Whether you run a restaurant with a full team of award-winning chefs or you own a local pizza shop staffed by a few inexperienced teenagers, creating an appropriate dress code for your employees is vital. In addition to ensuring that your entire team is easily recognizable even when your restaurant is packed, the right uniforms keep everyone safe and comfortable while they’re on the clock.

Chefs, cooks, and prep staff often work in different environments. They may spend most of their time in the kitchen where the temperature tends to soar, but they also likely find themselves working in coolers and walk-in freezers. Outfitting them properly ensures that they will be safe and comfortable in both environments. If you are trying to figure out how to find the right clothing and gear for your restaurant employees, here are a few tips to help keep your staff safe and looking great.

Familiarize Yourself with FDA Food Code

Before you set out to create a dress code for employees, make sure you are familiar with the requirements set forth by the FDA food code. You also need to be aware of any applicable local regulations. There are specific rules regarding personal hygiene, hair restraints, fingernails and jewelry, etc. There are also regulations that apply to outer clothing. According to the code, restaurant employees should wear clean clothing and change from street clothing into a suitable work uniform after arriving at work. Once you understand all of the legal requirements, you can make informed decisions when purchasing uniforms and other garments for your employees.

Consider the Environments in Which They Work

Keeping employees comfortable when working in different conditions can be difficult. The temperature inside commercial kitchens can soar, especially during peak business hours. However, the temperature inside coolers and walk-in freezers can be well below 0 degrees. The temperature on the floor can vary too, which is important to note for wait staff and hosts. Your employees may also find themselves working in different environments if you have indoor and outdoor seating areas.

How to Create an Efficient Work Environment at a Restaurant

Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of “101 Plus-Size Women’s Clothing Tips” and writes “Style At Any Size,” a bi-weekly newspaper column.


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