The hygiene of the wait staff should not have to be a concern of management, since all adults should maintain a neat and clean appearance. However, in this imperfect world it is an issue that often arises. There is no easy way to deal with something that is so personal by its very nature, but there are a few tactics that could help.
Most establishments have a policy that allows the customer to take home the uneaten portion of the meal in a special container. A clear procedure should be created for the handling of this food by wait staff. It is usually best if the wait staff transfer the food from the plate to the container in the kitchen. Some identification of the meal should be placed on the outside of the container so that customers are assured that it is, indeed, their meal in that container.
Another item that should be considered is instruction for use. It sounds so simple, but you really should remind people that the aluminum in which you may have placed the meal should not be used in a microwave, and likewise, if you placed the food in a paper container, that it should not be placed directly in the oven.
An important cautionary note is that customers should be advised that food should not remain indefinitely in the backseat of the car or in their shopping bag—the foods should be refrigerated immediately to remain safe.
Downloadable Handout: Server Cleanliness Dos and Don’ts
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