Saturday, March 17, 2018

How To Stop Harassment Of Restaurant Workers

How To Stop Harassment Of Restaurant Workers

Harassment creates a host of problems for restaurant managers and owners.

Workplace Harassment Can Threaten Your Business

This isn’t the kind of thing that goes away if you turn a blind eye. Although it can seem difficult sometimes to find the line between inappropriate and borderline behavior and harassment, it needs to be addressed by management early and often.
Letting restaurant harassment go unchecked creates a situation where you personally can be held financially liable if it’s shown you had the opportunity to address it but did not.
A quick Google search will show you plenty of examples of restaurants being sued for tens of thousands of dollars or more by former employees for not doing their part to protect their staff from different types of harassing behaviors.
Can you afford to lose tens of thousands, have your reputation tarnished and spend months dealing with a court case?

Harassment is incredibly common in restaurants

According to a report from [The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United](The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United) in 2014, more than 70% of restaurant staff – regardless of gender – has experienced harassment in the workplace.
Because of the high employee turnover rate in restaurants, this all goes mostly unreported. What has happened over the years is this lack of reporting has created an environment where staff can get the wrong impression about what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t.
Once a culture of harassment takes hold in a restaurant, if an employee is harassed they will think it’s “just normal” and either accept it or move on to another job to get away from their harassers and the lack of enforcement by management.
Maybe this is why you’ve recently lost some of your good staff? It’s worth considering that they may have felt it was easier just to leave than to create “drama.”

What Qualifies As Restaurant Harassment?

An important first step in addressing restaurant workplace harassment is defining what it is. According to the NYC law offices of Philips & Associates:
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. The test for a hostile work environment is whether the offensive language or gestures are severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of your employment from the perspective of another person of your gender."
Every municipality has its own definitions of harassment, sexual and otherwise and legal statutes of your particular jurisdiction are outside the scope of this article, but this gives you a pretty clear starting point. If a staff member is repeatedly distracted from the core functions of their work by another employee that is harassment.

Managment Is Obligated To Create a Safe Restaurant Workplace

The first step is effective anti-harassment training for staff. If you’re instituting a new policy make sure that it is conforming to Federal, State, and Local harassment laws.
Informing staff clearly about what behavior is not tolerated will go a long way to create an environment where fellow employees feel safe. Assuring them that management is serious about the anti-harassment policy and have an open door, willing to listen to any an all complaints assures staff that they don’t have to put up with the bad behavior of others.
Keep in mind; it’s not just harassing behavior from employees that management is responsible for controlling. In 2012, a Florida hot-wings restaurant was required to pay $200,000 for failing to protect servers from unwelcome contact and conduct from a restaurant patron.
Yes, as restaurant management we must step in and tell a rowdy customer when their behavior isn’t acceptable, even if they are a “regular.” The safety of staff comes ahead of the service to VIPs and big spenders. If we’re not protecting servers from unwelcome touching and harassing comments from restaurant guests, we have failed our duty to create a safe working environment. And if the case from Florida is any indication, it would be a very expensive mistake!
The restaurant industry, unfortunately, has one of the highest rates of harassment in the workplace because of a combination of factors including, alcohol use, wanting to please customers, high turnover rates and employee banter that can go too far. But creating an anti-harassment workplace is a legal obligation for restaurant owners that protects both employees and management’s best interests.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Fight Restaurant Staff Theft With These Proven Steps

Fight Restaurant Staff Theft With These Proven Steps

Effective actions restaurant owners can use to combat stealing

It’s an unfortunate reality that most theft you’ll experience isn’t from outsiders, but from the people, you hire to help you run your business. There is an infinite number of excuses for why people steal, but our job as restaurant supervisors and owners is to make sure they can’t keep getting away with it.

What’s the big deal?

If you’re not actively putting in place and enforcing policies and procedures designed to combat theft, then your lack of action communicates to employees that you don’t really care. And if you don’t care, why should they?
Apathy spreads from the top down as a culture of complacency takes root, a little off the top here and a little more out the back door quickly becomes standard practice as new employees observe the behaviors of senior staff.
It’s surprisingly easy to spread a mindset that considers the thousands of dollars lost to theft to be “no big deal.” That’s why it’s estimated that as much as six million dollars is lost to employee theft in the restaurant industry alone.

Trust But Verify

We all want to trust our employees. We need to trust them because they take care of the day to day operations when we’re not around. The alternative to trust is paranoia, and we certainly don’t want that.
The solution is to implement consistent practices that increase accountability in the restaurant so a culture of trust can flourish and bad actors can be weeded out.

Eyes in the Back Of your Head

One of the most important and surprisingly inexpensive tools at your disposal is having a robust camera system that integrates both visible and hidden cameras.
It’s important to let employees know that they’re always being watched. If their conscience isn’t enough to deter them from theft, the fear of the unblinking eye of the camera may fill the gap.
In most cases, just the perception that they are being watched at all times is enough to make them consider their actions carefully. That’s why it is vital to emphasize that there are many hidden cameras. No one, even thieves want to get caught red-handed thieving.

Controlling the Cash Drawer

The most obvious form of theft is shorting the cash drawer. To counter this activity, it’s important to train employees on proper cash drawer management procedures.
At a minimum, the cash drawer should be audited at the beginning and end of every shift. A better procedure is to count the drawer periodically through the shift. This gives you the opportunity to keep only the amount of cash necessary to make change for customers.
Ideally, each staff member will be assigned to their own cash drawer. This reduces the potential for conflict or confusion if the drawer is short. People are less likely to do the wrong things when it’s easy to be caught. Also, when each staff member is directly accountable for their personal cash drawer balance, there is no need to throw an innocent party under the microscope. The scope of your investigation is reduced, and honest employees won’t feel untrusted.
Some POS systems designed for restaurants and bars, like Rezku POS allow you to use multiple cash drawers operated by a single terminal in a configuration known as “bar drawers.”
You might also consider not allowing staff to count their own drawer – even if they are managers. We always want to be aware that it’s our employees placed in high-trust positions who have the most opportunity to steal from us.

Inventory Audits

The most insidious kind of restaurant theft is the kind that employees easily dismiss. Product theft is no less serious than cash theft. It hurts the bottom line the same. Stealing food is stealing. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone taking home food, giving their friends over-portioned sandwiches or undercharging guests in hopes of a bigger tip.
Like cash drawer management, inventory management procedures show your staff that they are accountable and that records are being kept. Knowing the watchman never sleeps will prevent them from thinking they can get away with stealing.
To track inventory easily make sure everything that comes in is counted, weighed and recorded. After prep, weigh the waste and subtract it from total inventory.
The next steps involve the help of your point of sales system. Each dish on the menu should have set portions tied to ingredient-level stock so that every pour and every plate sold account for an appropriate amount of goods sold.
Comparing this record of what was sold against what is on hand will help you quickly identify discrepancies and a basis to investigate who’s ripping you off!

Trusting Your Employees

The goal of each of these procedures is to create an environment where trust between restaurant owner and restaurant staff can flourish.
By creating a culture of honesty and accountability, you can sleep at night knowing your staff is conducting themselves in a professional and trustworthy manner.
Talk to your employees and get to know them. It’s not right, but it’s much easier for a thief to justify stealing from a stranger than someone they know. Let them know that stealing has an impact. Less profit means fewer hours for staff too.
It’s also important to reward your staff for a job well done and make sure they feel appreciated. A few perks can go a long way to buy the loyalty of stressed out restaurant employees.
Using the techniques expanded on in this guide will help you build better relationships with your employees based in mutual trust and help you weed out thieves by catching them in the act and removing them from the restaurant.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Why Don’t You Have A Restaurant Website?

Why Don’t You Have A Restaurant Website?

If you’re not sure a website for your restaurant is worth the hassle there are things you should know.

I Already have Facebook and Instagram!

Yes, and that’s a great start, but it’s an entirely different type of marketing. Don’t stop posting on social media. But if you have neglected your restaurant’s dedicated website, social media is not a substitute.
Instagram and Facebook help you stay in touch with your fanbase and get shares but a website offers some key benefits you’re currently missing out on – Google local search results is the primary one. When people in the area search for restaurants Google is smart enough to give them filtered results that are nearby. This is a prime driver for new customers. When they search “Best Cafe Deli” you want to top that list and have a compelling website that draws them in!

Why Is A Restaurant Website Important?

When other people write about your restaurant, you don’t have control over people’s perceptions. Your website is all yours, a private playground to put your best food forward.
Who’s your target customer? What do they want to know before choosing where to eat? Now’s your chance to make an impression that tops the others. If there are 3 ramen houses within 15 miles of each other, why should guests choose yours? A spiffy website could definitely be the tipping point.

What Should Be On My Restaurant Website?

The critical information for guests that will help you rank in Google local results. The name, address, and type of cuisine are primary. But think about other searches people are doing – “Live Music,” “Good for Families,” “Best Happy hour” so make sure to mention all the things that draw in guests. What makes you unique? Now’s the chance to lay it out there.
Your menu should definitely be on your website – especially if you do delivery. In fact, with a little more effort you can integrate online ordering too.
If you’re not seeing a full dining room every night, online reservations is another excellent way to pull in more guests. People like to know they have a secure table when they go out. Just make sure to pick an online reservation system that’s easy to use and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Rezku offers restaurant owners affordable feature rich front of house management solutions that include online ordering at no additional cost.

How Do I Get Started On a Restaurant Website?

Before you start a website for your restaurant, you should define your goals. What do you want from your visitors? List them out – more reservations? More Deliveries? Rank better in searches? Enticed by a unique menu, venue, and offerings?
Knowing where you want to go is the first step to getting there.

Where Do I Put My Restaurant Website?

Next, you need to decide what type of web hosting service to choose. There are free sites, but they may come with a catch like pop-up ads, not having a “real” domain name and cheesy generic templates.
If you don’t have anything at all, start small – anything is better than nothing when it comes to climbing the search ranks. But bear in mind that if you’ve got a site that’s neglected or looks amateur, it will give visitors an impression of your business. You may decide that your target customers won’t mind – but don’t be surprised if the competition with a nicer website lures in more new guests.
Free hosting sites like and will get you started with little effort and no cost. Serious restaurant owners who want total control will register their own domain names and use a paid hosting site like, or – plans suitable for most restaurants are less than $10 and give you unlimited control over the look of your site.

I Don’t Know The First Thing About Web-Design!

It will take some effort to polish, your site but the tools available today are much easier to use than in the past. If you find that you enjoy learning new things you can quickly set up a Wordpress template and be on your way.
Alternatively, the web is full of capable freelance web designers who work relatively cheaply. You may be shocked the kind of professional websites you can get custom-built for a couple hundred dollars. Check out sites like and if you’re open to remote hires and search good old Craig’s List for locals who are in the biz. It’s highly recommended that if you go this route, you hire someone with a portfolio of clients and does this work professionally to save yourself from annoying and expensive headaches. Your cousin’s “whiz kid” might grow disinterested before the job is done!
The primary message here is don’t wait! A website for your restaurant is just as important as the sign outside your building. The web isn’t going anywhere, and it’s the main resource diners use to decide where they’re going to eat. Get your message out there and rank in Google!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Master The Art Of Menu Focus

Master The Art Of Menu Focus

How to simplify your restaurant menu and increase profits

If you feel like you’ve got too many items on your menu that’s a sure sign that you’re probably right. The bigger your menu, the higher the risk. Follow these 5 iron-clad rules, and you too will reap the myriad benefits of a refined restaurant menu – no matter your restaurant concept.

5 Rules for streamlining your restaurant menu

From a restaurant guest’s perspective, a too-large menu, with lot’s going on can be cause for anxiety and uncertainty. We live in a fast-paced era of information. Some would argue it’s too much. Dining out is a respite from our obligations and a chance to let someone else take care of us for a change. Too much on your menu is a disservice to your guests.
  1. Focus in on your target – Before you can decide on what to keep and what to remove from your menu you need to have a deep understanding of who your customers are.
    This rule is especially important for those stubborn restaurant owners who insist their food is for “everybody.” The only thing that happens when you try to please everyone is you end up pleasing no-one – and that’s probably how you got to have such a large menu in the first place!
    It’s easy, look at your Sales-By-Product report from your Restaurant POS System to find out what price point and menu items are the most successful. This will tell you the food preferences of your current clientele.
    Whatever’s not selling is costing you money, taking up prep-time and using valuable walk-in space. CUT IT OUT!
    It’s vitally important to talk to your guests and find out what they like – ask them point blank where else they like to eat in the city, so you know what their tastes are.
    Armed with this information you can begin to design a targeted menu.
  2. Get a Firm Grip On Costs – Don’t even think about writing recipes with your chef or setting prices unless you know exactly what the costs are.
    The big chains and your competition are not falling in love with their food creations before they carefully engineer them for maximum profitability.
    Look through your ingredient price lists from your suppliers and target those ingredients that have a low cost to your but a higher perceived value for your guests.
    That means understanding the tastes of your target, and average ticket amount.
  3. Build a Relationship With Vendors – Before you remake your menu take the time to get the inside track from your vendors. Understand their supply chain and work with them to make deals.
    How much do you need to buy of an ingredient to cut the cost?
    Can they help you anticipate seasonal produce cost fluctuations before they happen?
    What’s in season or on sale this month?
    You might be surprised what you can find out if you open yourself up to a closer relationship with your food suppliers.
    This rule also includes negotiating with your current suppliers and testing out new ones. Don’t be afraid to shop around to get the best deals.
  4. Rotate Your Menu and Keep it Interesting! – Realize that stripping the excess from your menu doesn’t mean always making the same thing or making your menu boring!
    This is your chance to let creativity shine, by mixing in seasonal dishes or adding new offerings when your food suppliers offer a discount.
    Give local food lovers a reason to keep coming back to see what you’ve got cooked up today. A menu that evolves helps you understand the changing needs of your target customers and helps you find new money-making favorites to add to your regular menu.
    Just don’t add so many specials that you’re back to where you started!
  5. Enjoy The Simple Life – Let go of the food in your menu that’s holding you back, clear the old frozen food from your walk-in and run a tight service.
    When cooks are confident about the food they are making, then product consistency increases.
    Kitchen efficiency increases when multiple table’s orders can be batched because they’re ordering the same things. Food gets out to guests quicker.
    Servers can focus on providing more significant attention to the guests, by upselling and recommending from your focused menu rather than trying to remember a five-page menu.
    Remember, a simplified menu lets you do more, not less. Offering too many choices in your restaurant menu limits you and complicates restaurant operations.
Follow these five rules to focus your menu, and you’ll see happy guests, a well-regulated kitchen, and higher profits!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Things to Avoid as a Waitress

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 8: Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially to recite special. Wait for the right moment.

It is rude to interrupt a conversation, period. Not just in the restaurant business, but life in general. This is something that I see every single time I eat at a restaurant. 

It does not matter if it is a super fancy or super casual restaurant, I see it every time. Now it does not happen to me every time, but it does happen to me quite often. Truthfully, it just reduces the waitress’s tip because of the unprofessional behavior.

Growing up, it is normally taught, “do not interrupt somebody that is talking, if you must, say “excuse me” first and wait for a response.” If you must interrupt the guest’s conversation, at the very least, say excuse me and wait for a response.

Number 32: Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them, or dust them.

I personally do not like people touching me. At all. Not even my close friends and family. The restaurant staff’s job is to be friendly, but you can be friendly without touching the guest. 

We do not want to be touched. Touching the guest is unprofessional. And some people may take it as a form of flirting, which happens more often than it should. 

I was sitting at my table in this restaurant and one of the servers touched the guy sitting at the table beside mine. I believe he was on a date. But let’s just say, the woman that was with him, did not have a nice response to the server. 

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 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

Is an animal someone's guest at the dinner table in the restaurant?

When you see an animal in public, it is typically friendly and approachable. The majority of people love animals, especially dogs and will want to pet the animal. 

But an animal in a restaurant at a table? Not so much. Some people do not like the idea of animals accompany their owner during their meals. 

Has someone entered your restaurant with an animal by their side? If so, it was more than likely a service animal. Addressing service animals in the restaurant can be very difficult due to the laws meant to protect individuals with disabilities that require service animals.

Determining if the animal is a service animal is the first step you must take. This will allow you to address the issue accordingly. 

The biggest challenge you will run into is determining if it is a pet animal or a service animal. Luckily though, the majority of the time, the service animal will have an indicator. 

The indicators include a leash, vest, collar, or harness that will display “service animal”.

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. 

The definition of a service animal.

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. 

Service animals are ALLOWED in your restaurant, regardless. Unless...

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. 

How 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. 

But you may not 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

Do not ever ask them to leave unless…

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:
  • If the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control the service animal
  • 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 that is important. 

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 was retrieved from

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Are Tattoos in the Workplace Acceptable?

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 are not even aware of it. 

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? 

The History Behind Tattoos. 
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?

Why did tattoos become acceptable to society?
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. 

Some Employers are okay, others are not. 
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, this is what will happen. 
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.

Only 4% of individuals that have tattoos have faced discrimination. While 76% of employees felt tattoos would hurt their chances with job interviews, 73% of employees say they would hire staff with visible tattoos. 

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?