No Shirt, No Shoes, No Saggy Pants?

One of the traditions of some laid-back restaurants is the sign “No shirts, no shoes, no service”. High-class establishments have required jackets of some of their patrons, while Giulio’s Pizzeria just requests that your pants aren’t falling down. Depending on your restaurant, the level of clothing you request and require of your clientele can say a lot about who you are and what you sell. Have you given any thought to clothing requirements?

The origins of “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” actually make a fair amount of sense; at beach areas, shop owners didn’t want people walking in barefoot, tracking in water and sand. Swim trunks were okay, which is why the concept isn’t “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Pants, No Service.”

Location, Location, Location

  • An open-air restaurant on a boardwalk at the beach might find it hard to keep all their consumers in shirts; men may be shirtless, and women might be in a bikini top. If you’re primary demographic is beach-goers taking a second away from the surf and turf for, well, surf and turf, as long as they’re wearing some sort of footwear, they’re not being worse than anyone right outside the doors.
  • A cafe or small-town restaurant may serve quality food, but not exorbitantly priced. Given the theoretically relaxed nature of the establishment, everything going from shorts and a t-shirt up are most likely okay. As long as people are covered, they’re set.
  • Deep in the heart of a big city in the higher-income areas? This is where you might want to start looking at keeping things classy, encouraging (if not demanding) traditional business or formalwear. If anything, you may wish to inform people placing reservations that there is a “dress code”, and keeping jackets around for those who forgot might be beneficial to keeping customers while keeping your code intact.

Safety First

  • The issue of safety is paramount in a restaurant, for the health of your customers and for the bottom line for your restaurant. Customers without shoes prove to be hazardous without traction, given the nature of restaurants; spills, dropped items, and more become extra-hazardous without shoe soles providing grip and defense.
  • In the aforementioned “sagging pants” case, these pants can be tripped over, fall down, and cause public ridicule alongside mobility impairment.
  • Ripped jeans, cutoff shorts, and other clothing with extra “bits” hanging off may cause problems or catch on unintended things, like chairs or the bar. This may prove to be a safety hazard.