Ask a Chef: Isn’t it more sanitary for restaurant workers to wear gloves?

All your modern dining etiquette quandaries answered.

October 21, 2019 ● 1 min read

By Richie Nakano

In a perfect world, sure! Gloves are sanitary, and when worn properly they ensure the highest standard of kitchen cleanliness. The problem is they are almost NEVER used properly. Here’s why.

In order to properly use gloves, you need to change them constantly. Like, every time you touch raw protein, you have to change them. Every time you touch your face or hair, you change them. So in a busy restaurant during service, cooks would be plowing through cases of gloves, which aside from being shitty for the environment, would also cost restaurants a small fortune. In addition to this, a poorly trained cook might look at the glove as a magical barrier that's constantly sanitary, and never change them at all during service. You can see the dangers there pretty plainly. 

Hot water and soap. Cooks know their value, and have washed their hands at least 40 times before service has even started, at every turn described above. So don’t sweat the gloves so much.

Dining dilemmas used to be like “Do I tip 15 or 18%?” or “How long will the restaurant hold my reserved table if I’m running late?” Those were simpler times, because for most of us, dining out has gotten a lot more confusing. Who do we tip at the robotic hamburger restaurant? Why can’t you get a reservation without putting a credit card down? We tapped into our expert community to offer some advice so we can all be better diners, and the result is our column we like to call "Ask a Chef," where we are dedicated to answering all your modern dining etiquette quandaries, directly from the chef perspective.
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