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Moral Issues at Restaurant


It is known that business ethics plays an important role in the successful development of business. Every professional who wants to succeed in business should make his or her decisions according to the established rules and norms of business ethics. Today business ethics includes both written and unwritten codes of organization’s principles and values that are used to govern decisions and appropriate actions within an organization. In the modern business world, the organization’s culture is of great importance because it sets some standards to identify the difference between good decision and bad decision based on human behavior and morality. In other words, business ethics gives an opportunity to define what is right and what is wrong and choose the right decision. (Thompson)

In restaurant business, business ethics is one of the key issues because in the competitive market conditions, it is very important to provide services at high level. In order to protect the reputation of the restaurant chains as well as some small independent eateries, it is required to set high standards of conduct according to the established code of ethics. All executives, boards of directors and service staff including cooks and waiters should follow the code of professional ethics. While some code principles are based on certain laws and government regulations, others are based on some special principles that help restaurants to take the leading position in the competitive market. As a rule, these codes of ethics influence all business relationships including relationships with vendors and competitors, governmental officials and the mass media. (De George 52)

My goal in this paper is to discuss the major moral issues at restaurant including some problems which occur in modern restaurant business.


As many restaurateurs in the USA have an unspoken code of ethics which governs how to run restaurant business effectively, there are some major moral issues which should be always taken into consideration. Some restaurants have formal code of ethics, while others have general rules of conduct at the service level. They include the following ones:

First of all, food sanitation is one of the major moral issues in modern restaurant business. It is known that restaurants should sell only fresh food made by qualified cooks in kitchens. Moreover, they should adhere to a high standard of sanitation.

Secondly, high integrity standards of the restaurant staff also are of great importance. Both the restaurant owners and service staff should conduct themselves according to the established moral principles. They should always maintain a high level of integrity both at the personal and business levels in order to provide a professional level of service.

Thirdly, all restaurant owners should search new ways to improve the quality of restaurant service delivered to the customers, or clients. They should do everything possible to improve their employees’ skills using new techniques for providing personal service as well as food preparation that influences the quality of service and customers’ feedback. (Thompson)


It is known that any restaurant may face different moral problems, especially in the competitive market environment. Some of them include the following ones:

First of all, the violation of the established laws and regulations may become a great problem for restaurant owners. It is known that many modern restaurant chains as well as some individual restaurants operate franchises on the national and international basis. That is why all service personnel should comply with the established laws and regulations of every jurisdiction in which the restaurant operates. The violation of the moral rules in the competitive market may include such problems as unfair price fixing, the use of false advertisement, unfair competitive strategies and so on.

Secondly, there may be some problems based on conflict of interest. In other words, it is a conflict of interest problem that occurs when a person’s private interests interfere with the interests of the restaurant he or she works at. In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest in the workplace, it is necessary to adhere to the code of ethics that forbids the employees and the administration to have personal interests. Any conflict of interest may ruin the working process of the staff.

Thirdly, some health and safety problems may become moral problems in the restaurant business. It is known that restaurants should promote the health and safety of their employees. It means that the restaurant owners should know all the information concerning the health condition of their employees including managers, waiters, cooks and others. They should work free from any alcohol or drug abuse. Moreover, all restaurant personnel must adhere to the established practices that provide cleanliness and safe use of all work tools in the restaurant. They should report on any accident immediately.

Fourthly, some moral problems in the restaurant business are connected with harassment. It is clear that both the intentional and unintentional harassment of any restaurant employee should be stopped. Some moral problems are based on religion, gender, nationality and racial discrimination in the workplace. Of course, the restaurant administration should pay special attention to these issues. Any discriminative action should be forbidden according to the code of ethics. Such illegal activities as unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace or some requests for sexual favors, teasing and improper jokes of the staff should be forbidden. It is found that such moral problems prevent the employees to perform their duties in a proper way. (Geiger)


McDonald’s restaurant chains are known all over the world. One of the main causes of its popularity is concluded in the fact that all McDonald’s employees adhere to high standards of conduct and ethical norms. With franchises in many countries of the world and the world famous reputation, McDonald’s has developed and adheres to a uniform standard of conduct for all employees who should sign a copy of these expectations of their ethical conduct. Of course, the employee should understand all these norms and agree to implement them in the workplace. All employees of this restaurant chain should be trained to behave in a proper way. (De George 129)


In conclusion, it is necessary to say that moral issues play an important role in restaurant business. Moreover, it is impossible to take the leading position in the competitive market of restaurant business without the established principles of code of ethics and conduct which should be followed by all employees.


Works Cited

De George, R. Business Ethics. Prentice Hall. 1999.
Geiger, M. Ethics in the Restaurant Business. Hel’um. February 13, 2010. Available from:< http://www.helium.com/items/1741345-business-ethics-ethics-in-the-restaurant-business-ethics-in-the-hospitality-industry-restaurant>
Thompson, D. Code of Ethics in Restaurants. Ehow.com September 23, 2011. Available from:<http://www.ehow.com/list_6678067_code-ethics-restaurants.html>