Appearance Standards for Restaurants: Grime Doesn’t Pay


How important are appearance standards in your restaurant? Put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Imagine you walk up to a restaurant and see trash in the parking lot, a burned out light bulb above the door, dirt in the foyer, and a promotional poster for an event that happened a month ago. Then, to make matters worse, you’re greeted by a hostess who is hiding behind a messy host stand and a waiter who looks like he pulled his uniform shirt from the bottom of his laundry basket. When so many things in plain sight look so unappealing, wouldn’t you wonder about the areas of the restaurant you can’t see, like the kitchen?

Set Appearance Standards and Enforce Them

Remember that your guests are the most important people in your restaurant. When it comes to the appearance of your employees and your restaurant, the devil is in the details. It’s up to you as a restaurant manager to set appearance standards for every facet of your business, train your staff members to meet and exceed those standards, and enforce them throughout every shift. Focus on these areas, at a minimum:

Personal appearance. Make sure your restaurant dress code and other personal appearance standards are clear, and don’t let employees slide if don’t meet the expectations. Stand your ground, and send them home if you have to.

Interior and exterior appearance. Keeping both the interior and exterior of your restaurant looking sharp inspires confidence from your restaurant guests. Make sure spills are cleaned up quickly, keeping in mind that this is an issue that relates to appearance standards and safety.

Consistent presentation. Cleanliness isn’t the only factor in appearance standards for restaurants. Your restaurant’s theme and atmosphere require a certain presentation that guests come to expect. If their favorite pasta dish looks beautiful on one visit, but slopped together the next, they’ll question the overall quality you’re providing.

You Set the Bar for Appearance Standards

You must set a good example, not only with your own appearance, but also in how you deal with issues in the restaurant. Do you walk past trash in the parking lot on your way in? Do you wait for staff members to notice and clean up spills? When you take a pro-active approach to exceeding appearance standards, your staff will do the same.

Cycle of Service Restaurant Service Training

With every guest who walks through the door, your staff should be striving to not only meet expectations, but exceed them. Our restaurant service training follows the Service That Sells! Cycle of Service, breaks down a guest’s visit into separate steps from the moment guests pull into the parking lot until that final moment when they walk out the door. Click here for a preview.

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