- Published: October 31, 2021
- Updated: October 31, 2021
- University / College: Auburn University
- Language: English
- Downloads: 11
Interviewee’s Name and Job Title: Andy Lau
Interview’s Company Name and Street Address: Mongolian Little Sheep Hotpot Restaurant. A-5901, Westheimer Road, Houston. Texas
Interviewee’s Phone Number/Email: (713) 975-0687
Interview Date: May 30, 2014
Report Submission Date:
Interviewee’s Consent Statement:
On May 30, 2014, the Interviewee, Mr. Andy Lau, the restaurant manager of Little sheep Hot pot restaurant in Houston, gave a verbal consent to the interview and posting of this report. I, therefore, have his full approval to use this report as I deem fit.
After much consideration on the type of industry that I should expound on in regard to compliance and regulations, I eventually settled on the hospitality industry.The hospitality industry is made up of hotel businesses, any forms of accommodation, as well as catering establishments and restaurants. Under the hospitality industry, I specifically focused on Mongolian Little Sheep Hotpot restaurant for an interview on governmental compliance and regulations that pertain to this industry, precisely to Mongolian Little Sheep Restaurant.
Just like any other business entity or industry, the players in the hospitality industry have a duty to act lawfully through compliance with the law. Compliance is an imperative aspect of any business, regardless of the capital size, for both practical and legal reasons. Some of the most notable and the most basic governmental regulations and compliance issues specifically in Houston includes:
– Facilities Permit
The State law in Texas requires all hotels and restaurants to comply with the law that requires all the physical facilities approved by the authority prior to setting up a restaurant. The responsible authority for this regulatory requirement is the local authority. Through inspection of the physical entity is carried out.
– Sales Tax
All the business in Houston, including the restaurants, are required to collect the sales tax. This is facilitated by obtaining a sales tax permit that is given by the State controller’s office and or can be applied for online.
– Certified Food Manager
For any food establishment application, the restaurant is expected by the law to have a well-trained certified food manager. This compliance is aimed at ensuring that safe preparation and handling of food by the restaurants workers.
The Interviewee Profile
My interviewee was Andy Lau, the restaurant manager of Mongolian Little Sheep Hotpot restaurant in Houston. We had scheduled that this interview would take place 2days ago but unfortunately we had to reschedule it because Mr Lau had to urgently meet with some food suppliers so as to handle some certain urgent matters. After exchanging pleasantries, I immediately went ahead and asked Mr Lau tell me about his job description and any roles or activities on regulatory compliance that he oversees in his position as the restaurant manager. He answered me that he has already been working at this particular restaurant for the past 6 years already. He further explained to me that the main role of a restaurant manager is to ensure that everything in the restaurant is operating as effectively and profitable as possible. Indeed, he told me that a person in a similar position is one of the most instrumental individual who ensures that all the regulatory and compliance need aspects are properly observed. I immediately asked him whether he is willing to be specific and tell me the percentage of time that he uses in his position to focus on regulatory and compliance issues. His answer came out as a very interesting response. Mr Lau said to me that, almost 100% of his time is to ensure that his restaurant’s staff comply with certain regulatory issues. I knew that this was simply said just as a way of showing me that the time that he uses for the said function is a lot.
Keeping current on Regulatory Changes
I proceeded to question Mr Lau about his opinion on whether laws on regulations have changed in the past 5 years. Lau answer was that, the laws and regulations in Texas have not changed so much, the part that has experienced considerable changes is in regard to health and food safety laws. The federal government and the state in general have really made a lot of efforts in trying to make food safer for all the customers in America. In addition, Mr Lau replied to me that a lot of changes in regard to how and when they should comply with sales tax issues has also changed considerably. Currently most of the compliance issues are being done online unlike 5 or 10 years ago. In a different context, Mr Lau informed me that he is a member of a professional body that is referred to as the American Hotel and Lodging Association. It is from this professional body that most regulatory changes that are made by the government are communicated.
Existence of a Compliance and Ethics Program
Arguably, policies and procedures are on their own, inadequate when it comes to ensure compliance. To be most effective, training on policies and procedures must be incorporated as part of the greater culture that is aimed at instilling compliance as a core value in any business operation. It, therefore, became imperative to ask the Mr Lau if there is any compliance or ethical program that the Little sheep restaurant have so as to ensure effectiveness of compliance. He told me that, since Mongolian Little Sheep Hot pot is an international company with over 300 chain restaurants spread across China, Taiwan and the United States, the headquarters of this company regularly sends a compliance officer who is well trained in ensuring that the business entity complies with all the outside and inside regulatory policies and requirements. I found the logic of using a single compliance officer to cater for other business outlets under the same company as a very reasonable and economic approach.
Interviewees Opinion on GRC
In my interview, I asked Lau to explain to me what the term GRC means to him. He answered me almost immediately that to him it simply means good governance in business approach while at the same time making sure that the business adheres to all the business requirements put forth by the relevant regulatory authorities. I felt that his answer was very satisfactory. I later asked him whether he view himself as a compliance specialist despite the fact that his job title is different than that. His response was that he also considers himself as a compliance officer since most of his job entails ensuring that all the laid down rules or policies are being observed and respected. He is the person who ensures that the internal and external laws of the Houston Mongolian little sheep restaurant are being adhered to by the restaurants staff.
My Opinion on GRC
In my opinion, the aspect of fostering a culture of regulatory compliance starts at the top. It is the senior management who creates the tone and also takes it to themselves that compliance is a core part of their leadership role. With regard to GRC, I also believe that it forms the backbone of a good, compliant and legal business that has the interest of their clients at heart. A fully integrated GRC model is supposed to be a key approach to suitable governance and strategic planning.