Tattoos and Piercings in the Culinary Industry

Posted on May 15 2018

Tattoos and Piercings?

In this day and age, being stylish often means displaying artwork like tattoos and body piercings. In fact, both have become a part of the culture that is culinary arts.  An unconventional look shouldn’t become a detriment to working in the culinary industry nor should it derail a successful career in the profession. 

More Common Now Than Ever

In the last ten years or so, tattoos and piercings have become more common and acceptable.  You can find tattoos on anyone in any profession from teaching and police officers to even lawyers.  Even large brands like Starbucks have started to relax their once strict policies against visible tattoos and piercings in the workplace.  In the culinary industry, tattoos have made their way into the culture of cooking and serving.  Gone is the thought that those with body art were ‘dirty’ or unhygienic.  In fact, customers often sport tattoos and piercings so it’s illogical to assume that these same diners would be offended by a hostess or server who displays the same artwork.  Restaurant patrons most often want their servers to be clean, friendly, and helpful while they want their cooks to be talented and quick.  As long as they’re getting great customer service and eating wonderful food, you’d be surprised at how little they think of a restaurant staff that has tattoos and piercings.

Nothing To Do With Work Ethic

Body modification also has nothing to do with work ethic.  Having a few tattoos or piercings shouldn’t automatically disqualify a person from obtaining a position at a restaurant.  They also don’t automatically make that person a slow or lazy worker.  Some of the best service I’ve received in a restaurant has come at the hands of those sporting ink or piercings.  There’s no real reason why those who are doing the hiring in the culinary industry should automatically write-off candidates with body modifications, especially when the customer couldn’t care less about these things and when they’re receiving excellent service and enjoying wonderful food.

Still Unsure?

If you’re still worried about tattoos and piercings and how it might affect your business, consider less restrictive policies about tattoos on the face and neck.  Of course, tattoos that display symbols which could be construed as hateful toward religion, race, ethnicity and other protected statuses should also be grounds to refuse hiring or grounds to terminate.  Ultimately, rules about body art will be dependent upon the setting but make sure you’re not judging a person just by their appearance. You may end up missing out on some top-notch culinary talent if you do!

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