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Dirty Waitstaff Uniforms


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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

RestaurantEdge.com

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I read this on another website, all great resolution to the problem:

1. Pre-meal lineup & inspection of uniforms...

2. Have an iron for wrinkles...

3. Have some extra uniforms available...

4. Write em up, warnings ... then penalty (fines)

5. If possible, send them home to dress properly...

6. They should, must, look professional ... essential item as well? Smiles! :biggrin:

and, from the standpoint of guests who notice the "problem"? Mention it quietly and/or don't return ... :hmmm:

In reality, the onus or burden, falls upon the restaurant management to make sure that their staff represents them properly.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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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?

RestaurantEdge.com

I must respectfully disagree with this not affecting the food. Maybe wrinkles don't harm the food but smell certainly does. A server who's aroma is strong enough to notice can be very off-putting and affect the perception of the aromas and taste of food. The fastest way for a server to lose big tip dollars is to be overly perfumed, have stale smelling clothes or carry the aroma of tobacco smoke.

But as a whole, I completely agree with your assertion that this speaks volumes of the server and organizations lack of pride and professionalism.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I must respectfully disagree with this not affecting the food.  Maybe wrinkles don't harm the food but smell certainly does.  A server who's aroma is strong enough to notice can be very off-putting and affect the perception of the aromas and taste of food.  The fastest way for a server to lose big tip dollars is to be overly perfumed, have stale smelling clothes or carry the aroma of tobacco smoke.

I agree. Waitstaff should never wear fragrances or have any detectable aroma.

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

Absolutely! We get to see that waiter or waitress repeatedly.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I consider this lack of self respect and very poor management.

A new hire should be informed that messy uniforms, perfumes or B.O. will not be tolerated.

I remember well the first time I had to call aside a line cook and explain that he needed to shower in the morning and use deodorant. If management can't do that, they shouldn't be managing.

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As a customer, I don't get to spend time in the kitchen or check the fridge and dishwasher temperatures. Even if the county health department inspects the place, I want to feel that the food I'm eating was prepared hygenically.

If the part of the establishment I can see is clean, I assume the kitchen is as well. The contrary implies the contrary. If the waitstaff appear dirty or unwashed, I presume that the kitchen staff and facilities are similarly unwashed.

If I'm not able to wash my hands with hot water, soap, and dry with clean towels in the restroom I presume that the staff hasn't either.

And no, I've never mentioned the level of cleanliness to management. I just never return.

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I went in clean and neat this morning and had a container of Bloody mary mix explode onto my left pant leg midway through lunch. It looked pretty skeevy by the end of the shift. The GM told me I looked filthy and I reminded her that if I'd come in looking that way I'd have been sent home. She nodded and agreed.

Thankfully, I have the weekend to do some laundry. :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I agree. Waitstaff should never wear fragrances or have any detectable aroma.

I"m wondering just how one can have both 'no fragrances' and 'no stinky sweat' at the same time? I believe the key is to make sure that your deoderant/fragrances are at a level as to allow masking the inevitable sweat, but not so strong as to insinuate you've been frequenting the local brothel.

Now if the customers could just be held to the same standard :smile:

No one can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it. - T. Bankhead
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I agree. Waitstaff should never wear fragrances or have any detectable aroma.

I"m wondering just how one can have both 'no fragrances' and 'no stinky sweat' at the same time?[...]

Try rubbing alcohol on your underarms after you shower. Seriously.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I agree. Waitstaff should never wear fragrances or have any detectable aroma.

I"m wondering just how one can have both 'no fragrances' and 'no stinky sweat' at the same time?[...]

Try rubbing alcohol on your underarms after you shower. Seriously.

Obviously, you've never shaved your armpits! :shock::biggrin:

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I agree. Waitstaff should never wear fragrances or have any detectable aroma.

I"m wondering just how one can have both 'no fragrances' and 'no stinky sweat' at the same time?[...]

Try rubbing alcohol on your underarms after you shower. Seriously.

Obviously, you've never shaved your armpits! :shock::biggrin:

Slightly kinder to those of us who shave our pits are those crystal deodorants one can get at natural foods stores, and even some mainstream stores now. It's just a big chunk of, I think, aluminum salts of some sort; you wet it and apply it, and no stink, no perfume--and usually, no sting--for most of a day.

So, yeah ... (hauling this back on topic) ... so the existence of products like this means that there's no longer any excuse for food service workers with either BO or fragrance wafting off of them to disrupt your meal.

I could forgive a server in a super-casual restaurant having a couple of spatters on an apron that had obviously just happened on that shift. But anything that looks like it dried on last week--euw. I have never, thank god, been assaulted by a server's BO, but I can tell you that in a food service context it would gross me right the hell out.

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I would have to agree that it is a management problem. And the problem is that the management only will give one or two uniforms to each employee. If you work four or five shifts a week that means laundry three to five times a week. And if you work a late shift finishing at two am and then need to be back to open at four, or God forbid 11am for lunch, it is neigh on impossible to keep pristine.

The only way I know to stop this is to not have uniforms. Or all black. This way the employee can buy a five dollar clean shirt if they need to. And whose brilliant idea was it to have waiters and bartenders wear white? For the love of all things good and true, is there a worse thing to wear if you're dealing with red wine and cranberry juice for eight hours?

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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