Why You Won't See Chick-Fil-A Employees Wearing Much Jewelry

Some may envision fast food workers as lazy teenagers with spiked-up hair, a ridiculous amount of piercings, and a rude, dismissive attitude. Of course, like all stereotypes, the reality is far different than what is portrayed. Fast food employees are average, everyday people just as any of us, and they deserve the same respect we'd give one another. Companies like Chick-Fil-A seem to want to distance themselves from such stereotypes, doing what they can to foster a polite, welcoming atmosphere between customer and employee. That is why Chick-Fil-A employees say "My pleasure" instead of "You're welcome" when you order — it's a little touch to help build a friendly repertoire and set the chain apart from other fast food companies.

But employees saying a polite phrase isn't enough to achieve the mood of warmth and hospitality that Chick-Fil-A seeks. Locations have flowers on the table, employees give unlimited refills — known as "refreshing your drink" — and menu items are called "entrees" (via Business Insider). In fact, so dedicated is the company to creating such an atmosphere that the employee dress code has strict rules for employees on what to wear... And what not to wear.

Chick-Fil-A does allow jewelry -- in moderation

While you may assume Chick-Fil-A has a zero-tolerance policy against jewelry, the truth is that the company does allow their employees to wear some types of accessories. According to a Chick-Fil-A employee handbook, jewelry can be worn, but it must be "modest in appearance" and "worn in good taste." While rings such as class rings or wedding rings are permitted, earrings on male "Team Members" are deemed unacceptable, as are dangling earrings such as hoops. If earrings must be worn, two sets of earrings in the lower earlobe are permitted for cashiers at the front while kitchen employees can wear three sets. 

Apart from jewelry, facial hair aside from a "neatly trimmed mustache" is unacceptable, sunglasses are forbidden as customers must be able to see the eyes of the employee at all times, and no "extreme" fingernail polish should be worn.

Although these rules may sound a bit absurd, the company may simply be following guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA prohibits any jewelry on "arms and hands" such as bracelets (including medical bracelets) to be worn when preparing food. Only a simple ring is allowed, but even this can be considered a risk, as it could prevent effective hand-washing or end up in a customer's food (via HAACP Mentor). Considering it's not arm or hand jewelry, we have to assume Chick-fil-A's policy restricting earrings by gender is just something the chicken chain wanted.