Sub Visual

Training Academy News

What To Do When Family, Friends (And Even Partners) Want To Eat For Free 

This article is from

The topic of free meals came up in our Discussion Forum this past week. The operator, who is in the process of opening a new restaurant, said his partner asked him about getting his meals for free. An interesting discussion thread ensued on free meal policies for friends, relatives and part owners. 

Many of those who responded are seasoned operators with years of experience dealing with this issue. As a result most said they have policies in place that prohibit or severely limit the amount of free meals to friends, family and partners. One provides a 50% discount to relatives when they (the owner) is in the restaurant, others say they sometimes comp meals but only on special occasions. 

One member in particular had some sage advice regarding free meals - 

Since you are in a partnership, I would think the solution would be obvious. No free meals. It is easy to explain to your friends. "I would like to buy your meal but my partner might not understand." 

I rarely buy meals. My parents were some of my initial investors. They paid full price. This made it very simple for the wait staff to explain to customers hinting for free stuff. "The owner even makes his parents pay, and they got him started!" 

If you don't have iron fast rules, they will start to get bent. 

Real friends don't want their food bought. Real friends know you are in business. When I first got started I asked a friend why he didn't come eat with me. "I was afraid you would try to buy my dinner and I know you probably can't afford to do that." 

I never have understood it any way. If a guy owned a clothing store, would you expect free shirts from him? A gas station, free gas? 

Every now and then I do comp something a customer has ordered, but that is more of (a way of saying thank you) and an investment in future loyalty. 

Another member reduced his policy to a short quip - 

1st time is on me,
2nd time I split the check with thee,
3rd time you fully pay the company! 

If your friends and relatives don't understand this concept, then it's time to change your friends and relatives. You must establish this with your partner immediately. 

Jim Laube & Joe Erickson 

List of Articles
No. Subject Author Date
78 2018 Kitchen Food Safety and Written Food Safety Plan Information file Monika Jul 20, 2018
2018 Kitchen Food Safety Audits and Written Food Safety Plans Flyer.pdf  
77 2018 Norovirus Information file Monika Jul 20, 2018
2018 Food Safety - Norovirus.pdf  
76 2018 Food Safety Manager Certification file Monika Jul 20, 2018
2018 Food Safety - Full and Re Cert Flyers.pdf  
75 2018 Food Handler Training file Monika Jul 20, 2018
2018 Food Safety - Food Handler.pdf  
74 2018 Food Allergen Training Information file Monika Jul 20, 2018
2018 Food Safety - Allergen.pdf  
73 Hospitality Industry Career Awareness Flyer file Monika Jun 27, 2018
RI Hospitality Education Foundation menu of services.pdf  
72 Trio to feature winning dish from RI Seafood Cook Off file Monika May 15, 2018
On May 1, 2018 five culinary teams from area high schools competed against each other in the RI Seafood Cook Off. Of the five teams, four were from RI ProStart High School Culinary and Management program. This year, the teams had to create ...  
71 Be Featured in our STREAM Campaign file Monika May 15, 2018
We are looking to feature restaurateurs, hoteliers, all-level employees in our STREAM campaign. Help us promote #STREAMinHospitality. Dale’s latest blog post discusses the importance of STREAM: The Hospitality Industry...  
» What To Do When Family, Friends (And Even Partners) Want To Eat For Free Monika May 08, 2018
What To Do When Family, Friends (And Even Partners) Want To Eat For Free This article is from The topic of free meals came up in our Discussion Forum this past week. The operator, who is in the process of opening a new r...  
69 RI Hospitality Training Academy Completes Cook Training Pilot Program file Monika Mar 26, 2018
On March 16, 2018 RIHEF’s Entry Level Cook Training Program gave 18 participants the valuable skills required to enter the foodservice sector of one of Rhode Island’s top five industries. After three weeks of classroom and hands on lessons t...  
68 ProStart High School Culinary and Management Competition file Monika Mar 20, 2018
On February 15, 2018, RI Hospitality Education Foundation hosted the 7th Annual RI ProStart Invitational at the Omni Providence. Nearly fifty students from seven local high schools showed off their foodservice and management technical skills...  
67 $1.3 million in scholarships from AHLEF Monika Mar 20, 2018
A message from the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation (AHLEF): This year, AHLEF is so excited to be offering more than $1.3 million in scholarship opportunities through its programs! AHLEF administers nine academic scholarship p...  
66 Hospitality Training Academy Testimonials file Monika Jan 29, 2018
Being a hospitality instructor has affected me in several ways. I am amazed at how this industry assists students in High School, helps prepare them for employment and lifelong learners, I get to see their growth to mature professionals, an...  
65 Customized Training file Monika Jan 29, 2018
Did you know that RI Hospitality Education Foundation’s industry experts can create a customized training for your team? If your establishment has a specific concern, our team can help you develop a personalized private training session. Fr...  
64 Job Shadow Day at the Hilton Providence Hotel Monika Jan 29, 2018
Hilton Providence Hotel hosted Hospitality and Tourism high school students on December 7th and 21st for a job shadow event. This annual event welcomes local high school students from Chariho Career and Technical Center and Woonsocket Career...  
63 Did you know RIHA offers private food safety audits? Monika Jan 29, 2018
RIHA is an expert resource to ensure that owners, operators or vendors are up to speed on: • Current food codes and regulations • Risk management • Food inspection violation reports • Food outbreak situations including Norovirus and food-bor...  
62 Cook Training Q & A with Matthew Diomandes, RIHA’s Manager of Food Safety and Career & Technical Education Monika Jan 29, 2018
We are proud to announce the launch of our second pilot Entry Level Cook Training Program at the Providence Career & Technical Academy. Cooks are currently one of our industry’s hardest positions to fill. We asked Matthew for some of the...  
61 Hiring? Check out file Monika Oct 30, 2017
We are excited to announce a new partnership between Workpop and the RI Hospitality Association:! Using Workpop’s technology, this hiring platform was developed specifically for restaurants and hotels. It automates and...  
60 28th Annual RIHA Golf Classic file Monika Oct 30, 2017
On October 2, 2017, RI Hospitality Association held its 28th Annual Golf Classic Fundraising event at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown. 144 golfers played in the tournament from all areas of the hospitality industry. This event w...  
59 National ProStart Invitational to come to Providence, RI file Monika Oct 30, 2017
The National ProStart Invitational will be hosted at the RI Convention Center April 27-29, 2018. Nearly 400 students will be competing for the national title and over $1 million in scholarships to colleges and universities across the country...