Do you have unpaid interns in your restaurant? The New York Times just published an article outlining how difficult it is to legally utilize unpaid interns; the takeaway of the article is “If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” says Nancy J. Leppink, the acting director of the Labor Department’s wage and hour division.
The restaurant industry is often stereotyped for turning a blind eye to many labor laws (and often rightly so), but it's worth the time to be familiar with the six federal criteria
for unpaid internships. Check that link for full details, but some of the important rules require that the intern does not displace regular paid workers and that the employer “derives no immediate advantage” from the intern’s work. In other words, you're doing the intern a huge favor without getting anything in return other than a positive feeling.