Ultimate Food Service Industry Hygiene Guideline

Previously we have shared a guideline for food workers on how to handle foods properly. That It may sound like common sense, and to many people it will be, but its worth mentioning. How many times have you been to a restaurant and had the thought, I don’t trust the food in this place if its going to be served by that person? Hopefully not very many, but the truth remains, how you look and your level of cleanliness as a server can dramatically influence your size of tip and how patrons might feel about coming back to the restaurant you work at. Keep in mind, these tips don’t just apply to servers. If you’re in a restaurant, working around food, or touching tables in any way, its best to give off a great aesthetic impression. Use this tutorial as your personal hygiene guideline as food server.


waiter service industry hygieneThis is one of the most important and most notable things to keep clean at a restaurant, and it applies to both the ladies and gentlemen. If you’re servicing tables or working behind the bar, its best to keep your fingernails close cropped. Any dirt underneath them is visible and is not going to impress any of your customers. Most restaurants have a fingernail brush at your hand sink, and while people are most often moving quickly when they are washing their hands, take the extra minute to give your nails a quick brush before and during your shift.

Your hands touch beverages, touch plates, and in some cases touch food. They are also the part of your body that gets closest to the customer throughout the meal, when serving food and beverages. If you want to make a good impression, or really, not make a bad impression, keep those hands in tip-top shape. Not only is it gross if they are dirty, but there’s much to be said for keeping your hands clean in a restaurant that goes far beyond just how it looks.


Ah, yes. The dreaded restaurant hairnet. Now, I don’t recommend it for anyone working in the front of the house. The kitchen staff should already be wearing some head coverage. But once again, for both the ladies and the gentlemen, clean cut hair, away from the face, is the best way to go through a shift. Not only it not get in your way, but the more controlled and out of the way it is, the less chance that any stray hair might, God forbid, slowly migrate off your head and onto someones plate.

Gentlemen, if you choose to rock longer hair, its not a bad idea to use some gel or hairspray to keep things in place. Ladies, a hair binder, clip, or headband of any sort is always preferable for having your hair down. Once again, for reasons of both aesthetic impressions, and overall cleanliness, keep your hair in check and all times. And for goodness sake, don’t touch it during a shift, of if you do, wash your hands. Nobody knows where your hands or head have been, and most people don’t want to. Don’t give them more reasons to be scared!


uniform of a waiter hygieneMost, if not all, restaurants require some kind of uniform for their front of the house staff. As a previous member of the service industry, it can be a dreadful task keeping your shirts, pants, shoes, and aprons clean on a regular basis. But a waist high apron arriving with you to a table with splotches of sauce or dried and crusted over food from last nights shift, may be the biggest turn off you can create. We all know, serving is a messy job, and things get spilled on in the line of fire, but that one load of laundry can be the difference between a returning customer and a higher tip, or a lost patron and a measly ten percent. Don’t forget to read our another tutorial on safe food handling tips for waiters.

Once again, this isn’t exactly new to most people, but the best way to feel like you’re at your best when working in the restaurant is to keep these things in mind.


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