If you’ve ever worked as a server at a restaurant, you know all too well how demanding and thankless the job can be.
Rude customers, low wages, people who refuse to leave reasonable tips, and being on your feet all day are all things servers deal with on a regular basis, but could you imagine having to wear shoes that literally make your feet bleed on top of everything else? One waitress from Alberta, Canada, can. That’s exactly what happened when her employer forced her to wear heels throughout her entire shift last year.
After seeing her friend’s damaged feet, Nicola Gavin decided to share a photo of them to call out the footwear policy management enforced at the JOEY restaurant that employed her friend.
“Their policy is still that female staff wear heels unless medically restricted,” Gavin said. “My friend’s feet were bleeding to the point she lost a toe nail and she was still discouraged and berated by the shift manager for changing into flats (specifically told that heels would be required on her next shift the following day).” She also said female employees were required to buy uniforms, while male employees could wear black clothing they already owned.
However, the restaurant denied her claims about the dress code policy and said the incident was due to “a lack of communication and understanding around our guidelines.”
(via Boredom Therapy)
Britt Innes, VP Marketing for JOEY Restaurant Group, made the following statement regarding Gavin’s post.
The moment we saw this post I reached out to connect with the partner (employee) right away. Our partners` feedback is extremely important to us, so I wanted to hear directly from her about her experience.
After speaking with her, we followed up with our management team at this location and also sent out company-wide communication to ensure everyone has the correct information and training materials around our policies and guidelines.
Our current shoe guidelines require both male and female partners to wear a black dress shoe that is non-slip with a thick sole for safety reasons. Under this guide, they choose what is comfortable for them. There is no minimum height when it comes to our shoe policy. Shoes range from black dress flats, wedges and heels. For those employees who choose to wear heels, we require the heel height to be no higher than 2.5”. I have attached the updated Shoe Guideline for your reference.
In regards to the two other points that came up in the post I wanted to clarify that we have always strictly followed provincial regulations regarding training pay. We do not charge a fee for uniforms. We do require a refundable deposit for serving related equipment from both male and female partners. This deposit is not a fee and is repaid upon return of these items.
As you can understand, we were troubled to see this image circulating. After speaking with the partner our next step was to investigate the situation in all of our restaurants, with all of our management teams. We are ensuring everyone is clear about the updated shoe guidelines.
I stand behind our current guidelines, and am seeing to it personally that they are being implemented.