Looking the part for noncommercial?

Hiring staff with tattoos or beards may equal a more creative workforce.

Katie Fanuko, Associate Editor

tattoo chef

Behind the swinging doors of noncommercial kitchens, tattoos don’t draw much contention, which is why at least one operator sees body art as a secret weapon to obtain top talent that otherwise might turn to restaurants.

Although he requires staff to cover all tattoos while interacting with residents, Matt Foxworthy, general manager of foodservices at Bivins Foundation, a senior living and long-term care community in Amarillo, Texas, relaxes the rules in the kitchen. He says this sets his team apart from surrounding senior-living facilities that aren’t as accepting of body art and allows him to draw from a larger creative pool—a concern for 77 percent of operators according to FoodService Director’s 2014 The Big Picture survey.

“When you allow creative people to come in, you’re going to get that creativity throughout your entire facility,” he says. “I think if you want to stay on the growing trends of the food industry, you have to take [tattoos] into consideration.”

Chef coats can be forgiving, allowing for more liberal policies on tattoos. Many organizations, including Aramark and Chartwells, require staff to wear long-sleeve chef coats, which conceal visible tattoos in front of guests. “We have a very diverse audience that we are feeding, and we want to make sure that we are as nonoffensive as possible,” says Mark Petrino, senior associate director of Residential Dining at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., whose self-op follows similar guidelines.

While they might have some wiggle room where tattoos are concerned, often operators aren’t as lenient with piercings and jewelry, which can pose a food-safety issue. Some allow stud earrings, but most other facial piercings or dangling jewelry is not acceptable.

To ensure that bearded employees follow the rules, some operators take disciplinary action when necessary. Employees who don’t wear a guard receive a verbal warning, followed by a written warning for subsequent violations, Petrino says. “We just can’t compromise on food safety,” he says. 

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
healthcare foodservice coffee

From Smucker Away From Home.

Foodservice operators face a tall order when it comes to managing coffee service efficiently and profitably, not to mention meeting the standards of high quality and variety that consumers demand these days. According to Technomic’s 2018 Beverage report, consumers purchase an average of 3.8 beverages per week away from home; in terms of coffee, 37% of consumers say they are ordering it more now than they were two years ago.

That means there’s a lot of opportunity for foodservice establishments to attract consumers’ coffee dollars. In the...

Managing Your Business
kitchen staff

If noncommercial operators hope to pull job candidates away from restaurant jobs, here’s what they’ll need to offer, according to a flurry of new research.

The data underscore that pay, once third or fourth on most lists of the reasons foodservice employees leave a position, is becoming a far more important consideration for taking or keeping a job. Financial security is particularly important for members of so-called Gen Z, or what’s being defined as young people age 21 and under, according to the study just released by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (...

Ideas and Innovation

Not all the rivalry during a weekend of college football is limited to action on the field. Restaurants are intensifying their competition with college and university foodservices for the game day spreads that fans will set up in stadium parking lots and countless living rooms this season.

Operators ranging from Taco Bell to small independents are adding platters and meal packages this fall to capture more of the big-dollar spending by sports fanatics for tailgate parties and “couch gating,” the at-home version. They’re awakening to the opportunity many C&U foodservice...

Sponsored Content
local produce

From The Henry P. Kendall Foundation.

The Henry P. Kendall Foundation has spent more than 60 years investing in people and projects designed to make the world healthier and more sustainable. For the past six of those years, the Foundation has focused on the health and vitality of the food system within its native New England, with an eye toward increasing the amount of locally sourced food that is consumed in the region.

To do that, the Kendall Foundation looked to large-scale institutions, such as colleges and universities.

“By leveraging the buying power of the...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code