Why You Should be Wearing Non-Slip Shoes – Even If You Aren’t Required To

It is no secret: there are a number of hazards at any restaurant or bar. If you are in a kitchen there is hot stoves, ovens, fryers, grills and so on. For servers, dashing around the corner without an announcement can end up in a brutal collision. Every bartender I know has a story of breaking a piece of glassware or bottle resulting in a nasty cut (not the best thing for your guests to see.) Across every job in the industry, there is one major culprit for serious injuries: slips and falls.


Slips and falls are the leading cause of workplace injury in restaurants, in fact over three million food service workers are injured this way every year. Many of these falls could be prevented by proper footwear, yet many workers refuse to wear non-slip shoes. I myself did not wear them for a very long time, until experiencing a few nasty falls while wearing my street shoes behind the bar.


If you have ever worked at a chain restaurant, you may remember receiving a catalog with different options of slip-resistant shoes that come in many styles (most of which are rather unattractive.) There’s a reason for this: falling in the workplace is dangerous and expensive. This does not only apply to your employer either. If you were to experience a fall bad enough for hospitalization, who is to say you would actually qualify for workman’s comp. There could be a small clause hidden in your employee orientation or contract that requires you to wear non-slip shoes. Even if it is not directly enforced by your employer. You could also not qualify if you happen to have drugs or alcohol in your system at the time of your injury. What I am getting at is that your employer will likely do everything they can not to pay you if you cannot work for them, and that is a reality of the world we live in. Further, if you receive a bad enough injury, you may not be able to work in a restaurant or bar environment ever again, ending your career.


The odds of an injury while at work are probably greater than you think, and even if you are nimble and light on your feet, you should consider wearing non-slip shoes. Better safe than sorry as they say.