Piercings in the workplace

@jambi462 (4598)
United States
May 24, 2012 8:30am CST
So yesterday I had an interview at Applebee's and everything seemed to be going well until one of the managers asked me if I were to get the job if I could take my piercing out. I have a septum piercing, the bull style piercing in the nose. I wouldn't be willing to take it out because I'm not going to have it seal up just so I can get a crappy job at a chain restaurant like Applebee's. I just don't see why I would have to take it out though, I would be working in the kitchen and nobody that was a customer would even see me. Also if they are worrying about health issues there are plenty of waitresses that wear dangly earings that could fall out where my piercing is pretty securely held in place. I just don't understand what the big deal is if I'm going to be working in the kitchen, it doesn't affect my performance and nobody will see me as far as guests go. The manager said that he would go back over the rulebook but I'm not real sure how things are going to turn out. Either way I'm not going to stop looking for a second job because I already have one as cook at another restaurant. What do you guys think? Do you think it's really that big of a deal if a kitchen work has piercings?
3 people like this
16 responses
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
24 May 12
Yes it is necessary. The last time I checked, when inside the kitchen the employees should be wearing hair net, proper uniform, no make up, and no piercings. That's the rule for chef school as well. And I don't think they'd bend the rules that they didn't make just to give you the job - these rules are set by the Bureau of Foods something in your country, not the food chain. So pretty much all the Food companies will ask you to take that off. Have a great MyLot experience ahead!
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
25 May 12
I don't think that you are correct in that, I've seen plenty of chefs on the food network or cooking channel that have piercings. But it doesn't really matter that much to me. I'm just trying to get a job in what I have experience in, but still I already have a job as a cook and they haven't said anything about me having to take it out. There are also two other girls that both have nose piercings and it's not a big deal. I think it's more of a large corporation thing wanting their employees to look "professional". I'm not going to take it out for some stupid minimum wage job, especially when I know that not every place is going to require me to do so.
1 person likes this
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
25 May 12
Different places might have different rules as well jambi, since laydee and i are from the same country the rules we have here are that. No piercing of any kind, they have uniforms, hair nets and no make up as well.. i have friends who are chefs and they were taught this way...maybe those you have seen on televisions are like now head chefs or owners who can set their own rules.
1 person likes this
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
28 May 12
Thanks for the words jazel, I think those are already head chefs as well who could make all the rules. @jambi, if you think you could find other jobs and still could keep your piercings then that's great, however, at these present economic situations, I doubt everyone could be picky.
@nonersays (2757)
• United States
24 May 12
I've never understood why employers make such a big deal out of things like piercings and tattoos. I don't care if a kitchen worker has a septum piercing. I don't care if my SERVER has 3 dozen noticeable piercings. All I care about is that the person being hired can properly do their job. The world has become entirely too based off of looks instead of aptitude.
• United States
24 May 12
It is important because you can cause food contamination. I work in a kitchen and I am a women. We are not aloud to have earrings, rings, watches, and we must always have our hare in a bun and in a hairnet. All of the regulations are due to health and safety regulations. If your ring happened to fall out and into some food you have just contaminated the entire dish or possibly an entire pan full of food. This is costly and a hazard for both the company and customer. If I ran a kitchen no jewelry would be aloud based on safety and heath concerns. How would you feel if you was eating your soup and you found someones earring, nose ring, or even hair in your food. Wouldn't that just gross you out?
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
25 May 12
The thing is that a piercing is NOT going to fall out, the only way for a piercing to come out is if someone were to physically rip it out. It is all solely based on opinions. The idea of someones piercing falling out is like someone's fingernail falling off. Honestly though if you take care in your position and are a good worker something like that would never happen. I've seen people that have no piercings what so ever and I see them cough all over everything, drop things on the floor and serve them, and plenty of other nasty things. In my opinion piercings should be the last thing that customers have to worry about.
• Philippines
24 May 12
Upon reading all the arguments presented, even the response of the first responder, I came to realize that there are food bureau's setting standards for cooks, or related job. Add to that the company rules regarding piercings in the workplace. If I'm the owner or manager of a restaurant and would like to hire someone who will work for my food company, I would truly be concerned about how my employees look like wherever they are. In the kitchen or in the toilet.
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
25 May 12
Honestly worrying about how your employee looks in the toilet is one of the weirdest things you could have possibly said about this. Also I've looked online and haven't seen a global or universally accepted rule book that says whether or not you can have piercings in the kitchen. If someone could send me a link than maybe I would be more inclined to believe so but until than I am pretty sure that it is all based off opinion.
• United States
24 May 12
Generally, you have to be free of extraneous stuff when working in a kitchen. This is both a health and safety issue. Many employers aren't going to be too keen to hire someone with such a piercing--regardless of the position. Visible non-standard piercings often work against you when you are in the working world. Artists, writers, photographers and other creative types can be pretty free in such self-expressions. However, in most fields, people are going to be wary of you due to your piercing. At some point, you may have to consider whether this bit of self-expression is really worth the price you pay.
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
25 May 12
It's not a health or safety issue is what I'm trying to say, my piercing isn't going to fall out it's securely pierced within my face. I clean it and there really is no reason for it to be viewed as a health hazard, I know that it is still based out of people's opinions because there is no real logical evidence for why this would be unacceptable. For certain jewelry I would see why but for a standard ring there really is nothing to worry about. And I really don't consider not getting a minimum wage job that will not really be enjoyable anyways as a price to pay. I'm working hard at going through college so I don't have to worry about people that are solely restaurant workers judging me on the way I look. There are plenty of gourmet chefs that actually no what they are doing that have piercings, but restaurants that don't even cook but rather put preportioned food into microwaves think they need to look professional. Instead of worrying about their appearance I think they should be more worried on how nutritious and healthy their food is and how it tastes.
@owlwings (39611)
• Cambridge, England
24 May 12
Certain piercings and jewellery can be a Health and Safety issue and the rules of a particular workplace may simply have to have a blanket ban on all 'adornments' because it would be too complicated and divisive to ban some and not others. It may also be a consideration that, even though you are employed as a kitchen worker, you might be called upon at some time to interact with the public. Many people have an aversion to facial piercings other than ears pierced for earrings and a business may well lose custom if they allowed their staff to wear such piercings. Rules, unfortunately, cannot always take specific situations into account and it is simpler to write them and enforce them if no exceptions are allowed. It is up to the individual company as to what line they take. Larger companies like Applebee's are generally more concerned about 'no exceptions' than smaller ones. It was, at least, human and constructive of the manager to say that he would 'go back over the rule book'. It probably wouldn't be worth his while, however, to make an exception in your case unless he could find a reasonable case for doing so which would not jeopardise his job! No, I don't think that a nose piercing constitutes a significant health and safety risk in a kitchen environment (in fact, I have seen several chefs, some of whom are very good cooks, who wear piercings). The fact that you are already employed in the kitchen of another restaurant shows that there is no real issue but company rules are company rules and there is little point in trying to MAKE an issue when you describe the job, anyway, as 'crappy'!
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
25 May 12
Thank you for your opinion and I know that this is the reason they asked me if I would take it out. It's pretty dumb in my opinion and really judgmental to say that just because I have a piercing means I don't look professional but I know that is the way a lot of people think still and a lot of people in general are aversive to people that have differences to them in general. However like I said I know the job won't be a great one and I'm not going to sacrifice something that I enjoy just so I can work for minimum wage in a job that I know isn't going to be wonderful. The thing is that I will have my associate's degree soon and in the very near future I will be able to leave behind all the nonsense of applying for large corporations to be able to barely earn enough money to survive. Thank you for your response and I appreciate what you had to say. Have a good one.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
6 Feb 13
When I worked in a bakery, the position around wearing piercings was that no studs were allowed, end of, but hoops were allowed in the ears providing they are in both ears, you couldn't have one ear pierced you had to have them both, I think if they saw you with two earings it was ok, but with one, they will think one has got lost in the foodstuff! Same too with studs as it's not one piece, the stud plus the butterfly so I guess that is their thinking, I might be wrong but this was certainly true for me at the bakery.
@KrauseHome (35522)
• United States
28 Jan 13
Well, personally I think it is a matter of choice. There are restaurants out there that have strict conduct and rules, and sometimes it could just be a managers decision as well. But I would not let that stop you. If this is something you refuse to take out, then find places that will accept you for you, and leave the other ones be.
• Portugal
19 Jan 13
if you say that the piercing is really secure isnt a problem for me. i think that earrings are forbidden cause while cooking it could fall in the food. but a piercing is very well stuck so i dont see it falling so easily. anyway if you really need that job maybe you can take it off just for work. but if you feel bad doing that, find another job that makes you feel happy^^
@asliah (11148)
• Philippines
8 Oct 12
hi, i dont think so that piercings is not allowed inside of the workplace,but i think it will depend upon the type of the workplace you are working because even long hair people work in the kitchen are usually wearing hairnet so i think even the piercings should take out too.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
28 May 12
I personally don't think it's a big deal. I think that the issue you mentioned about it falling out would be the only thing I could think of that might cause concern in a restaurant . Are the waitresses allowed to have facial piercings? If they are you might be able to bring that up to the management and him reconsider.
@chiyosan (30204)
• Philippines
25 May 12
I understand your point when you mentioned girls who wore jewelry, but i think i never did see anyone who does in the kitchen especially in those that we have studied on at about 3 fastfood chains. no jewelries are allowed as accidents may happen. Hairnets should be put on all the time, they had to wash hands every so often as required. my take is that some people might find your nose piercings offensive and yes it is your body - we do acknowledge that is your right but in a workplace where food is involved and you might, sometimes you might just have an encounter with anyone... i think it is quite necessary for them to be firm not to allow you to wear them on your duty.
• United States
25 May 12
I would not want my food if I saw someone with that cooking my food. I think of anything that could drop of inot my plate. I have a hard enough time thinking about someone talking over my plate while cooking it. to see that it would gross me out. kitchens are not all that clean in some places. I worked for apple before my hip gave out while holding a tray they took me off the scheduale and I never got to work again. I love the food and still find it one of my favorite places to eat.
@freqspaz (220)
• United States
24 May 12
I do not think there is a problem with piercings at all, for anyone. Body modificaion is a choice, and I stand by this: if some rich smutch. Can get a nose job and be a customer service manager then the chick with the eyebrow hoop should be just as qualified. Both are 'operations that modify the body' so what's the difference. I personally only have one piercing and that's my tongue, but I have one tatoo and am working on 5 more. I cannot stand the "people" that judge by our choices. One of my friends in highschool had, litterlly 5 pounds of metal in her head, all peircings, eyebrow, lips, ears ect ect and she was in the top three of our class, not 3% she was #3 smartest person in school. Won a scholarship to MIT for robotics, completely a free ride. Yet I heard and witnessed people shun her because of her pericings. It made me so mad. After watching her, I went 'freak', and wore my hair in a multicolored mohawk, wore bright neon colored super baggy jeans and heavy metal t shirts, I was ranked #20 in my school and I headed after school volunteer programs that helped both the homeless and elderly, dressed like a freak. I loved it!!!
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
24 May 12
I don't see a problem with it myself. You see a lot more people with piercings in public roles these days and like you said, you are not even in the public view. I think it is probably a health thing, but I see nothing going wrong there either, just another stupid rule! When I worked in a ski resort in the 90's I had two earrings in my ear, but was only allowed to have one. So each morning, I took the second one out and put it back in at night to stop the hole closing over. I also had long hair and a beard before I worked there which had to be gotten rid of as you had to have short hair and be clean shaven. It was a dream job though, so I was willing to make the sacrifice. I just returned to the same ski resort this year though and saw plenty of long haired guys with facial hair doing the same job that I used to! I was there too early it seems as they have relaxed things these days!
@peavey (16856)
• United States
24 May 12
Whether it's a big deal or not, it's their choice to not allow it in their kitchen. As others have said, it's probably part of a blanket rule, but even if it's not, it's their right to ask you to remove it. To you, the nose ring is more important than the job, to them, it is not.
@babyEj (1525)
• Philippines
24 May 12
well such thing must be removed whether in women or men since you are working in restaurant specifically in the kitchen wherein sanitary is necessary to all employees.