforts because they know if a food safety outbreak were ever linked to their restaurant; it would likely put them out of business.

Still, the owners note there are additional costs for training and making sure food is handled safely.

One day, David comes to work and is rather upset even before he steps into the restaurant. Things haven’t been going well at home and he was lucky to rummage through some of the dirty laundry and find a relatively clean outfit to wear for work. He admits he needs a haircut and a good hand scrubbing, especially after working on his car last evening.

When he walks into the kitchen, he notices several trays of uncooked meat sitting out in the kitchen area. It appears these have been sitting at room temperature for quite some time.

David is frustrated and doesn’t know what to do. He feels like he is beating his head against a brick wall when it comes to getting employees to practice food safety.
David has taken many efforts to get employees to be safe in how they handle food. He has huge signs posted all over the kitchen with these words:

KEEP HOT FOOD HOT AND COLD FOOD COLD and WASH YOUR HANDS ALWAYS AND OFTEN.

All employees are given a thermometer when they start so that they can temp food. Hand sinks, soap, and paper towels are available for employees so that they are encouraged to wash their hands frequently.

Questions:

  1. What are the communication challenges and barriers David faces?
  2. What solutions might David consider in addressing each of these challenges and barriers?
  3. What are some ways David might use effective communication as a motivator for employees to follow safe food handling practices?