Multilingual Business Communication

April 9, 2009

How to fire someone properly?

Filed under: Elisa Van Peteghem, employee communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 5:12 pm

Those who saw the popular Belgian television programme ‘Mijn restaurant’ last week have witnessed how one of the five participants, chef Claudio Dell’Anno, fired his waiter Benjamin. The angry chef scolded at the waiter and went through his backpack, thereby insinuating that the waiter was a thief. From that moment onwards, people started expressing their discontent on various websites. Moreover, articles on the chef’s impious behaviour towards his personnel have been published in several newspapers.

The incident at ‘Mijn restaurant’ made me wonder: Is there a right way to fire someone?, an American business website, has created a guideline with useful tips:

  1. Check your past feedback,
  2. Give them a warning,
  3. Focus on specific behavior goals,
  4. Fire early in the week and never on a Friday,
  5. Make it short, sweet and to the point,
  6. Do not let the employee linger,
  7. Ask for a release, and give the employee an incentive to sign it,
  8. Reassign the terminated employee’s job duties promptly,
  9. Do not fight the employee’s claim for unemployment benefits,
  10. Get the job done.

To sum up: be well-prepared!



  1. This incident was covered by many national broadcasters. The VRT radio and television stations dealt with it profoundly. See more on

    On that page, there’s also a link to an interview with a trade union representative. The way the young chef fired his employee is for him totally unacceptable. Asking the waiter to show his backpack before leaving, made it even worse.

    Unizo, the organisation for entrepreneurs in Flanders, also reacted later on. The organisation thinks the fuss around this incident is exaggerated. People should have sympathy and understanding for the position of chef Claudio. He’s a young entrepreneur with little experience. According to Unizo, the cameras filming the incident, possibly triggered his anger.

    The producer of the program ‘Mijn Restaurant’ didn’t give much reaction to the incident. According to VTM, the candidates are supported more than enough with practical and legal advice on dealing with employees.

    Comment by Laura Moerman — April 10, 2009 @ 10:19 am

  2. What strikes me most is that VTM told the VRT that the candidates are supported with practical advise on dealing with employees. Today, in De Standaard, chef Claudio says that he fired the employee in a proper, acceptable way while the cameras were off. He also said the whole incident was ‘just television’, acted out on demand of the directing crew. Is this what VTM calls “practical advise”?

    De Standaard, 10 april 2009 p. 6.

    Ruth Broekaert

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 10, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

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