Maintain Personal Presentation Standards

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Maintain Personal Presentation Standards

The hospitality industry relies heavily on presentation, image and hygiene standards. Presentation and image cover two main areas: Physical environment – personal presentation of staff, particularly staff who have frequent contact with customers and guests.

You, the staff member, have a responsibility to create and maintain the image and presentation of your workplace. Your personal presentation enhances the first impression a customer forms of a hospitality establishment.
Hospitality employees must practice high standards of personal presentation in accordance with

  • Enterprise requirements

  • Specific requirements for job function and work location

  • Occupational health and safety issues

  • Customer expectations.

There are minimum industry standards that apply across the entire industry with regard to personal presentation, and expectations that exist in specific organisations, called enterprise standards. These vary between organisations depending on location, style of operation, image and customer base.

Hotel Personal Presentation Standards

The following are standards of uniform and personal appearance for employees. (Where staff are required to wear a uniform their clothing standard should be in keeping with that of conservative elegance.)



  1. Hair must be neat and clean. Extreme styles and/or colours are not permitted. In food and beverage service and production areas hair must be secured off the face and shoulders. Only black hair accessories to be worn.

  2. Make-up must be conservative and not extreme.

  3. Nails must be clean and neatly manicured. Clear nail polish only may be used.

  4. Anti-perspirant must be used as often as is necessary to combat body odour.

  5. Perfumes should be discreet and not excessive.

  6. Jewellery

a. Earrings must not exceed the size of a 5-cent piece and only one earring per ear is acceptable. Earrings that dangle are not permitted.

b. Wedding, engagement, eternity rings and/or one other dress ring to be worn only.

c. No ornaments apart from name badge and Meridien promotional pin may be worn on uniform.

  1. Black court shoes (clean and polished) must be worn. Stores, kitchen, housekeeping and stewarding staff may wear shoes best suited to the interest of their safety.

  2. No visible tattoos are permitted.

  3. When wearing hosiery it is to be worn between 15 and 20 denier thickness. No damaged hosiery permitted.

  1. Hair must be above collar line – neatly combed, with no extreme cuts or colours.

  2. Beards are not permitted except for back of house staff that already wears one. Such beards are to be kept a reasonable length and neat. Moustaches must be carefully trimmed with remainder of face clean-shaven. Goatees and designer stubble are inappropriate.

  3. Nails must be short and clean.

  4. Anti-perspirant must be used as often as is necessary to combat body odour.

  5. Aftershave lotions and hair tonics must be subtle.

  6. Jewellery

a. Earrings are not permitted.

b. Bracelets, chains, etc. must not be visible.

c. Wedding ring and/or one other dress ring only.

d. No ornaments apart from name badge and Meridien promotional pin may be worn on uniform.

  1. Black shoes (clean and polished) and black socks must be worn. Stores, kitchen, housekeeping and stewarding staff may wear shoes best suited to the interest of their safety.

  2. No visible tattoos are permitted.
Personal Hygiene

Poor personal hygiene can cause sickness and body odour can be offensive to the people you work with, or worse, to the guests you come in contact with.
Strict regulations and laws govern hygiene standards and sanitation for food handlers.
Here are some guidelines for your personal hygiene. To care for yourself, you need to:

  • Have a daily bath or shower.

  • Use a deodorant or antiperspirant that is effective for you.

  • Change undergarments daily.

  • Eat properly, exercise daily and get the right amount of sleep.

Skin Care and Make-up

Cleanliness is the beginning of a clear complexion. Keep your skin care program simple, so that you will do it every day.
If you wear make-up, apply it appropriately for day or evening wear. Use make-up to enhance your natural features. Too much make-up is as bad as wearing too little. Some workplaces will give you strict guidelines and directions for wearing make-up.

Facial Hair

The presentation of facial hair for males is also important. Men must shave daily, perhaps twice a day, if five-o-clock shadow emerges. Moustaches and beards are not appropriate in many areas of the hospitality industry. If they are allowed, be sure they are neatly trimmed and cared for.


Strong perfume rarely mixes well with good food, so this is particularly important if you are working in a restaurant or dining room, whether you are male or female.
Hair Care and Styling:

If your hair is clean and tidy, it will indicate to a guest that you are someone that cares. If your hair is untidy and dirty the guest will question whether staff who can't care for themselves, can possibly care well for guests.
Hair should always be neatly cut and styled. Long hair needs to be tied back from the face, so it doesn't interfere with work or get caught in equipment. Good hair care includes:

  • Washing – Shampoo your hair as often as need (once or twice a week or even daily)

  • Styling – Select a hairstyle that suits you and is easy to maintain.

  • Tinting – If you tint your hair, it must be maintained often enough so that regrowth is not noticeable. In most workplaces, management would probably not allow "wild" hair colours, like blue, green and so on.
Dental Care

You are often in close proximity to guests when talking to them it is important that you maintain good oral hygiene. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day.

  • Use dental floss daily.

  • Using a mouthwash to clean the tongue, gums and roof of the mouth and to sweeten the breath. This applies particularly to smokers, or when you have eaten strongly flavoured foods like garlic.

  • Visiting your dentist every six months.
Care and Presentation of Hands

Your hands are on show all the time, and guests notice dirty fingernails or hands that have not been maintained well. Nails must be clean and well manicured. Most establishments only allow clear nail polish. To care for your hands, use a moisturising hand cream after wet or messy jobs. If you bite your nails, you must stop immediately.

Care of Feet

Working in the hospitality industry, you will be standing on your feet for long periods of time. If you don't take care of your feet, you run the risk of developing leg, back or neck problems. Be sure your work shoes fit well. Sprinkle foot powder in your shoes to help keep them from smelling. Change pantyhose or socks daily. Your shoes should be leather, closed-toe and low-heeled (lace up shoes offer excellent support). Keep your shoes well-polished and heeled at all times.

Appropriate Jewellery

In large hotels, clubs and resorts, jewellery is usually restricted to:

  • Wedding bands.

  • Dress watch (no large or diver's watches).

  • One earring per ear (only studs or sleepers).

  • No bangles or chains. These restrictions are also for your safety. Excessive or large pieces of jewellery can interfere with your work and they can become caught in equipment and cause injuries.

Uniform Care and Maintenance

Part of your personal presentation is the wearing of the uniform. The guest will see the uniform as identification that you are part of the establishment. The uniform also has the purpose of protecting you in the workplace.
To feel good in the uniform, you must take care of it. This means making sure you wear the complete uniform of the correct size and without stains.
You, as the staff member, must ensure that your uniform is in good repair. This means clean and pressed, all buttons attached with correctly coloured thread, hems secure (and not with staples or safety pins). You will find that many establishments have a separate uniform section in the housekeeping department. They will issue uniforms daily, when you come on duty. In this case you are not allowed to take the uniform home. It is cleaned, pressed and maintained by your employer.
In a restaurant or bistro, you may have to provide your own uniform.
In all your work situations your personal presentation will constantly be noticed and assessed by somebody. It is therefore important that you are always aware of how you are dressed and how you present yourself. It can make a difference to your career prospects.
Other elements of personal presentation are:

Social Etiquette

This is the conventional requirements of social behaviour. In the hospitality industry this means good manners and a working knowledge of professional behaviour including personal methods of addressing customers, manners applying to dining, door opening, customer greeting and departure.


Pronunciation, clarity and tone of your voice and speed of speech.

Poise and Deportment

The way you walk and stand, your confidence and calmness, being customer oriented and ready to assist. Making the customer’s first impression in a positive way.
The extent to which personal presentation standards are influenced by enterprise
Look closely at the picture of the chef and discuss how his personal presentation is influenced by the following factors:
Occupational health and safety issues
Job function and work location
Customer expectations
Enterprise standards
Using your notes for reference label the picture of the chef to sum up the main points on personal presentation, image and hygiene standards.
List two other factors that are not visual, that also influence our personal presentation standard.

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