Personally, I've seen little in the way of any steadfast stance on facial hair in the industry, and the higher up the ladder I went in professional kitchens, the less important the opinion altogether became. One of the more influential chefs that I worked alongside, had this to say:
"I'll not demand clean-shaven hands in my kitchen; everyone is allowed the right to their own individuality and identity. Drill instructors are for the military." Now, obvious quandary aside, this stands to reason that such sentiment should be taken with a grain of salt. I know his standards, and they are - by far - the toughest that I've ever seen to date, even on television, but he was realistic. Vehemently, I believe this sentiment (even for this aforementioned chef) had its limitations; there's no way someone would be walking in with a 12" beard and expecting to secure a position within his establishment.
It seems to me, that chain restaurants take the firmest stance on facial hair. If you're attached to your goatee, chin-strap, or beard, maybe aiming higher up on the 'food chain' is the move for you. But then again, if that's the only reason you want to further your career, I'm leaning towards the notion that you probably won't last long in that atmosphere.
Pop culture has done a lot in the way of paving the path for bearded chefs. Whether this remains to be a positive influence in the food culture, I am uncertain, but said influence is far beyond negligible. Therein is a topic for another thread, of this I am sure.
I've been in the culinary industry for almost two decades, and have seen my fair share of diversity in the workplace, but only a few places stood out to require even (at the most) beard nets. Most high-end establishments demand cleanliness. Let's be real, ladies and gentlemen, no one in their right mind can expect to hold a job at a 5-star dining facility, and consistently show up for work in dirty, unkempt attire, hair strewn about in a haphazard fashion, with a gnarly-ass goatee that clearly has something nesting in it. It's a careful balance of personal identity, image, and common sense.
Not once have I witnessed any culinary enthusiast claim that a disheveled appearance is acceptable. Those whom have, didn't last in the industry anyhow, as they either had a false image of the industry itself, or altogether couldn't hack it in terms of demand and responsibility.
My personal stance is this:
Keep yourself clean and well-presented (beard, or no) and we will have no issues on the appearance front.