Have Employees Sign An Agreement?

Business By cakesonoccasion Updated 29 Apr 2010 , 11:10pm by Mrs-A

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cakesonoccasion Posted 26 Apr 2010 , 11:57pm
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Do any of you have your employees (especially those that will be privvy to your recipes) sign an agreement that they will not turn around and use your recipes for their own money making purposes? I'm thinking of doing it, but have mixed emotiuons...Want to CYA (well, CMA) but also don't want to seem like a snob...
Thx in advance!

10 replies
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nwnest Posted 27 Apr 2010 , 12:24am
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I had to sign an agreement like this when I worked in a professional kitchen. I did not find it offensive. I figured the recipes were the creative property of the chef.

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RobzC8kz Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 10:31pm
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If you spent time developing recipes that have become very popular and are a signature of your bakery's, then by all means you have to protect that! You don't want to have one of your employees quit, then start competing against you with your own recipes!!

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KHalstead Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 10:42pm
post #4 of 11

definitely make a form, might not be a bad idea to have a lawyer go over it too and make sure everything that needs to be covered is, and also that anything you're including is legal to include. But definitely do it!!!

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JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 10:52pm
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I've had to sign one before. Now that I've moved to another state and started my own business, I'm in the process of tweaking some recipes (although none from that bakery). Funny thing though...My former boss loved some of MY recipes and used them, and she had to sign the same agreement. icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif One in particular was one of her best sellers, and now that I'm gone, she can't use it. So.....We're talking about allowing each other to share recipes, especially since we're not competitors.

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cakesonoccasion Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 12:36am
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huh- Johnnycakes- that's funny- sounds like it worked out well for you, though icon_smile.gif Thanks for the reply, y'all. I'm just tryin to make it all official icon_smile.gif

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icingimages Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 11:48am
post #7 of 11

Let me tell you a little story about a "friend" who worked for me. She was a great employee in fact at one point her husband wanted to purchase my business. So I considered it. We talked at great lengths as it would allow me to spend more time with my kids at their school. It got to the point that it just didnt feel right. I pray a lot and truly beleive that God does help you in just about everything one way or another. When I didnt sell (Glad I didnt, found I love my business way too much and my customers more!) He decided to become a competitor. She obviously is not an employee, our friendship is gone. Now, she has always called herself a Christian, she stole much of my material. I did struggle with this alot. Two reasons, 1st of all now I have a competitor and an advisorial one, not just a competitor which makes business fun, but do I now make my employees sign something now?
I dont have them sign. I dont want to assume that they are going to be that unethical. But, my business is different. Did it happen once? Yes, but again, the most they can do is be try to compete. And not to toot my own horn and I cant please everyone, but I beleive in my business. Still but I do recommend it for other people when recipees are concerned. But, in my business, no matter what you steal, you cannot steal my reputation, what my company gives my customers and that is the knowledge expertise and service that we offer. I dont mean to brag, but my business was built on service and the best products available. Will they make money maybe, but God takes care of those who practice thier business unethically, like they did, but they wont make it long term. Most of my vendors who are the best in the business refuse to do business with them. If they do, then I wont business with them. The one business was greedy and unethical enough to sell to them after 10 years of my business, lost my business. The funny thing is that company has a poor ethical relationship where no one wants to work with them anywhere. My vendors were so taken back by their business practices that they refuse to help them anyway. I believe God takes care of everything one way or another, now or later. But dont be foolish, recipees like pens are easy to take and we all are afterall human!

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mamawrobin Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 12:02pm
post #8 of 11

I've had to sign one before and it certainly didn't offend me. Truth is, ya just can't trust people. Like the lady posted (icingimages) we're all human.

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justducky Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:23pm
post #9 of 11

Yes they sign an agreement on recipes. They also sign a 3 year/ 10 mile non-compete. (I had it as 25 mile until the attorney informed it that was not legal.)

I have had two people leave that wanted to start their own business. They were always honest and upfront with me. I signed off the non-compete. Now I have two more people who I trust to send work to when I am overbooked!

You can treat your business as a business and still be kind and fair to people.

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PinkZiab Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 2:13pm
post #10 of 11

You can have them sign, but in the end, if they can re-create your recipe on their own (without having actually stolen anything, such as documentation containing the recipes, from your place of business), then you would really have no recourse. They can "tweak" or change certain non-essential measurements (1/4 teaspoon more or less of an extract, or a few grams more or less of sugar or butter, that might not affect the final outcome) and it's no longer "your recipe" Not saying it's still not a good idea to have them sign, but there is a reason big companies with "secret" recipes usually keep those recipes a secret even among employees, with only a select few knowing the contents.

A non-compete is the more effective part of a contract, because then, even if they go into business, you can guarantee they can't do it right next door.

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Mrs-A Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 11:10pm
post #11 of 11

my job isnt in the baking industry but we all have confidentiality agreements that also include intellectual property plus for a set period after employment termination i cant work in a similar industry or cant work within a set number of kilometers in the same industry - a good idea if you are worried about a employee opening up a business 1mile down the road from you

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