Chances are, your team is spending almost all day on their feet. A recent study actually found that servers take an average of 23,000 steps per day.
When you’re spending most of your shift on your feet, it makes sense to invest in a quality pair of restaurant shoes.
“But how exactly do I find the right pair of restaurant shoes?”
“What should I avoid?”
“What are the best kitchen shoes?”
You’ll walk away from this post with answers to all these questions and a shopping list of the best 10 restaurant shoes for your front and back of house staff.
Ready? Let’s get steppin’.
Let’s face it – some decisions for your business are a little more fun than others.
The drink menu vs. brand of napkins, for example.
Deciding on your uniforms is fun. What vibe are you going for? Casual with jeans, or dressed up with button downs? Can they choose what they want to wear? The possibilities are endless, and getting to dream up a look that represents your brand is a ton of fun.
The shoes? Maybe not as fun, but definitely just as important. The right shoes are key to keeping your staff safe and comfortable.
So how do you pick restaurant shoes? Here’s what to look for before making a decision.
Here are a few tips to help you purchase a shoe that’s comfortable:
Slipping is a distinct possibility, particularly in the kitchen, so you need to find slip-resistant shoes. Here’s what to look for in non-slip shoes:
The shoe also needs to offer protection from injury and water:
Being able to clean your shoes easily is especially crucial if you’re working in the front of house, where you deal with guests. After all, first impressions matter and having dirty shoes doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.
Look for a shoe that’s made from quality materials and built to last (in the final section you’ll learn about 10 of the best restaurant shoes that are built to last).
You know what you’re shopping for when deciding on the perfect restaurant shoes to go with your team’s uniform. But the right shoe does more than complete a look – here are the major benefits your team will get from choosing quality restaurant shoes.
Your staff are on the move for long periods, and the proper footwear provides arch support, protects against blisters, and reduces pressure on your foot.
Food industry workers are more prone to injury than employees in other industries. When working in a restaurant, these injuries often result from slips and falls on wet and greasy surfaces, particularly in the kitchen. Keep your staff safe by making shoes with proper grip a part of your uniform.
Quality work shoes will protect your team’s feet from heavy boxes, large objects, and any hot liquids.
You’ll save money on any medical bills you may incur as a result of injury. Durable shoes also reduce the total cost of ownership over the long term.
Sure, you or your staff will probably need to invest more money up front for a proper pair of shoes, but long term, you’ll save as you’ll replace them less often than a cheap pair.
Now you need to know what to avoid. As you make your decision, ensure you avoid the following:
The phrase “you get what you pay for,” rings true here. If you buy the cheapest shoe, you’ll probably end up with ones that are uncomfortable, increase your chances of injury, and cost you more in the long run. Is saving a few dollars on something as important as your work shoes really worth the risk?
Waterproof shoes are impervious to water, meaning they don’t allow any water through. You get different waterproof ratings from IPX-0 to IPX-8. IPX-0 offers no protection and IPX-8 offers full protection, meaning you can put the shoes in the water and they’ll remain dry.
Waterproof shoes may seem like a great option as they don’t let any water in. The problem is that they also don’t let any moisture out, either. This can be problematic since moisture naturally builds up in your shoe over time.
The better option is water-resistant shoes, which are designed to resist water penetration to a certain degree. Some common water-resistant materials include nylon, polyurethane, or neoprene.
These include sandals and flip-flops, which offer no protection. You should also avoid boat shoes and heels.
Let’s look at 10 of the best works shoes (pros and cons included) across both the front and back of house.
Below are the five best kitchen shoes for your back of house team.
This clog is a favorite among many chefs.
Where to buy: Zappos
This shoe was built in response to some issues people had with the Dansko Professional.
Where to Buy: Zappos
Where to buy: Skechers
Where to Buy: Zappos
Where to Buy: Merrell
Where to Buy: Rockport
Where to Buy: Amazon
Because your staff are spending all day on their feet, making sure proper restaurant shoes are a standard part of the uniform is a smart decision. The right shoes offer comfort, prevent slipping and injury, protect your feet and, ultimately, save you money in the long run.
The only remaining question is: What restaurant shoe do you have your eye on?