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Can Waitresses Wear Nail Polish? [ Here’s The Answer ]

It is surely not easy to work as a waitress. You need to keep track of the food ordered, customers, and the pantry. A smile needs to be there on your face while serving the customers. There are also some specific regulations on their dress choice and many more that needs to be proper.

The common question that comes to many minds is; Can Waitresses Wear Nail Polish?

Can Waitresses Wear Nail Polish

Usually, waitresses are not allowed to wear nail polish when on duty. If she wears nail polish, she will have to put on gloves, which would be problematic.

According to FDA good Code 2017, waitresses are not supposed to wear nail polish when on duty. There are many reasons behind these rules.

Factors That Determine Wearing Nail Polish For Waitresses

Many factors determine wearing nail polish for waitresses. Let’s go through a few of them.

Nail Polish Can Contaminate Food

Nail polishes don’t sit on nails with the help of glue, and they can cause a high risk of contamination in food. At times nail polishes break or peel off, which can enter the food and be harmful to health after being consumed.


The restaurant’s image can be at stake if you start flaunting long multi-colored nails. Many customers don’t like long nails, which can irk them and stop them from eating. Some restaurants do allow short painted nails, but it’s not allowed by elite restaurants.

According to the FDA Food Code, you can only wear acrylic nails under gloves. You will not want to lose your job by feeding a customer your acrylics. Acrylics are not allowed in many restaurants.

Hygiene Rules For Waitresses

  • The waitresses need to wash their hands at regular intervals.
  • They should wear some protective caps or gloves, which will help them serve better.
  • You should avoid perfumes, aftershave creams, and nail polishes as far as possible.
  • The waitress should not wear any accessories at work.
  • Long and thick hair should be up on a pony firmly.
  • You should not sneeze in front of your customer and wash your hands immediately so that bacteria is not spread. Always keep a handkerchief with you.
  • It will help if you avoid smoking.
  • Talk to the customer politely and always keep a smile on your face.

Products Recommended For Waitresses

Safety shoes: A Waitress should be wearing non-slippery shoes or sandals instead of fancy high heels or uncomfortable shoes which may trouble you.

Insoles that are comfortable: Even if your feet are high or flat, getting insoles would be the best option to make you comfortable and work longer.

Nail Polish Remover: You will surely want to wear nail paint and flaunt your nails during your free time. So it would help if you carried a nail polish remover along to remove the nail polish when you are about to get back to work. You can surely pamper yourself.

Can Chefs Wear Nail Polish At Work?

Not! The checks deal with the food department directly related to health. And if the nails chip off or the acrylic enters the food, the customer will surely suffer health issues. But you always have the option of wearing nail polish under your gloves. Some nail polishes are flammable, which may be hazardous and scary.

Can A Waitress Wear Jewelry?

The only jewelry that a waitress can wear is a thin ring. Other than that, no other jewelry is allowed. All your accessories should be left at home before you come to work.

Can A Waitress Wear A Watch?

Watches are not allowed, but it surely depends on the managing staff of the restaurant whether they give you permission or not.

Can A Waitress Keep Her Hair Open?

The waitress needs to tie up her hair into a bun during work hours to keep the hair out of her face and serve the food.

Can You Wear Nail Polish In The Food Industry?

Definitely! You can have good looking beautiful long nails. But surely, there is a stop for manicures. There are many valid reasons for sanitary issues, and you surely can’t ignore the rules.

Manicures and food servicing are like two poles that never meet. You have to sacrifice one for the other. If you have acrylics or gel polish, you will surely not be allowed to work.

There are many new styles of nail polishes coming up, and the waitresses feel like flaunting them. But even with nail polish, you will have to wear gloves all the time, which might make things worse for you as things might slip from your hands and break a few of them.

The food industry is not a friend to your beautiful nails. Things have taken a terrible turn after the pandemic. Things have turned out to become worse than before.


The waitresses need to follow the rules issued by the FDA, as per which they cannot apply nail polish during the hours of service. A clear idea about the rules and regulations for most restaurants is here.