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Gifted Gourmet

Houston's instituting a dress-and-etiquette code

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the article

Houston's, a 27-year-old upper-end, casual dining chain... not the kind of place you'd want to visit – or be allowed to visit:

if you're a man wearing a tank top.

Or a man wearing a hat ... or even a small boy wearing a baseball cap.

Or, in some cases, anyone wearing cut-off shorts.

Or anyone talking on a cellphone.

For reasons company officials decline to explain, Houston's has instituted a dress-and-etiquette code at restaurants across the country ...Signs painted on the doors, or wording printed on menus, admonish male patrons on how to dress and all customers on how to handle their cellphones in the restaurant.

This ought to elicit all manner of opinions, both pro and con ... but probably very few indifferent ...

so, how do you feel about what Houston's has done with their new policy?

Will others follow suit (poor choice of word, of course!! :rolleyes: )?

Or will the dining public be so affronted by the temerity, the chutzpah, of this chain, that they will rebel and do the exact opposite, in effect saying, "wear whatever you wish but come to eat here!" ?? :wink:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Heh. I want to see them enact that dress code and stay in business in Florida.

Unless it's someplace you need a reservation for, people wearing hats, tank tops, and other tourist-wear is the norm. Alienate the tourists and you won't last long.

Diana

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I think I mentioned this on another thread, about the hat etiquette. I do approve of that step -- I hate seeing men wearing hats while they dine. It's a simple rule, no hats inside!

The guy who founded Houston's (in Nashville) sold the chain sometime early this year or late last year, according to a Houston's employee. They have also incorporated some policies unpopular with the waiters and bartenders, including a requirement that all employees wear freshly laundered and starched (with crisp fold in sleeve, etc) white shirts -- instead of black. They also got rid of the "guns" behind the bar, which I approve of.

It remains to be seen if the food will stay good.


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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I think I mentioned this on another thread, about the hat etiquette.  I do approve of that step -- I hate seeing men wearing hats while they dine.  It's a simple rule, no hats inside!

might this be the thread to which you refer? :rolleyes:

When you say, bleachboy, that " It remains to be seen if the food will stay good" are you inferring that the food supercedes the dress code issues?


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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It's their property, and they have the right to set whatever dress and conduct code they like, within the limits of the law (that is, they will have to let Sikhs wear turbans in their restaurants, for example).

As for the article, I'll apparently never read it, because DallasNews.com has a particularly annoying registration requirement. Is Houston's strictly a Texan chain?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Is Houston's strictly a Texan chain?

No, there are some here in Atlanta and, therefore, I presume, elsewhere as well.

Agree on the annoyance of registration to read Dallas Morning News site .. as the person who does the SE Forum Digests weekly, I have had to register at some 10-15 sites to have proper access ...

And I know it is their property and they can opt for any dress code they choose .. rather, I wanted some input on the wisdom of making "requirements" on potential customers ...


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Well, I would hope that they'd let Texans with 10-gallon hats into their restaurants, and let them check their hats.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Is Houston's strictly a Texan chain?

The first Houston's restaurant was opened in Nashville, Tennessee. The one on West End says "The Original" on the sign.

When you say, bleachboy, that " It remains to be seen if the food will stay good"  are you inferring that the food supercedes the dress code issues?

Yeah. I'll admit, I like Houston's a lot. Their bar is good, their burgers are good, their club sandwich (Saturday only?) is the best. The dress code issues don't bug me as much as the employee-relations issues. I don't dress like a slob to go to any restaurant, but I don't like going to restaurants with disgruntled employees. Admittedly, the employees at the Houston's I frequent don't seem too disgruntled, but they have told me their gripes, because I go there about once every other week for lunch and a G&T so most of 'em know me.

Long and short: As long as they don't change the food, the change-of-management doesn't bug me. I think they're doing this to say, "We Are Not A So-Called 'Casual Dining' Restaurant," which is just fine by me.


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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The guy who founded Houston's (in Nashville) sold the chain sometime early this year or late last year, according to a Houston's employee. They have also incorporated some policies unpopular with the waiters and bartenders, including a requirement that all employees wear freshly laundered and starched (with crisp fold in sleeve, etc) white shirts -- instead of black.

It remains to be seen if the food will stay good.

this is an homage to old-school Houston's.........we wore 'em in the early '90s. My folks are loyal patrons now for over a decade, and they claim the food quality has slipped somewhat. Perhaps the chain is making an erstwhile bid for respectability, but the bottom line is still COG, and Houston's is too high to get high-falutin' ideas about patron dress code. And the chain is pretty much nationwide, guaranteeing my mother can get her spinach dip and chicken salad fix in New Orleans, fahchrissakes.

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I would happily support any cellular-free zone: It's hard to be sociable and linger over dinner having philosophical/emotional conversations when I'm an unwilling third party in a loud conversation about someone's job plans. Or their shopping list. Or their weekend itinerary.............etc.


I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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dirt-bag-losers eat at Houston's, and it's just as well they have some sort of policy in place to keep their disgusting underarm and mullet hair falling onto the floor.

kidding. hair doesn't fall out of mullets very often. it can't get past the Esso cap.

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dirt-bag-losers eat at Houston's..

Gee, thanks.

It's time to quit drinking and go to sleep, Tommy.


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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I would happily support any cellular-free zone: It's hard to be sociable and linger over dinner having philosophical/emotional conversations when I'm an unwilling third party in a loud conversation about someone's job plans. Or their shopping list. Or their weekend itinerary.............etc.

cell phones are now ubiquitous and people who are bothered by them need to get on board the 21st century. the real problem is that people with ordinary voices feel the need to scream at the top of their lungs. if people would talk on cell phones at ordinary volume, it would be the same as having a normal conversation and few of us would be bothered. also, people don't need to be slaves to their cell phone; many people i know would be stunned to find out that if i'm in the middle of something and my phone rings, i make a split-second decision about which is more imporant, the phone call or what i'm doing. it it's the latter, i let voicemail pick up.

as an aside, i've never been able to understand why the attire of others offends people, unless maybe it's at a funeral or place of worship where you're paying homage to a higher power such as the dead or god. what you're wearing makes absolutely no difference to me unless you somehow smell or are rubbing up against me.

that said, houston's is a place of business and it has the right to set the rules.

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as an aside, i've never been able to understand why the attire of others offends people

word

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I live in Sonoma Ca and all that matters as a dress code around here is your money green and are you willing to spend it. Here you never know who you are talking to unless you recognize them. Money does not equal a dress code in Sonoma. Everyone is treated equally and fairly, But turn off the cell phone, your not that important. :biggrin:


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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There used to be a bunch in the DC area but I can only think of one that is still open.

I love the no cell phone rule. With rare exception (waiting for an organ transplant, ability to have the babysitter contact you incase of emergency) there is no reason for you to pull out the phone during dinner. I still think it is rude to have a phone conversation in the middle of the meal, 21st century or not.

It sounds like the chain is trying to become more upscale. They will have to change more than the dress code before that happens.


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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as an aside, i've never been able to understand why the attire of others offends people

word

I'll second that. Don't get the jackets required policy either.


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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as an aside, i've never been able to understand why the attire of others offends people

word

I'll second that. Don't get the jackets required policy either.

Is there no difference between a "Jackets Required" policy and a "No Tanktops" policy in your mind? You should, in other words be allowed to wear what you wish wherever you choose to give your patronage (provided, I guess, that you aren't exposing what we'll call "private parts")?

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I still think it is rude to have a phone conversation in the middle of the meal, 21st century or not.

We agree there. I really dislike cell phones, 21st century be damned! :laugh:


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I guess I'm the lone voice here but I think no tank tops is a fine idea. I don't want to see overgrown pit hair coming out of what used to be regarded as undewear while I'm eating a salad with sprouts. I also think baseball hats and visors are kind of odd at night or indoors. Isn't the point to protect your eyes?

If I'm going to a restaurant, I'd like it to be a nice experience visually as well. There's no shame in making an effort. Letting it all hang out is about as appealing as it sounds.

No Houstons in Napa but I wonder if the Rutherford Grill has this policy. Funny, but as casual as California is supposed to be, I don't see this as a big issue here. I don't recall seeing men in tank tops outside of beach shacks.


Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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As an old school person, I've no trouble with no hats. Gentlemen and courteous folks remove their hats to eat. Cellphones are a bane in public situations. Tank tops are for on the boat. Unless you are eating dockside, cover up for cryin' out loud...okay? Am I just imagining that people have the good sense to act civilized?Or are they just up in arms(hairy ones) about someone presuming to encourage them to be respectful?

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Tank tops are always rude out side and inside the gym. :laugh:


Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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There's a Houston's here in NY. I can't see anyone obeying a no cell phones rule and still getting a weekday lunch crowd.

Couldn't care less about baseball caps and tank tops. It's a slippery slope, though. Why rule out tank tops for men when women are allowed to wear bare shoulders and bare toes everywhere and it's considered fashionable? I don't think baseball caps are such a travesty, either.

But I agree with leo that Houston's has the right to set rules for proper attire, or to turn people away if they don't comply. If you don't like it, head for the nearest McDonald's.

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Houston's web site

I found nothing about dress codes at the Houston's web site. Actually, I found very little information at all. But it seems their corporate hq is Arizona.

I appreciate no cell phones when dining, I guess this is a hangover from my childhood, when the television was turned off during the meal so we could talk about the days events with no interruptions.

As to hats, I do not understand how so many males have had such bad upbringing. My brother and I were both trained to remove any and all headgear when entering a room. It was the gentlemanly thing to do (and still is for me). If someone wants to keep that nasty dirty baseball hat on, it is their choice. But a good southern upbringing taught otherwise. Maybe they should have two hats, one for everyday and another for stepping out.

About the tank tops, okay for the dive bar or that little fish shack down the way. And the women need to be cognizant of what they are wearing also. Some women really should not bare that midriff or squeeze into those daisy dukes. It just is not a pretty sight. Unless you have spent too much time at that dive or that fish shack down the way.

Somehow, i have trouble associating dress codes with food quality. What do dress codes have to do with food quality. I have been to some jackets required dining spots and the food was plain awful. We do not have a Houston's here in Tulsa. So I guess I will never find out. Oh well.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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re the dallas news website

I always use bugmenot.com to get around pesky privacy invading regstrations

-mjr


�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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