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Tattoo problems in culinary school?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I am enrolled to start culinary studies in Sydney ,Australia in July. I am from Los Angeles and I have heard of students having problems with teachers and culinary schools in regards to being tattoo'd. I have full sleeved arm tattoos and some on my hands. What is the deal with teachers and schools having such a problem with this? As so many chefs have multiple tattoos. I can understand if i was working on a buffett line at a wedding. But for school... Give me a break. You would think they would just be happy with the high tuition they just got. Any input on this?
post #2 of 43
It would make no difference in my hiring practices, so I don't see why an instructor should make a big deal of this either. It's one thing if you are a lawyer with a pierced tongue/eybrow, but a chef?

Hold on: you don't have obscenities tatooed on your eye lids, do you? :D
post #3 of 43
Big deal, very big deal. The student represents the school, and students usually find jobs in the hospitality industry.

I don't have a problem with tatoos that are covered , but on exposed areas--hands, face, neck, I have a large problem. Behind the line is one thing, but when serving customers, tattoos have a nasty habit of turning customers off, and turned off customers don't come back and don't say why they don't come back. Money and reputation lost for a splotch of ink that will look like cra* on that person's body in 20 or so years. For fun and edification go to your local old folk's home-- or give your elderly parent a bath and see what a 60 yr old tatoo looks like on a 80 yr old body. But I digress...

The second problem is that tatoos are designed for one, and only one thing--to attract attention. Why does this person want to attract attention to his hands/face/neck?
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 43
alot of schools want to practice the highest of profesionlism. Im pretty sure the rule at my school was girls werent even allowed to wear ear rings in the kitchens even studs. schools have an image they want to maintain. I know of a 5 star resort that took externs from my school and they didnt want people of have tatoos where you could see them. you may never work at one of those places but rules are rules.
post #5 of 43
While I might argue about the enforcement of professional standards at the big name schools, it appears this is something they take seriously.

As a student, you are expected to follow the same levels of professionalism as an employer would have. For the hospitality industry, it has generally been deemed that visible tattoos are not professional.

Essentially its simple, foillow the rules, or don't go. Sounds like a bad deal, but I don't make the rules.
post #6 of 43
Whats the big deal. It's not a hygene issue. I can see how some folk lined up at a buffet might be offended, but it's not going to stop them eating is it? I could understand if your line looked like a bunch of tattoo'd hairy greasers, but anyway i'm biased. My 2 chef sons are well tattooed. And theyre damned good at what they do.
I'm booked myself for a wee tribal on the wrist tomorrow (read today AArgh)
Like i say, whats the big deal?
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #7 of 43
Yes, for some, it will stop them.
post #8 of 43
So what are you going to do: refuse them admission? Our professional uniform covers everything from the neck down except the hands. Beyond that, any tatoos showing (face/neck) is their own mistake they'll have to live with. ;)

I don't see it as a big deal as long as everything is clean and piercings are removed. Frankly I'm outrage at the lack of hygiene of the average cook much more than their tatoos...

Lynn Crawford is a great chef, currently the exec chef of the 4 Seasons in NY. She's done lots of television up in Canada, was on Iron Chef. She has a couple of large, odd-looking tats in the palms of her hands (ouch!). But the rest of her looks so professional, I can't imagine anyone objecting to her appearance and calling her unprofessional.
post #9 of 43
I think for some it would really matter along with the hygiene of the person. Culinary is all about cleanliness and order. If you have tattoos already then they can't do anything about it anymore, right?? You just have to make sure that you will prove to them that your not all "dirty" you know and stuff like that. :D
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I love my kitchen for it is where I can conjure even the weirdest recipe I can think of...
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post #10 of 43

i dont think it should be toomuch of a problem

generally , i have two tattoos but they are not visible generally and i also have a nose peircing , which i wear a dainty little stud thats discreet and two peircings in my ear lobes, which i wear studs and sleepers with no problems
there is a japanese guy in another class and when we are not in chef whites we are in a white shirt black pants, black vest black tie uniform, its been very warm here at the moment and he wears short sleeved shirts and he has very colourful tattoos down to his wrists, He doesnt seem to have been told off about them as he still wears short sleeves.
I think it would really depend on what the tattoos are and if they contain bad language or not. If the school has a prob with you having tattooed hands what about wearing disposable gloves when you work

Tattoos on your hands can give a bad impression sometimes, in our conservative industry , people might think it was crime related in some way maybe , but i dont genereally see any kinds of probs with tattoos normally

good luck with your school
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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

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post #11 of 43
The whole thingee about tattoos is not what you think or feel about them, it's what your employer thinks about them. Actually, it's what your employer's customers think about them.

This topic has come up on other sites, most noteably about a young man with facial tattoos. He had excellent skills and attitude and all that, but it was patiently explained to him that he would experience some difficulty in finding the job he wanted.

This is not illegal, not to hire a person with tattoos. The tattoo-ee was not born with them, wasn't tattooed at birth or tattooed with a gun pointed to his/her head, it was a clear and conscious decision on his/her behalf, and only they can take the responsibility for this decision.

Keep it covered up and know one knows are cares. When it is visibile on your face/hands/neck most employers will want to know why you want to display this, and what kind of problems they can anticipate from you.

Like I said before, tattoos are desiged for one, and only one thing: To attract attention.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 43
The OP is not debating whether or not kitchen staff can be tattooed, his/her issue is with schools. I agree each employer has the right to staff as they see fit, but I don't think a school should discriminate and deny enrollment to a student based on their tattoos...unless they contain content or words that are socially unacceptable/offensive. I'm assuming schools would include tattoo discussion as part of the training, since it obviously can limit some employment opportunity.

I think folks who are heavily tattooed already have come to terms with the employment issue. I have tattoos and I'm planning more.
post #13 of 43
You shouldn't have any problems with tatoos, if you have some hide them
post #14 of 43
The school makes the rules and enforces them. That's pretty much the bottom line. Just as employers can be picky about their applicants, schools can be too (at least for now). I have been put in situations where I did not agree with the rules, but pretty much I either had to follow along or choose to go elsewhere.
post #15 of 43
The rule are the rule.. we cant ignore them.
post #16 of 43
Rules are rules, period.......I have many tatoos also, I literely had them measured to my chef coats so that they can't be seen......

Suit for a interview $2,00.00

Briefcase and leather planner $400.00

The look on a owners face when he walks in my office for the first time and sees me in a t-shirt.....PRICELESS :smiles:

Mind you I have tatoos up and down my arms, shoulders, and legs. I will not hire any one with expossed tatoos........
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #17 of 43
Hah hah :bounce:

Way to go, ESG.73 :roll:

I'm not into ink but you gave me a good laugh.
post #18 of 43
Why would you not?
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #19 of 43
It is nothing personal, again I have several covered up tattoos...When your guest are paying $100.00 to $3,000.00 a head for service..It is my experience and opinion only, not a fact..Most people do not get that tatoos are an expresion of yourself thru art(tattoos) They look at people with tattoos as negative people...people think just because you have ink you either have been to prison or on drugs or a biker....They dont understand the food we just served them is as much art, as the tatoos on our bodies.....People first judge you on what they see, because thats all they have to go by...Then once they know you, the tattoos mean nothing to them...right or wrong its human nature....

The most important thing that everyone in our bussiness depends on is that the guest will return again, as much as I do what I do because I love it, I also love money, and tattoos frighten most people...Myself i do alot of high end catering for alot of people who think their that important, and they are shuned by tattoos....And I want them to feel as comfortable as I can make them, its my job, period...I may be in the bussiness of hospitality but im also in the bussiness of making money.....

It may be A BAD JUDGEMENT CALL ON MY PART, but I'm sticking with my policy...No exposed tattoos that can be seen by guest.. Cover your whole body. I'll probally like you more, but your not helpping pay for my kids, the guest is..Were in customeer service not the carpenters union...AND THATS MY FINAL ANSWER, RIGHT OR WRONG I'M STAYING WITH IT.....I really hope this does not offend you, may you have many blessings in your life.....
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #20 of 43
In my trade you dress professionally. Tatoos and piercings are part (or actually not part) of the professional appearance. I could blame the customers but where would that leave me??? There is no law saying that customers are required to come back.

I wear my work clothes for work, and I dress as I want when off work. Tatoos are permanent dress if they are visible, and in a lot of cases I think it's inappropriate.

My opinion . . tatoos can be a personal or a public thing. There is a difference between the two.
post #21 of 43
Again Just My Opinion:

I'm going to assume your not in the food bussiness by that statement you just provided....

In my field it is the law that guest return, I mean only if you want to keep your job....

Again Just My Opinion, take it or leave it...

If it don't apply, let it fly...
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #22 of 43
LMAO :bounce:
post #23 of 43
LOL...I'm glad you cook for fun hope you enjoy it..

I wish you good blessings and great dishes
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #24 of 43
chef.ESG.73 and I are totally on the same page.

If your attire and demeanor; including tattoos and piercings, influence prospective customers to spend their money elsewhere, you are history.

Any way you shake the maracha, the food business/hospitality industry is hard labor. To bust your butt producing fine cuisine, only to have customers decline to return to your establishment because they perceive a negative/hostile attitude by staffs' tattoos is both emotionally and financially defeating.
post #25 of 43
I own a successful catering business, Both ***tion work and business hospitality. I've just had a tribal tattoo done on the side of my left wrist 3 inches long that i absolutely love. (been putting it off for years) I'm getting comments and interested looks. I'm a reasonably well turned out, professional 50 year old and i dont much care what folk think, although i'm not out to shock. No way. I've no doubt some folk dissaprove but business is good, so no problem. Just because one is into body art surely doesnt mean they are a bad employee/caterer/employer.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #26 of 43
Ofcouse I'm not sayn people with tattoos are bad employees...I have a bunch of tattoos...That would be like sayn I s-ck....What I'm sayn is, its the general publics view...

Plus, you can do what ever you want, you own the company. I don't...

I have people to answer to.....I was told years ago, as important as it is to make great food for your guest to enjoy, if you can't make your boss money, don't expect next weeks paycheck......
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #27 of 43
It's a sad fact that you WILL be judged for the way you look. I don't agree with it, but it's something that we all face. As to the school, you have to remember that when you wear their logo, you're advertising for them. You have to represent the school at it's best and most professional and, unfortunately, many people don't think that tattoos send a good message. It's nothing personal, and there's a very good chance that you're instructors have tattoos themselves, it's just that they have to enforce the standards set by the school. I've known some amazing chefs that were covered in tattoos, and some of them worked for very conservative restaurants. They rolled their sleeves on the line, but when they had to go table side or if they were at an event, you could bet that their sleeves were rolled down and they had taken every step to look professional.
It's a real kick in the butt that we have to worry about someone else's silly misconceptions, but it's a fact. No matter how talented you are, how fast and clean you work, how dependable you are; the guests don't care. They don't know anything about you except what they see and if they don't like what they see (and that's all up to them) well, there you go.
I hope everything works out for you in Sydney, and that you don't let this little set back get you down. Good Luck!
post #28 of 43
Well the problem is not with being able to cover up tattoos, if nobody can see them, nobody can judge. I think the problem lies in that in that he has tattoos in areas that he cannot cover.
post #29 of 43
You said it all. Have ink or not; show them off, or not; flaunt your piercings or not. Whatever you decide, just realize going into it, that your actions may trigger a series of events that are may not neccesarily go in your favor. I have 6 tattoos and you would never guess it. They are well hidden and belong to me. If we met, you would never guess. However, I keep them to myself and that works for me. (My avatar is actually my most recent piece!)

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #30 of 43
If a university doesn't offer admittance based on whether or not one has tattoos I don't see why culinary school should. Hiring is a different matter entirely, of course.
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