Fashion Corner: The Top Shoes for Restaurant Managers or Chefs to Wear

restaurant operations

It’s no secret that restaurant and hospitality workers spend a lot of time on their feet! This even holds true for senior-level employees. While safety and function are the first concern when selecting the right shoes, fashion should also be considered. There are many options these days, and shoes for hospitality managers or chefs no longer have to sacrifice one for the other.

Why Function Matters with Shoes for Restaurant Managers or Chefs

From a practical perspective, the right shoes matter for two reasons. First, they provide comfort and reduce fatigue for workers who spend many hours on their feet. Second, they reduce injury risk thanks to features like slip-resistant soles and ankle support.

Why Fashion Matters

The more practical among us may easily understand the functional component of restaurant industry shoes. But, does fashion really matter? Studies in human nature suggest that style is, in fact, important. The aesthetic component of shoes helps to present a level of professionalism that is appreciated by both customers and fellow staff.

Front-of-House vs. Back-of-House

Yes, there is a distinction between the primary job duties of a chef and a restaurant manager. A chef’s role tends to be more physical and injury-prone. However, that doesn’t mean chefs have to sacrifice shoe fashion altogether.

A chef should weigh function more heavily, whereas a restaurant manager may focus a bit more on fashion. There may be a small sacrifice in either direction. But, today’s shoe offerings are very versatile.

Three Great Shoe Options for Restaurant Managers and Chefs

  • Boots – Today’s boot selection is much more diverse than in the past. No longer are people limited to traditional construction-worker designs. One stylish model is the Shoes for Crews “Holden.” It boasts functional qualities for both front-of-house and back-of-house use. The hip design will likely appeal to restaurant and bar managers.
  • Kitchen Clogs – As the name implies, this style of shoe is very popular for those working in the kitchen. However, it is also commonly worn by front-of-house staff. Special consideration should be given to the form vs. function tradeoff, as certain brands lean more toward one direction. The Birkenstock “London Hunter” is regarded as well-rounded and safe. On the other hand, many consider Dankso leather varieties to be the most fashionable.
  • Sneakers – Yes, even these common shoes can serve well for restaurant managers and chefs. Some establishments exhibit a more fun and casual vibe that meshes well with sneaker styling. Moreover, they’re typically lightweight and comfortable. One great option from Sketchers even includes an aluminum safety toe!

Whether you’re a restaurant manager or a head chef, remember that shoes are one of your most important tools. Fortunately, today’s hospitality staff enjoy a number of high-quality offerings that serve both function and fashion. You’ll never regret investing in the right pair!

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