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Why Background Checks Are Important For Your QSR

Are you a restaurant owner or manager looking to hire the right people for your quick service restaurant (QSR)? It goes without saying that as a respected business owner in the food service industry, you want to find trustworthy and dependable staff members who will also provide customers with excellent service.

Ensuring a safe environment for both employees and customers is essential. Therefore, one of the most critical steps when staffing your QSR is to run background checks on job applicants and potential new hires. With careful pre-employment screening practices, you can ensure that those working at your fast food restaurant have an appropriate criminal history while building trust among workers and patrons alike. Read on to learn more about why food service industry background checks are vital for the profitability and success of your restaurant.

When Do Fast Food Restaurants Do Background Checks?

The most common time for restaurant owners to conduct employee background checks is after a job applicant is offered a position—but before their start date. This strategy allows the employer to confirm any information provided during the interview process and ensure that their new hire will be responsible and reliable. A standard background check should include:

Criminal history

A criminal background history check is imperative for food service industry background checks. Employers should consider learning about an applicant’s past convictions, or lack thereof, and verifying that the person does not have a history of violence or theft. When hiring for management positions, a restaurant manager background check is especially recommended.

By creating a drug-free workplace, employers can reduce absenteeism, workplace accidents, and the costs associated with drug-related employee issues. Consequently, more employers are instituting pre-employment drug testing as part of their standard hiring processes.

Credit check

Running a credit check on job applicants is another way for employers to gain insight into the person they are considering hiring. It may also indicate whether potential employees have a history of financial responsibility. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates how to obtain and use credit reports.

Social media review

With most job applicants having a presence on social media, it’s essential to take the time to search through their profiles and online activity. Doing so can provide insight into an applicant’s character, values, and sense of responsibility.

Drug testing

Conducting a drug test is another critical step in pre-employment screening, as it will help employers identify potential drug abuse problems early on. This is especially true for restaurants in states with legal recreational marijuana use, as many employers still require their employees to abstain from using the substance.

These are just a few of the components to include in any QSR background check process. By running these checks, restaurant owners can ensure they’re hiring trustworthy and responsible individuals who will help maintain an atmosphere of safety and security. They also offer some level of protection for the business itself.

Why Background Checks are Important in the Food Industry

The food industry is unique in its need for stringent background checks. As many restaurant owners and managers know, customers look to the hospitality of staff members as a major indicator of quality. Meanwhile, having an open conversation about criminal background checks with the candidates can give them an extra level of assurance before deciding whether to take the job. Some of the many benefits of food service industry background checks include:

  • Reduce theft
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Reduce liability for negligent hiring
  • Increased safety for staff and customers
  • Informed hiring decisions
  • Compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
  • Enhanced team morale
  • Promote customer trust
  • And so much more


Ultimately, pre-employment screening is a critical  component of the hiring process that restaurant owners should not overlook. Not only do these screenings protect staff and customers alike, but they also provide an extra layer of protection for restaurant owners. With the right background screening policies in place, restaurant owners can make informed hiring decisions that lead to a more profitable and successful business in the long run.

Restaurants That Do not Do Background Checks are Engaging in Negligent Hiring Practices

Do restaurants do background checks? Well, they should. The importance of the background screening process cannot be overstated.

QSRs who are not performing adequate background screening may be engaging in negligent hiring practices that could potentially result in legal and financial consequences. If an employee with a known criminal history is hired and harms someone, the restaurant could be liable for negligence.

Additionally, restaurant owners should consider that some states have laws dictating what kinds of background checks employers must conduct. Failure to comply could result in hefty fines or even a lawsuit. For more information on why background checks are important, contact KarmaCheck today.


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