Proper Dress Code for Restaurants
The mark of a professional waiter or waitress is the ability to always arrive to work on time and in uniform. When you work in a restaurant a certain standard of dress is required in order to satisfy all state and federal regulations and commonly accepted norms of decency. The proper dress code for restaurants will differ from restaurant to restaurant, but by following the guidelines in this article not only will your co-workers and management take you more seriously, your guests will too. So next time you think it’s ok to come to work disheveled and with bar stamps still on your hand from the night before, think again!
Whether you are a waiter or waitress, your hair should ALWAYS be neat, clean, and well groomed. If you have longer hair, make sure it is pulled back and off the shoulders for sanitary reasons. No loose strands should ever be allowed hanging around the face or neck. Absolutely no unnatural hair colors or extreme styles should be worn to a restaurant. Make sure that your hair looks natural and is not distracting. If you are a male and choose to have facial hair make sure that you keep yourself looking neat and well trimmed. No grizzly Adam’s beards, keep it classy.
There is rarely anything wrong with jewelry or piercings as long as you don’t come to work with studs and rings from head to toe. Remember the “rule of thumb” about jewelry and piercings is to try to keep them to a minimum. If you work in a fine dining establishment any and all rings or jewelry in the nose, eyebrow, tongue, or other visible skin surface should be removed during all shifts in your restaurant.
Hands & Nails:
Males and Females alike should always maintain well groomed hands and nails. Guys, this does not mean you need to get a manicure every week. At the same time, it is also expected that you don’t come to work looking like you just changed the oil on your car either. Females, remember when coming to work not to wear any type of scented lotion, not only does the smell distract from the food, but it also clings to glassware.
Most restaurants require the staff to come to work in an all black wardrobe. Your restaurant maybe different. Either way, all staff should arrive to the restaurant in uniform, prepared and ready for their shift. This means your shirt, slacks, and apron need to be pressed and cleaned. Never should a waiter or waitress allow undergarments to be showing. This means if your pants have belt loops, wear a belt. Pants should NEVER sag and be worn around the waist with the bottom barely touching the middle of your shoe. Similarly, woman need to make sure that shirts fit correctly and are appropriate and do not show excessive cleavage.
We’ve covered before the best shoes for waiters and waitresses to wear. WaiterPop genuinely recommends that all waiters and waitresses wear closed toe shoes that have non-slip soles. The non-slip soles will allow you to walk safely on wet and greasy floors and guarantee that your restaurant is a safe one. Professional waiters and waitress should never wear high heels, sandals, boots, or slingback shoes. Not only does it look tacky but it compromises the safety of your restaurant. Again, this is for you and the restaurants safety.
Again, the specific dress code for restaurants will differ depending on the establishment. Restaurant management should go over your specific dress codes during your training to make sure that you fall in line with your restaurant’s brand standard. The general rule of thumb about dress code for restaurants is… If you have a question about something it is better to ask first, rather than to show up out of uniform and be sent home. Your overall image reflects directly to the image of your restaurant. It can either enhance or detract for the overall concept and experience. Everything from your appearance: dress, posture, and expression broadcasts to your guests about how you feel. Take pride in yourself, your appearance, and your restaurant and others will do the same.
For more information on How to be a Waiter or Waitress check out all of our previous articles where we tackle some of the top questions from food service industry staff. If you would like to any of your questions answered check us out on Facebook and Twitter and we will get back to you with our answers.