AVAILABLE FOR GROUP OR ORGANIZATIONAL OFFERINGS — This program is available as a customized training program for groups or organizations, click here for details.

Learn to manage restaurant human resources for success

Are you a restaurant owner or manager faced with the challenges of building, maintaining and retaining a great staff for your successful business?

Issues like workplace performance, staff turnover, effective hiring and training, safety and risk, payroll and reporting are all critical for business success, yet many restaurant managers have little training to help them address these unique HR challenges.

The  HR Competencies for Restaurant Managers is an online certificate program that addresses the industry’s need for professionals skilled in managing restaurants’ human resources and associated processes.

Taught by faculty from UD’s Hospitality Business Management department in the Lerner College of Business and Economics, in partnership with UD’s Division of Professional & Continuing Studies, the program draws from the expertise of both industry professionals and research faculty for a valuable mix of theory and practice.

Topics covered

The certificate program provides restaurant professionals with knowledge and skills to:

  • Address the increasingly complex human resource challenges facing restaurants today
  • Understand the relevant workplace laws affecting restaurants
  • Manage change and talent development in a restaurant
  • Change a restaurant’s culture to improve the customer and employee experience
  • Features updated course content relating to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the hospitality and restaurant industry

Who should enroll?

Restaurant owners and operators, aspiring managers, recently appointed managers and current managers in the food service field should enroll.

Course format

The certificate program is structured as four 5-hour modules taught over eight weeks. Each two-week module consists of 2.5 hours of online presentations, 1.5 hours of self-paced learning activities and 1 hour of interactive discussion.

Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a UD Lerner and Delaware Restaurant Association executive education certificate and earn 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Program Details

Course Outline

The certificate program is structured as four 5-hour modules taught over eight weeks. Each two-week module consists of 2.5 hours of online presentations, 1.5 hours of self-paced learning activities and 1 hour of interactive discussion.

  1. Workplace Laws Affecting Restaurants
    There are known workplace regulations which affect restaurants and there are potential, future workplace regulations which could affect restaurants. This module teaches participants about the workplace regulations that they need to know to not only ensure compliance but to limit the risk of non-compliance. It also teaches participants about how to stay current about potential regulations which could affect their restaurant through the use of professional associations (SHRM) and continuing education channels. Includes discussion of pandemic-related legal obligations affecting the hospitality and restaurant industry.
  2. Strategic Culture Change in the Restaurant Business
    Culture trumps strategy every time. The best laid change management strategy will fail unless managers understand their restaurant’s culture. This module teaches participants how to define, measure and go about changing the culture of their restaurant. Participants will be introduced to tools that organizational development professionals use to diagnose and understand organizational culture, including the Competing Values Framework.
  3. Managing Human Resources
    Restaurants feature food but run on people. Finding, cultivating and keeping the right mix of people with the right skills to deliver a unique customer experience is the true challenge of restaurant human resource managers. This module introduces participants to the best practices in the restaurant industry to attract, hire, fire and cultivate talent. Special attention is paid to contemporary challenges in restaurant workplaces – substance abuse and sexual harassment – and what HR managers can proactively do about them. Includes discussion of HR managers’ roles as it relates to coronavirus.
  4. Change Leadership and Talent Development
    This modules familiarizes participants with proven change management practices in restaurants. It is easier to change processes than changing people. Change management in a restaurant requires changing both simultaneously while still successfully serving food that pleases the customer. This seemingly daunting change management task is doable once participants learn and apply change management practices.

[back to top]

What Our Students Say

Restaurant owners, general managers, HR directors, talent managers, bookkeepers and accountants who took HR Competencies for Restaurant Managers tell us they’ve benefited from the course. Here’s what they’ve said:

  • “A real eye-opener.”
  • “Professors are super knowledgeable. Teaches you things you would’ve never thought of. Love the Zoom calls and one-on-one. Shows everyone has the same problems.
  • “Big confidence booster. This course is exceeding expectations and I definitely want to stay connected after the completion of the course.”
  • “Love learning new perspectives and solutions.”
  • “Fits nicely in my busy schedule.”

[back to top]

Learner Outcomes

The certificate program provides restaurant professionals with the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Address the increasingly complex human resources challenges facing restaurants today
  2. Understand the relevant workplace laws affecting restaurants
  3. Manage change in a restaurant
  4. Change a restaurant’s culture to improve the customer and employer experience

[back to top]

Earning the Certificate

Participants who successfully compete the course will receive a UD Lerner and Delaware Restaurant Association executive education certificate and earn 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

[back to top]

Program Faculty

Katherine Witherspoon Fry
Adjunct Professor, University of Delaware; and Principal Attorney, Employment and Education Law, Offit Kurman Attorneys At Law

Ms. Fry has 24 years of litigation and administrative law experience in every Delaware court, the U.S. Court for the District of Delaware, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. She has also represented clients in proceedings before the Delaware and U.S. Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Employee Relations Board, and other administrative bodies. She counsels executives and companies in employment matters of all types. Her employment practice focuses on discrimination; non-compete defense and enforcement; Department of Labor audits; employment termination; Fair Labor Standards Act issues; creation and review of employee handbooks and policies; employment and severance agreements; executive compensations; and harassment training. She teaches at the Lerner School of Business at the University of Delaware. She speaks frequently on employment topics and has been a repeat guest on WILM’s radio show, “Money and Politics in Delaware.”

Ms. Fry also practices education law, involving the laws and regulations that govern federal and state education, including the administration and operation of educational institutions, school athletics, instruction methods, programs, and materials. She advises clients on issues relating to school faculty, staff, and students, including school discipline and discrimination involving the Equal Educational Opportunities Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title IX of the Federal Education Amendment of 1972. She has represented a public school district as well as several charter and parochial schools. Her areas of focus are special education matters; contract disputes with private schools; student bullying; and school discipline for students from pre-school through college.

Ms. Fry is a court certified mediator qualified to mediate employment, commercial litigation, and education matters. She is also DSBA certified as an arbitrator of labor and employment disputes.

Dr. Ali Poorani
Associate Professor, University of Delaware; and Director of Hospitality Associates for Research & Training (HART)

Dr. Ali A. Poorani is an associate professor, with expertise in leadership and human behavior. He is the director of Hospitality Associates for Research and Training (HART) offering variety of research and training programs for the hospitality and healthcare industries. He developed the University of Delaware’s Patient Experience Academy, in conjunction with Christiana Care Health System and the VA Wilmington Medical Center.

Dr. Poorani has worked over 14 years in the hospitality field including a family-owned restaurant and catering company. He has received his Ph.D. in Leadership and Human Behavior from USIU in San Diego, and his MBA from University of Central Oklahoma. He has published several scholarly articles including: hospitality bridging healthcare.

Dr. Poorani is the author of HR Competencies for Working Managers, and has conducted many workshops, focus groups, and training programs nationally and internationally, bringing hospitality to healthcare with a vision to make hospitals truly hospitable.

Dr. Poorani serves on the Advisory Board of ARC NCR, that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; is a board member of Philadelphia & Vicinity Club Foundation, that provides scholarship for hospitality students and professionals; and, serves on the Advisory Board of Dineable, an app that helps everyone to “get food right.” He also serves as member in a number of professional organizations.

Rosanne Sawyer
CHRO and Executive Vice President, Human Resources, NAMSA

Rosanne Sawyer is CHRO and vice president of human resources at NAMSA, a global medical research organization specializing in the medical device industry. Rosanne spent over 15 years in the retail and hospitality segment serving in many capacities and roles, chain and independent, lastly the owner and operator of Easy Street Bar and Restaurant in Roanoke, Va.

Mrs. Sawyer has had a successful and progressive career holding several HR positions of increasing responsibility both global and domestic with Proctor and Gamble/The Iams Company, Limitedbrands, Dicks Sporting Goods and GE Information Services.

Mrs. Sawyer received a bachelor’s degree in social psychology and business administration from Nazareth College and an M.Ed. HRD from Xavier University.

Rosanne and her husband Randall reside in Holland, Ohio and will soon to be moving to Carlsbad, California where Rosanne will be CHRO of the Gemology Institute of America.

[back to top]

Live Chat

Help Desk Software