Data protection" daily offer

Insider knowledge from the gastronomy.

In the restaurant business, things can get stressful at a furious pace."

As soon as the season starts, the store is running at full speed. As an employee in the catering industry, you have to have good nerves, be particularly stress-resistant and always work with concentration. On a "normal" day in high season, more than 1,000 guests a day are normal in a medium-sized business. This means thinking and acting quickly. Since there is enormous competition in this industry, staff is becoming increasingly scarce and guests are noticeably more demanding, restaurateurs have to give one hundred percent every day in order to continuously defend their good reputation. Guests are treated like little kings, they get the seats they want and are presented with new dishes every day. In order to get the favorite table in time, they order in time. The staff takes the data of the guest. Most often, this includes the first and last name, phone number, number of guests and the occasion. In the case of larger reservations, more detailed arrangements are made accordingly. For the purpose of payment, of course, the guest's account details are also requested and stored, as well as the address for the invoice.

Order, but correctly

In many establishments, the data is entered into a digital reservation system. Nevertheless, even there, from time to time, there is a small order book, in a central place, near the counter. In the hustle and bustle, it has to go fast, and typing it into the system takes far too long. The beer to be tapped in one hand, the pen in the other, the phone on the left ear, and the right is sounded by the bell from the kitchen. The waiter quickly asks for the guest's details, at best writing them down in the order book in front of him. Once the conversation is over and the process completed, the waiter moves on to the next table. Not five minutes later, the next guest is standing at the counter and wants to order a table. This time, all that's needed is a piece of paper and a pen - there's no more time.

At the end of the day, in addition to the invoice, the table reservation is also entered in the book. But what if the slip of paper with the name, telephone number and billing data is suddenly lost in the hustle and bustle?

A question of system maintenance

Since these order books are usually entered into the system later, several people come into contact with the personal data due to shift changes.

In this case, staff should be made aware of the new data protection laws from the outset. Employee training and awareness-raising (also out of season) are a good idea in this case. The reference to secrecy and confidentiality should be read and signed by each individual.

Data that customers disclose during the ordering process should be recorded in such a way that it cannot disappear unnoticed. An order book can be used, but it should be kept in an area accessible only to employees. The counter, where impatient guests wait, is not a suitable place.

The guest trusts the restaurant and comes mostly on recommendation or own positive experience.

It is precisely these approaches that should be highly valued despite the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If personal data is lost, in the worst case it can cost the restaurant its good image, further satisfied guests or even an entire seasonal business.

Fines of up to 20 million euros

The loss of data is one of the serious data protection mishaps. This is because they must be reported to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours. Fines, the full attention of the authority and hefty penalties are the result.

That can be expensive. The General Data Protection Regulation provides for fines of up to 20 million euros or up to 4 percent of a company's global, previous annual turnover in the event of a breach. A violation of the Federal Data Protection Act can currently still result in a fine of up to 300,000 euros or even a prison sentence of up to two years.

And what many people don't know is that not only the company itself is affected, but also the person who caused the data breach.


"Do never anything by half, or you'll lose more than you can ever recover."

Luis Amstrong

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