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Every Restaurant Should Have a Shoe Policy (yes, you read that right)

Insist that all your employees wear shoes with slip-resistant soles. Falls are the most common accident in foodservice. Back injuries resulting from these slips are among the most debilitating in our industry. From an insurance standpoint they can also be very expensive.

Require that your entire staff, including managers, wear shoes with a slip-resistant sole. Before and after studies show dramatic declines in slips and falls when people wear shoes with slip-resistant soles.

These shoes come in a variety of styles and colors and look just like any other type of shoe. They are, in fact, multi-functional, meaning that your people can wear them comfortably to more places than just work.

This makes it possible to require that everyone on your staff to wear shoes with slip-resistant soles and not have to pick up the cost as long as you provide them with at least two sources to purchase the shoes. Some companies advance the money for new employees to purchase their first pair and get it back through a payroll deduction.

These shoes cost no more than comparable shoes. Look for manufacturers and distributors in restaurant industry publications (such as "Shoes for Crews" at and check out discounters like Wal-Mart and K Mart for the best prices.

SIDE NOTE: A member posted the following in our Discussion Forum:

A personal testimonial on the worth of slip resistant shoes. We instituted a policy about 4-5 years ago whereby all employees had to have slip resistant shoes within 30 days of starting employment. Since doing that, no one has slipped and fallen while wearing the shoes. That is the good news. The bad news is that there were several falls by persons who were still in the 30 day grace period, not wearing the slip resistant shoes.

Shoe for Crews has pull-over shoes that fit over street shoes that work just as well-just not too stylish. We keep a stash of those on hand in all sizes and loan them to employees until they get their own shoes. Since doing that, no slips at all.

As to the insurance benefits, our experience modifier is now @ .80. The shoe policy, along with a mandatory steel mesh glove while using a knife policy, has cut (no pun intended) our claims to virtually none (have had a few burns in the last few years).

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