Saturday, March 17, 2018

How Restaurant Management Can Fight Harassment

How Restaurant Management Can Fight Harassment

Harassment in the workplace that’s left unchecked can lead to expensive legal proceedings

70-80% of Restaurant Staff Say They Have Been Harassed

That’s an incredibly high number, but according to The Restaurant Opportunities Center’s 2014 report, that was their finding.
A mix of factors play into this situation, but as restaurant owners and managers, it is our legal obligation to create a safe working environment for all staff.
Only a small portion of restaurant harassment is actually ever reported and goes to court. With a turnover-rate approaching 70%, employees often quit the restaurant rather than continue to deal with harassment.
This leaves harassers unpunished for their actions and a false impression that it’s “OK.” It is suspected this is one of the primary drivers of the high rate of harassment in restaurants.
However, if management is found to have been negligent in the prevention of employee harassment the fines can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Are you willing to spend that kind of money, months of legal proceedings and having your reputation tarnished over a lax attitude about staff harassment?

Types of Harassment in Restaurants

  • Co-worker Harassment – NYC law firm Philips & Associates clarifies the definition of workplace harassment, according to the laws of New York.
A hostile work environment typically arises when you receive unwanted verbal or physical conduct that interferes with your ability to do your job, whether that is serving or cooking. However, the New York City Human Rights Law, provides greater protection for employees than its state or federal counterparts. An employee only needs to prove that they were treated “less well than other employees… at least in part for a discriminatory reason.”
As you can see, laws vary depending on jurisdiction. The particular legal definition used in your State is outside the scope of this article, but the concept is clear. If workers are being treated poorly by other staff members and are unable to perform their regular job duties, it’s considered a hostile work environment and management is obligated to step in.
  • Restaurant Patron Harassment – It might surprise you that as a restaurant owner you are also responsible for controlling the behavior of your patrons. If restaurant guests harass your staff members and you turn a blind eye, for whatever reason, you could be held financially liable.
    Take for instance a recent case in Florida where a wings restaurant was held liable for the inappropriate touching and comments made by a restaurant patron to the tune of $200,000.
    No matter who the guest is even if they are a VIP or a regular, they’re not worth the damage to your business caused by a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your employees need to feel safe and know that management will back them up if they experience harassment from their customers.

Create A Firm Action Plan To Fight Harassment

Since your staff will inevitably have varying amounts of experience in the restaurant industry, some may have little work experience and don’t know how serious harassment can be, or they’ve been in restaurants where harassment was tolerated for so long they don’t even recognize their bad behaviors.
By creating a clear-cut anti-harassment policy, you’ll be able to set employee expectations for how they should conduct themselves. Work with your state and local employment policy department to develop an approved anti-harassment training program and make sure that all staff members complete it.
If management observes harassing behaviors between coworkers or with restaurant guests, they are obligated to step in and mediate the situation, even if the staff member says it’s “ok.” They may be trying to downplay the effect that the harasser is having on them.
Most important however is to make sure that your restaurant staff is made to feel that their concerns are taken seriously, and that management will back them up if they report harassing behavior from either co-workers or patrons.
By taking a firm stance against restaurant employee harassment, you’ll be able to create an environment where workers feel safe to report inappropriate behavior, which will cut down on instances of harassment and help to protect you from the potential liability that can happen from harassment in the workplace.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Strike Back Against Restaurant Employee Theft

 Strike Back Against Restaurant Employee Theft

How Effective Management Procedures Reduce Restaurant Theft

Can you Afford to Lose $6M a year?

According to OSU research, in 2004 it was estimated that three to six million dollars a year are stolen from restaurant owners by their employees. Although most staff can be reasonably trusted, as restaurant managers and owners we need to be vigilant in our monitoring of employees.
Restaurant employee theft has additional consequences than just the bottom line; there is a moral implication that left unaddressed creates a culture of dishonesty and corruption that can infect our organization as it spreads.
Other employees who become aware of the theft can either become emboldened to steal too or become apathetic about their work. Because of social pressure, most employees fear being branded as a “tattle tail” or “snitch.” It is our job as leaders to take control.
Employee theft puts the livelihood of everyone working in the restaurant at stake. A restaurant that isn’t profitable can’t hire new staff, may have to cut hours or close entirely. Explain this chain-effect to staff when discussing theft, so they understand that their actions are far from harmless.

Are you Letting Staff Steal From You?

You’d probably say “Of course not!” but gross negligence would be your fault. If you want to increase employee accountability, you have to start with yourself and take a hard look at your management style.
We would all rather have a drama-free workplace, and when balancing the many tasks of restaurant operations, it can be tempting to let some things slide. But beware, it could be a case of willful blindness that opens the door to staff stealing from you.
If you are a lax manager or over-trusting of your employees the type of personalities will rob you blindly will see your kindness as weakness and justify their theft with a sense of entitlement.
However, you don’t want to drive yourself crazy with paranoia or damage relationships with trustworthy staff with accusations. You’ve probably heard the old proverb, "Trust, but verify"

You Need Eyes Everywhere

As restaurant managers, we need to understand how social expectations affect people’s behavior. Because being caught red-handed stealing proves a person to be untrustworthy to everyone, they are far less likely to steal if they know they are being watched.
Place visible and hidden cameras all over the restaurant and let it be known. Strategically place high-resolution CCTV security cameras above each register and periodically review the footage. This is an indispensable tool when it comes to investigating cash discrepancies and will help your case later if there is a legal dispute between you and the employee.
It’s not just cash that is stolen; significant lost profits are from a “softer” sort of theft that younger staff may not realize is stealing. Over-portioning, giving away “free” food to friends, unauthorized discounts and taking food home are all examples of product theft.
The best way to reduce product theft is the same as with cash theft; Increased accountability. Don’t neglect to put cameras by the back door and in the prep area, where staff might hide food to steal later.
Weigh all incoming stock and keep a record. Subtract the weight of prep waste and use a POS with integrated inventory tracking. When you perform weekly or monthly audits, you’ll have an expected volume of stock to compare against existing stock.
Making inventory audits a frequent and visible procedure communicates to staff members that there is nowhere to hide and if food is being stolen, you will get to the bottom of it.

Training and Procedures That Reduce Theft

By holding kitchen staff, servers and managers all accountable for their discrepancies reducing theft becomes a team effort. When everyone’s feet are held to the fire, there will be no tolerance on the part of staff when they observe another employee stealing.
Proper cash management procedures are essential to reducing theft. To increase accountability for servers, assign each to their own cash drawer. This is especially important for bars, where there are many opportunities to short the drawer. Each employee responsible for their own cash at the end of the night reduces confusion and blame-games if there is a shortage.
Other cash management best practices are to audit the drawer after every shift-change, frequently drop excess cash out of the drawer into the safe and confront staff over drawer discrepancies. Mistakes are surely made, but the important thing for them to know is that you’re watching.
Splitting duties helps too. Don’t let employees count their own cash drawers – even managers. Those who are given the most trust are in a position to hurt us the most. Cherry-pick POS permissions using a system that supports per-user granular access so you can control who does what and no one person is given enough control to cover their tracks.
Reducing staff theft in your restaurant requires vigilance, but by reducing the opportunity and the temptation by installing cameras, splitting duties and insisting on procedures that increase accountability you can create a culture of honesty in your restaurant that will keep you from having to suffer the losses caused by dishonest employees.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Do you really need a restaurant website?

Do you really need a restaurant website?

In the era of social media is it worth hassle to make your own restaurant website?

Why you might not want a website for your restaurant

  • You don’t know where to start
  • You think it will cost too much
  • You’re afraid of the cost
If you’re already posting on Facebook and Instagram and have followers there, you may not think the additional trouble of having a website for your restaurant is worth it.

You could be missing essential opportunities

One of the most important things to understand is how people find local restaurants. While your Facebook and Instagram are vital places to “preach to the choir” and build your fanbase, there’s a crucial opportunity you’re missing out on called “Google local results.”
The Google search engine understands where people who are searching restaurants live and when they search for “seafood restaurant” or “breakfast cafe” the top results are going to be tailored to their location.
If your competition has a website that ranks them first in Google and you don’t – guess where they’re most likely to go!

What’s the point of a restaurant website?

The type of website you choose to make for your restaurant has a lot to do with:
  • Your target audience – Your website is another opportunity to communicate your brand message and unique offerings. Just like your restaurant, it’s self, you need to consider how to appeal to the type of guests you want to bring in. Choose a look and style that matches your restaurant’s theme.
  • The kind of service – If you have a big menu, post it online, that way customers know what they want to order when they come in. If you do delivery, there is no excuse for not having your menu online, and taking online orders can be a considerable convenience for your customers.
  • How much time/money you have budgeted --Depending on resources you may choose either to do it your self or have someone do it for you. It’s always better to host your own website rather than use a “free” webpage service, but because having a website is so important, something is better than nothing!
  • Do you take Reservations? – If your restaurant takes reservations, but your dining room isn’t full every service, then online reservations could be the boon to more bookings that you’re looking for. Just make sure to choose a system that is easy to implement and doesn’t charge you extra fees for online reservations. Rezku is a leader in front of house management and has affordable solutions for restaurants looking to start using an online reservation system.

How to Start a Restaurant Website

  • Where to put your website
    • Free Hosting – Yes, there are many free web hosting services but be aware that there may be a catch. Many free hosting services include paid versions if you need more space, have more visitors or wish to remove ads from your page. These can cost
    • Paid Hosting – Paid hosting offers you more control of your website, and due to aggressive competition great hosting can be found for around $10 a month. With these services, there is a bit of an expectation that you have to know what you’re doing and may be a better choice if you’re planning to hire a web developer.
  • How to design your website
    • WYSIWYG – Some of the well known free sites have built-in themes or templates you can use. Sites like and are well known for their ease of use. Using these sites, you won’t have your own domain name. Also, keep in mind you might be required to display targeted ads on your site which may have a “spammy” feel, and the preset templates give your site an unprofessional or amateur look.
    • Templates / Wordpress – If you’re willing to learn a bit about website design a good entry point with lots of learning resources are website templates. Many are built on the Wordpress platform which can be pre-loaded for free with most paid hosting sites. Sites like and even have lower priced Wordpress only hosting available.
    • Hire a Web Designer – If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of learning how to design a website you can easily find a freelance web designer. Important things to look for are a track record of successfully completed projects and experience with restaurant websites. While you may be tempted to find a kid who knows a thing or two, it’s highly advised you pay a little more for someone who’s doing it professionally. and both feature web and graphic designers who work for peanuts but produce professional results. Although, beware YMMV.

Have Fun!

Always remember to have fun with your website and tailor it to the needs of your guests. After all, the whole point is to help new food lovers find your restaurant online and give your regulars an easy way to keep in touch with you.
Now you know why it’s so important to have a restaurant website!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

How Many Items Should Be In Your Restaurant Menu?

Follow these 5 rules to master menu focus and make more money

If you’re worried that you’ve got too many things on your restaurant menu, then you’re probably right.
You’re probably:
  • Throwing out food that rots before it’s sold
  • Have inventory tracking nightmares
  • Rely too heavily on pre-made frozen food
The good news is that there is a way out – if you just follow these 5 simple rules and change the way you think about your restaurant.
Check the Sales-by-product report from your point of sale and check your online reviews. Why do people come to your restaurant? Narrow down and focus on what your strengths are.
Know your Target Market
  • If you’ve done proper research, you should know who your restaurant targets. What is their average income and how much do they expect to pay for a meal? How many times a week do the people you’re trying to attract eat out? What are their flavor and ingredient preferences? If you don’t know these things yet, then you have no idea where to start your menu.
  • On the other hand, if you understand the needs of your preferred guests, you can narrow down your menu to attract, and keep drawing in the right people to your restaurant.
Get a handle on costs
  • Before you even think about setting prices on your tasty new creations, you have to know the cost down to the penny and build in a profit buffer for seasonality. This is why we recommend getting to know your vendors and changing your menu to keep out of season ingredients from forcing you to raise prices.
  • Don’t forget the profit-making power of considering Contribution margin.
  • In other words remember that selling one steak for $20 that costs you $10 nets $10 in profit per sale even though it’s only a 50% margin, whereas a basket of chicken tenders that sells for $5.00 and costs you $1.00 only nets you $4.00. Although the chicken has a five times markup, You’ve got to make and serve a lot of chicken to match the profitability of the steak.
  • Remember that the highest cost in the restaurant is labor!
Know your vendor and ask for deals
  • Hang out with your ingredient suppliers and get the inside track before you get your heart set on a menu.
  • Find out what quantities you need to buy at to get the best deals.
  • Look over the price list and target the ingredients you want to incorporate – design your recipes around the costs, not the other way around.
  • This keeps you from having to compromise the integrity of your dishes.
Change with the times
  • Ask about seasonal pricing from your vendor and plan accordingly as ingredient prices fluctuate through the year.
  • Use a POS system that makes it easy to run specials, activate and deactivate seasonal offerings and facilitates rotating menus.
  • A creative chef can use almost any ingredients to make something spectacular and appealing to guests using seasonal ingredients.
  • Have fun with your menu and try new things along with your guests. Listen to their feedback and learn better how to target their food interests as tastes in your community evolve.
Focus your efforts
  • People are more impressed by fantastic food done well than a menu that looks like a telephone book
  • If they’ve come to your restaurant they already looked up online for reviews and know what kind of food you serve – don’t disappoint them!
  • The worst thing a restaurant owner can do is to try to appeal to everybody.
  • Reduce chaos in the kitchen by simplifying the menu with a few delicious food items made to a higher standard, that the cooks are familiar with.
The most important thing to remember is to understand the needs of your guests and listen to their feedback. If you want regulars, it means giving them the food they want to eat. That doesn’t require you to make your life complicated by having a hundred items on your menu that only get ordered a few times a week.
Remember, a focused menu is the starting point for an efficient kitchen and smoother, less chaotic service.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Waitresses Should Never...

Working in a restaurant is very fast-paced and the restaurant’s staff must meet the needs of the guests and the needs of the restaurant. It can be very demanding and stressful, especially during busy hours.

We understand that food will be made wrong, waitresses will sometimes not get the order 100% correct, etc. Mistakes will happen, and we understand that, but when you are a guest at a restaurant, there are certain expectations of the restaurant staff. 

We do not understand or agree with waitresses partaking in rude or unprofessional behaviors that affect the guest’s experience. 

I came across a great read by Bruce Buschel about things the restaurant staff should never do. While reading this, I was surprised at how many things that should not be done, are done by restaurant staff. 

The restaurant’s success will be decided by the staff and how they treat the guests. It is important to ensure the restaurant staff is not giving negative experiences to make the guests not want to return to the restaurant. 

Let’s take a look at Bruce Buschel’s 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do Part 1 and Part 2 that was published in the New York Times Blog. 

We will not discuss all 100 things, but we will discuss some that I have personally experienced that should not be happening as common as they do. 

Number 50: Do not turn on the charm when it is tip time. Be consistent throughout. 

This is personally one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to waitresses. The tip is for the service received throughout the entirety of the meal, not just at the end. 

Please, do not waste your time turning on the “charm” at the end. It will not change the impression you made during the meal. 

Being consistent throughout the meal will earn yourself a tip because that is the demanding work. The end of the meal, when the guest is paying, that is the easy part. If you want a tip, you must earn the tip. 

Number 62a: Do not let a glass sit empty for too long.

Okay. This is my BIGGEST pet peeve when I go to a restaurant. Nothing else can make me as irritated as this. I must have something to drink while I am eating. If I do not, I will not eat my food until I have something to drink. 

Of course, guests understand when a waitress is super busy, it may take a moment or two to receive a refill. But if it is not busy, what is the reasoning? 

The biggest thing I see is a waitress talking to other employees and they are not paying attention to their tables. That is very unprofessional and will create the guest to have a bad impression. 

Number 75: Do not ask if someone is finished when others are still eating that course.

Asking one guest if they are finished, makes the other guests feel as if they must hurry to finish too. It makes the guest feel rushed. Guest want to enjoy their food and conversate. 

A waitress should never make the guests feel rushed to finish their meal. Why? Well, because they are paying to dine at the restaurant and they are also going to pay for the tip.

Number 77: Do not disappear.

Disappearing for anything longer than a few moments is not good. The guest will feel as they are not important enough for the waitress’s attention. 

If the waitress is taking too long, the guest may get impatient and ask another waitress for their assistance. 

This will then cause the other waitress’s tables to have to wait longer for stuff. It just is not fair to the guest and the other waitresses.

Number 88: Do not ask if a guest needs change. Just bring the change.

If the waitress asked me if I wanted the change, I would say YES. And guess what? Because of that question that was asked, I will keep all my change. 

Because more than likely, I was going to leave the change for the tip. Asking if the guest wants the change is just the same as, “are you tipping me”. 

It is rude and very unprofessional. That is one way to lose out on tips.

The restaurant staff tends to do things that should not be done quite often. Not only do their actions affect the guest and their experience, but it affects the restaurant and even the servers because of the reduction in tips. 

It is important, as a waitress, to ensure the guests have a wonderful experience. This will make the guests want to come back to the restaurant, but it will also increase the waitresses tip amounts. 

Who does not love more money? So why not? Of course, you can do the bare minimum, but it will not be beneficial. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Service Animals are Allowed Entry Regardless of your Policies

Animals in public draw a lot of attention. Usually, it is because everyone loves animals and want to pet the animal or something along the lines of that. 

But the majority of society is not supportive of animals at the dinner table, especially in a restaurant. If you are reading this, you have probably had a guest enter your restaurant with an animal by their side and did not know how to address the issue. 

This situation requires knowledge of the laws and understanding that if not handled correctly, could result in a lawsuit. That is because of the laws that protect individuals with disabilities that require a service animal.

If someone enters your restaurant with an animal by their side, you must determine if it is a service animal. This way, you can understand how to address the issue. 

But it can be difficult to determine if it is a service animal or just a pet. There is numerous of laws protecting individuals with disabilities. 

Luckily, most of the time, there will be an indicator that the animal is a service animal, such as a leash, vest, collar, or harness.

In 2011, the Department of Justice implemented revised regulations regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is extremely important to understand the laws associated with service animals to avoid violating the laws and potential lawsuits. 

For this purpose, we will refer to the updated regulations of the ADA.

Service Animals: What they are

The first step to understanding the laws for guests with service animals is to understand what a service animal is. Under the ADA, “service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.”

The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. Examples of tasks service animals may perform:
  • Guiding people who are blind
  • Alerting people who are deaf
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure
  • Reminding a person of mental illness to take prescribed medications
  • Calming a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack

Service animals are trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. 

The tasks a service animal has been trained to do is solely directed to the person’s disability. Service animals are NOT pets, they are working animals and have a job to perform. 

Dogs who provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. But some State or local governments have laws that allow people with emotional support animals to go into public places.

They are allowed in your restaurant, no matter what.

“Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.”

For service animals to be allowed in public places, especially restaurants, the service animal must be under control. Service animals, under the ADA, must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless the devices would interfere with the service animal’s duties. If it does interfere, the individual must remain full control of the animal through voice, signal, or other controls.

You can ask two questions to determine if it is a service animal.

If you are unsure that the animal accompanied by the guest in your restaurant is a service animal or the task that they service animal may provide, you are only allowed to ask two questions.
  1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

If you ask anything more than the two questions, it is violating the law and may be discriminating towards the guest.

These two questions can be asked to determine if the dog is a service animal or not. It is important to not ask more than these questions because it violates the guest’s privacy.

You cannot ask this.

It is important to understand what you cannot say or do to an individual that requires a service animal. Not only is it against the law, but it is extremely rude and can result in a lawsuit. 

After asking the first two questions that can determine if it is a service animal, you should not ask any additional questions. 

The following questions should be things that you avoid completely when addressing the guest with a service animal:
  • You cannot ask about the person’s disability
  • You cannot require medical documentation
  • You cannot require a special identification card or training documentation for the service animal
  • You cannot ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task

Unless the animal is not behaving, you cannot ask them to leave.

You cannot discriminate or ask the individual with a service animal to leave just simply because. Even if allergies or fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to individuals with service animals. 

There are only two scenarios it is okay to ask the individual to remove the service animal from the premises:
  1. If the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control the service animal
  2. If the dog is not housebroken

If you do ask the individual to remove the service animal from the premises, you must still offer the individual the opportunity to obtain services without the animal's presence.

Additional Information

There is other stuff that is important when regarding an individual with a service animal. The following are:
  • You cannot isolate the individual from other patrons
  • You cannot treat them less favorably than other patrons
  • You cannot charge fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals
  • The service animals can accompany their handler through salad bars or self-service food lines.

It is important to not discriminate towards an individual with a disability that requires a service animal. Understanding what you can and cannot do will allow you to avoid discriminating and avoiding lawsuits. 

Remember, service animals are not pets. They are trained to complete specific tasks for individuals with disabilities. 

The information for this blog was retrieved from:

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tattoos in the Workplace. Millennials are taking it over.

Today, the topic of tattoos is a frequent issue that is circling the workplace. We are constantly surrounded by individuals who have tattoos, and sometimes, we may not even know it. Tattoos are becoming a mainstream part of society. 

The millennials are the reason for the evolving change because they have more tattoos than any earlier generations. Because tattoos are growing in acceptance to society, it is leading to acceptance within the workplace. 

Medical professions, corporate, academic, and much more are accepting tattoos in the workplace because if they did not, they would lose great candidates. 

Just in 2015 alone, more than 520,000 companies changed their dress code policies to allow visible tattoos in the workplace because it creates more hiring options, positive public relations, and better retention rates. 

Although a high amount of companies has changed their dress code policies, many have not. That leads to the question, should tattoos be allowed in the workplace? 

History of Tattoos.

They have been around longer than we want to accept. 

Before we can decide if tattoos are right or not right in the workplace, we need to understand the history of tattoos and where they originate from. 

We need to face it, tattoos have been around since the beginning of human history. Scientific evidence proves tattoos have been a part of the human culture for thousands of years. 

In 1991, German hikers on the Oztal Alps near the border between Italy and Austria discovered the mummified remains of a prehistoric human. 

Carbon dating proved that the human, named Otzi, had been mummified for more than 5,300 years. The interesting fact about Otzi, he had no less than 55 tattoos on his body, ranging from his upper-neck to his ankles. 

Although tattoos have been around for thousands of years, tattoos did not appear in the United States until 1891, when the first tattoo machine was issued to an Irish Tattooist, named Samuel O’ Riley. Samuel opened the first tattoo parlor in the United States in New York City. 

According to the Time Magazine, only about 6% Americans had at least one tattoo. There is a drastic difference compared to today. Tattoos were common amongst sailors, prison inmates, motorcycle gangs, and gang members. 

The tattoos use to be the mark of rebels and individuals who were living on the outskirts of society and operated outside the social center. But what changed? How did tattoos become mainstream to society?

The start to the change. 

Tattoos were once frowned upon and our society held prejudices against people with tattoos because of what they use to represent. Tattoos are no longer limited to just sailors, prison inmates, motorcycle gangs, gang members, etc. 

But what was the cause of that? What changed to create the 6% of Americans with tattoos jump to 42% of Americans with tattoos. Society started to accept tattoos because of reality TV and famous people. 

In 2005, the first tattoo TV show, Miami Ink, first aired. This is when the acceptance of tattoos for our society changed. Since Miami Ink first aired, there has been 6 seasons, last season aired in August of 2008, and two spin-offs; NY Ink and LA Ink. 

The tattoo artists of the TV show Miami Ink, NY Ink, and LA Ink became very famous for their tattoo work. This led to famous people wanting to be inked by the tattoo artists. 

The famous people openly displaying their tattoos and being mainstream media icons, it created the society to view tattoos as acceptable. But the rise of acceptance has created issues within the workplace. 

How are employers supposed to approach the topic of tattoos being visible for their employees? First, the employers will need to decide if they want tattoos to be visible to their employees or not. 

It has been proven that people will still conduct business even if the employees of the company have tattoos. 

Employers are still against tattoos, but not all.

Corporate America is trying to figure out how to address tattoos policies; if to accept tattoos, or not to accept tattoos. There are various underlying issues that concern employers when making the decision of hiring individuals with tattoos, especially visible tattoos. 

Employers are concerned that individuals with tattoos will not be taken seriously because of them, the image or brand of the organization can be changed or viewed differently, and the concern if tattoos are being perceived offensive or hostile towards others. 

Tattoos are considered a form of expression, which is protected by the U.S. Constitution but does not mean companies must hire you. Tattoos are not protected by any laws. 

The employers that are concerned about tattoos are trying to figure out tattoo policies and how to implement them into the dress code. 

Employers, by law, can restrict the display of tattoos only if it is in their dress code policy and not discrimination. 

Even though employees are afraid their customers will not be involved if employees openly displayed their tattoos, a Fox News Survey found that 96% of Americans claimed tattoos would not change anything if they are receiving quality services. 

Employers, here is what you can expect. 

If the employers do not accept tattoos, it will eventually have negative impacts. It is pretty simple as to why the millennials. 

The millennials are becoming of working age and they have the most tattoos compared to other generations. The biggest impact that tattoos may affect in the workplace is recruitment. 

People with tattoos will begin to turn down jobs due to the strict tattoo regulations for the dress code policies. 

Business will lose chances of finding qualified, experienced, and skilled employees because of their strict regulations on tattoos. 

Businesses are already seeing the impacts. Disney had to change their recruitment policies and dress code due to the issue of not finding enough qualified individuals without tattoos. 

The U.S. Military has the highest percentage of employees with tattoos, the U.S. Navy even changed their tattoo policies to allow bigger and more tattoos in hopes to recruit millennials. 

But businesses are seeing the positives from accepting tattoos. PetSmart changed their policies to allow visible tattoos if they were not vulgar. 

The results achieved by doing this was not expected. PetSmart gained over 20,000 social media followers, thousands of new website backlinks, and a press value of over $500,000 because magazines, televisions, and newspapers covered their story. 


Sailors, prison inmates, motorcycle gangs, etc., are not the only ones with tattoos anymore; CEO’s, bankers, business owners, lawyers, doctors, and even pastors have tattoos now. Companies will need to change their policies eventually or their business will suffer.

Tattoos in the workplace will show diversity, acceptance of different beliefs, etc. Tattoos are unique to individuals and can be a form of an expression of who they are, what they believe in, and cherish. 

Individuals that have tattoos will be judged regardless of how accepted tattoos are in society. It could be positive, or it could be negative. Tattoos are everywhere, regardless if you like tattoos or not, they are everywhere because of the millennials and being a part of mainstream media. 

A polled of surveyed adults displayed that they do not display tattoos as unprofessional. Tattoos do not justify how hard of a worker an individual is or how efficiently they can do their job. 

A strong work ethic, character, and values are in high demand, especially in the workplace. Professionalism is not based on how you look, it is based on how you treat others. 

In the United States, tattoos are becoming disconnected from unprofessional stereotypes. Personally, tattoos are fine to me. I would not judge an employee based on their tattoos. It does not define their work ethic to me. 

What do you think of tattoos in the workplace? Would you refuse service because the employee has tattoos? If so, why?