Employee Dress and Appearance at Starbucks

Tattoos OK…Jewelry Not So Much



There’s been so much blather on social media about the recently announced Starbucks’ Dress Code, I wanted to see for myself what this dress code actually says. I looked it up, and I’ve attached the entire (1 page) Official Starbucks’ Dress Code at the bottom of this posting.

I personally don’t much like rules and I think the best rule book I’ve ever heard of was Nordstrom’s. Printed on a single 5″ X 7″ card, I’ve duplicated the entire rulebook contents below:

Welcome to Nordstrom


We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.


Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.


Please feel free to ask your department manager, store manager, or division general manager any question at any time.

I’m not certain that this remains their rulebook today, but I feel that the overall policy of employee empowerment is still respected today at Nordstrom.

I’ve always believed Starbucks to be a progressive company, but I hated Starbucks‘ tattoo policy. Many times I’ve noticed baristas with flesh colored bandages covering up a small tattoo on their neck, or a stud on their nose. How silly. I have no tattoos or nose jewelry, but this is the world we live in. It’s not for me to judge. I just want a smile and a cup of hot coffee.

Now, they have removed this foolish policy, but added the provision that employees may not wear watches or rings with stones in them. It turns out that Starbucks is not alone. Many restaurants and food service establishments severely restrict the jewelry employees can wear, and it appears that there there are in fact FDA rules related to this.

There’s more than meets the eye here. In the next few years, Starbucks aims to increase their food sales to 50% of their revenue. Because of this, I don’t think it’s likely they’re going to back down on the minimalistic approach to jewelry. I guess this is a you win some – you lose some proposition. Lightening up on Starbucks’ tattoo policy will make most employees happy, but as far as the jewelry decision goes, it’s just not likely to go away. Like others in the food service business, Starbucks will most certainly stick with the policy citing both legal and health safety reasons.

Click below to see Starbuck’s new policy:


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