Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms

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emhahn
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2006/02/16 09:54:41 (permalink)

Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms

Ok.... this is a little pet-peeve I have with waitstaff uniforms.

Being a restaurant pro that I am, I have to be real honest about our waitstaff's uniforms.

Don't customers notice when a waiter or waitress comes to work in a uniform that is either dirty, smelly or wrinkled?

I know this doesn't affect the food, but doesn't this speak volumes about the organization of the person wearing this uniform?

.........just fielding my thoughts to intelligent observers......

Eric
http://www.restaurantedge.com
#1

17 Replies Related Threads

    efuery
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/16 10:03:04 (permalink)
    I am very turned off by dirty uniforms on waitstaff. I figure if the waitstaff look that bad what does the kitchen look like? Also dirty menus.
    #2
    emhahn
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/16 10:13:59 (permalink)
    I totally agree eFuery.... Dirty menu's are another signal that there may be more to know about the waitstaff!

    Eric
    #3
    berndog
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/16 10:35:04 (permalink)
    I agree. If the menu's and waitstaff are dirty and poorly presented, I worry about the cleanliness of the kitchen staff and food prep areas. I prefer not to visit the rest room in a place like this, but if I absolutely have to and that is also filthy, you can guarantee I won't return no matter how good the food is.

    There are too many other places serving great food where cleanliness is as important to them as the food. This post reminds me of an old joke from my teen years. I don't remember the actual body of the joke, but it had to do with some extinct bird flying around. The punch line was ":If the foo ****s, wear it."
    #4
    renfrew
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/16 11:37:56 (permalink)
    A couple of restaurants I know of require servers to keep a second, clean uniform at the restuarant in case of spillage throughout the course of the day. Food spills, its part of the job.

    Besides the uniforms, menus, and restrooms, a dirty bar really gets me going. I have tended bar before and always kept it sparkling, even during a rush. I go into too many bars these days and see a lack of pride on the part of the bartenders. Glasses, bar knives, etc littered everywhere. Bottles taken out and not put back, etc.
    #5
    Poopy
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/16 11:48:27 (permalink)

    This might be a little off topic, but on 2 separate occasions I have seen servers at a bar/restaurant that I frequent take their trays into the stall in the lady's room. I think that's right up there with dirty uniforms.
    #6
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/16 13:20:57 (permalink)
    As PDX says, some spillage/stains are to be expected but you can tell if its recent or just a lack of hygeine. Whats acceptable at a BBQ shack is and should be different from whats expected at an upscale eatery.
    #7
    emhahn
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/16 13:39:54 (permalink)
    Here's another one that irks me.....

    Once I had a guy on a carving station while I was the Exec Chef at a country club. He was carving the Prime Rib.... On Easter Sunday, so it was a long day.

    He never even thought of changing his apron or shirt! Guess what he looked like half-way through the day? He looked as if he had just walked out of a chainsaw massacre! Once I noticed it, I made him change his uniform. But that was pretty embarrassing....

    Eric
    #8
    V960
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/17 10:15:33 (permalink)
    A passage from In Search of Excellance is the best comment I've ever seen about the details.

    "Coffee stains on your fold down tray means your engine maintence is poor"

    #9
    dinerminer
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/17 19:36:20 (permalink)
    If one of our servers shows up with a dirty uniform we require them to buy another on the spot or go home.
    #10
    Adjudicator
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/17 20:54:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dinerminer

    If one of our servers shows up with a dirty uniform we require them to buy another on the spot or go home.


    To buy another? On the spot??? That is a bit unbelievable. Perhaps you need to define your conception of "dirty" in regards to your location of Manhattan, KS. Regardless, your servers MUST make exceptionally high wages, etc.

    #11
    EddyBees Dogs
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/18 02:50:50 (permalink)
    Yes, uniforms are an important and all that. They should be clean and pressed, or at least wrinkle-free and fit right. I have worked as a server and it feels better to work in clean clothes too. Now here is someting to think about. Several upper-priced (upper, NOT high end, chains require their servers to have all their shirts dry-cleaned daily, with the laundry tag still attatched for inspection. Pants are the same way, and they pay for their aprons after the first one(and it has to be clean so two are really needed if you work one double shift a week). This is corporate policy. This seems just a bit excessive to me, there are so many serving jobs now that I can't see how some of these places get away with it. From a servers point of view it can get costly very quick, not to mention inconvenient.
    #12
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/18 06:05:11 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    I have worked at places where the servers have had to purchase their own "uniforms,", but chefs did not.
    At first, they felt a matter of pride at how they looked in their "uniforms," but later it was nothing
    but a chore to maintain.
    I have worked at other places where servers have their "uniforms" provided by their employers and the
    workers bitch that they are forced to wear something like everyone else. Later, they are glad they didn't
    have to deal with their clothing at work.
    Normally, if you have to provide your own clothing for work, you buy the less amount of clothing for a work week.
    If the company provides the uniform, it is usually at least a week's worth. If an accident happens,
    there is usually a uniform you can fall back on.
    If you buy your own, few people have spares to fall back on at work.
    Employers will hate this, but let them rent enough uniforms so that when accidents happen, the employees have
    back-up uniforms.
    By the way, how many employers have space for employees to store extra uniforms in case of accidents that spoil their
    clothing? And if employee has an accident and takes another employee's clean shirt or pants, how do you deal with that?
    May sound stupid, but it can be very frustrating for workers.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #13
    dinerminer
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/18 18:30:50 (permalink)
    Funny stuff guys. I'm not sure what our location has to do with anything, I think "dirty" is universal. Anyways, employees represent the company when at work and a clean and professional image is expected. It is managements responsibility to see that that clean uniform standards are complied with. In this case we are talking about shirts and aprons. And yes, our servers do make good money, $15 for a new shirt is nothing. It is also a proven fact that clean and professional looking servers make better tips.
    #14
    Adjudicator
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/18 20:07:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dinerminer

    Funny stuff guys. I'm not sure what our location has to do with anything, I think "dirty" is universal. Anyways, employees represent the company when at work and a clean and professional image is expected. It is managements responsibility to see that that clean uniform standards are complied with. In this case we are talking about shirts and aprons. And yes, our servers do make good money, $15 for a new shirt is nothing. It is also a proven fact that clean and professional looking servers make better tips.


    What you say is most true. I think you have missed most of what was said, though.
    #15
    -Tricky-
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/22 11:18:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Adjudicator

    quote:
    Originally posted by dinerminer

    If one of our servers shows up with a dirty uniform we require them to buy another on the spot or go home.


    To buy another? On the spot??? That is a bit unbelievable. Perhaps you need to define your conception of "dirty" in regards to your location of Manhattan, KS. Regardless, your servers MUST make exceptionally high wages, etc.




    This isn't at all unbelievable. It was expected of me when I served, in both a diner where the PPA was $7 and in a high-end restaurant where the PPA was $50. It's unprofessional to show up in a dirty uniform. We were given two options: 1) Buy a clean one and put it one or 2) Go home and be suspended for the next two shifts, also.

    I never showed up in an unlaundered uniform, I just wouldn't do it, but this policy isn't at all abnormal.
    #16
    ernieson
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/22 11:26:56 (permalink)
    As long as they have enough pieces of flair, I don't care who dirty their uniforms are...yeah.....right.
    #17
    emhahn
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    RE: Dirty / Unkept Waitstaff Uniforms 2006/02/23 09:00:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dinerminer

    Funny stuff guys. I'm not sure what our location has to do with anything, I think "dirty" is universal. Anyways, employees represent the company when at work and a clean and professional image is expected. It is managements responsibility to see that that clean uniform standards are complied with. In this case we are talking about shirts and aprons. And yes, our servers do make good money, $15 for a new shirt is nothing. It is also a proven fact that clean and professional looking servers make better tips.



    EXACTLY!

    Our servers do well too! And it's not unusual for them to have 4 or 5 shirts hanging in their closet to choose from!

    Eric
    www.RestaurantEdge.com
    #18
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