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Grooming Standards for Hotel Staff

grooming standards for hospitality staff


Staff working in hospitality establishments come into contact with guests time and again. It is essential for all staff, both front of house and back of house to maintain highest grooming standards.


The purpose of this policy is to ensure the image of the company in the eyes of the public is that of a professional, quality driven employee and that the employees are aware that their appearance and conduct reflect the company they work for.


What kind of shoes are suitable for hotel staff?

  • Shoes must be clean, polished and in good condition.
  • Most hotels either supply shoes or they require staff to wear black or brown shoes.
  • Kitchen staff must wear safety boots for safety reasons.
  • Shoes must fit you well. In hospitality you stand and walk for long hours.



  • Socks must be dark colour without patterns.
  • Socks must be in good condition and clean.
  • Ladies must wear natural skin-color tights. Black stockings are only allowed with certain uniforms.
  • Patterned or opaque stockings, pantyhose and tights are not allowed.
  • For stewarding and kitchen staff, socks for both male and female staff must match the shoe color (white or black)


Personal hygiene?

  • Pay special attention to your personal hygiene:


    1. Brush your teeth
    2. Keep your hair clean and take a shower every day.
    3. A non-pungent deodorant should be worn always.
  • Wash your hands regularly:
    1. Every time you eat
    2. Every time you smoke
    3. Every time you come back from the toilets
    4. Every time you finish doing mise en place or any time you touch food,
    5. Every time you touch money or paperwork.
    6. Hands should always be dry and clean.
  • All cuts and burns should be periodically redressed.
  • DO NOT:
    1. Smoking in the kitchen area.


    1. Coughing and sneezing.
    2. Picking pimples and sores.
    3. Fingering food.
    4. Licking fingers.
    5. Tasting food with unwashed spoon.
    6. Scratching the head or scalp
    7. Touch your face while serving guests or being in a public or non-designated area.


  • No make up for ladies allowed when on kitchen or stewarding duty.
  • Discreet and conservative make up is allowed in service.



  • Well pressed, clean and neat always.


  • Buttoned up and hooked always as designed.


  • Well maintained with no missing or loose buttons, loose seams, spots, stains or tears.


  • Appropriately fitted, of the correct size with no unauthorized alterations.


  • Pockets should not be overstuffed with items.


  • Black or bright coloured underwear that shows through the uniform must not be worn.


  • T-shirts may only be worn under shirts or jackets, must be white or plain in colour with no logos, designs or patterns and should not be visible unless part of uniform.


  • Sweaters, pullovers and other similar clothing should not be worn.


  • Name badge should be in good condition and worn on the left-hand side.


Jewellery and Accessories



  • One watch either on left or right wrist is allowed. No oversized, colourful or plastic watch is to be worn. Food handlers are not allowed to wear any watches.


  • A maximum of one simple ring on each hand is allowed. Wedding and engagement rings are considered one ring.


  • Body piercings are not encouraged in general.


Male Jewellery:

  • No ear/nose studs are allowed.
  • Bracelets and necklaces, as well as religious reasons can be worn only if inside uniform and not visible.


Female Jewellery:

  • Only one pair of ear studs measuring not more than 1 cm in diameter are allowed. Dangling earrings are not permitted.
  • One discreet necklace is allowed. Extreme styles are not acceptable. No necklaces may show outside the uniform.
  • Pins/brooches: No other than nametag on any uniform.


Hair and Make-up


Male Hair:   

  • Hair should be clean, combed, neat, trimmed and well groomed.
  • Hair must be neat and trimmed at or above the standard line.
  • No extreme hairstyles or haircuts.
  • It should be of natural colour and not dyed or streaked in any unnatural colours.
  • If working in a food handling area, hair should be covered by a net.

Female Hair:                                                  

  • Hair should be clean, combed, neat, trimmed and well groomed.                
  • No extreme hairstyles and Braids are unacceptable.
  • Hair no longer than the top of the shoulders can be worn down if it is kept away from the face.
  • Longer hair must be worn tied up in a bun, neat ponytail or with a black hair crush.  
  • No coloured ribbons, pins or grips should be used.
  • It should be of natural colour and not dyed or streaked in any unnatural colours.
  • If working in a food handling area, hair should be covered by a net.





  • Make up should be applied in basic moderation. It should look natural and match the overall look and concept of the uniform.


  • Keep fingernails neatly trimmed and moderate in length.


  • For ladies: no nail polish, no nail art when in kitchen.


  • Nail polish is not allowed for food handlers including waitrons as well as housekeeping. For front office staff, it must be natural colour.



These are guidelines and you will find them in most hospitality establishments. However, different companies have different set of rules and policies. Be sure to check with your company.


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Sam Hospitality is the first-choice training provider for resorts, hotels, lodges and camps throughout Africa. Training is conducted in-house/ onsite and tailored to each establishment’s needs. For bookings, email training@hospitalitycourses.co.za