Running a Restaurant: Uniform Policies

Let’s be frank here:  When we go out to a restaurant, or most any business, we want to be treated to a visual cornucopia of good images. In short: we want things to look good. This goes for those that work there as well, so a uniform policy is incredibly important to a business. It makes it clear who works there, it maintains that everyone on the staff is in sync with each other, and it’s part of the first impression of the restaurant. If you’re running a restaurant, it’s important to have a policy in place. Some quick tips to that regard:

-The staff that is seen in the front of house (wait staff, bussers, bartenders, hosts and hostesses) should have uniforms that fit the restaurant’s concept. As an example (sorry, ladies), but Hooter’s is a good example as you know exactly what the concept is and the women are dressed as such.

-The uniforms should also be practical. Remember, FOH employees have to carry trays of food, clean tables, and run all over the place, so the uniform should allow those things to be done easily. Those in the back of the house (BOH) will be cooking in a hot kitchen, so their uniforms should be able to breathe. Also, there’s a good chance that everyone’s uniforms will find themselves being stained. A lot. Some restaurants offer laundry service for their employees, and while that’s not a requirement, you should have some policy in place for that as well.

Along with uniforms, grooming is obviously key in maintaining the proper appearance. Things to consider as part of your policy include: having hair longer than their shoulders (different for women; have them wear it up), clean fingernails, no noticeable body odor, not smelling like smoke, and not wearing a lot of cologne or perfume.

These are some basic guidelines, and more can be added as you see fit.

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