McDonald’s Dress Code: Everything You Need to Know

McDonald’s Dress Code: Everything You Need to Know

McDonald’s, known to be one of the most leading fast-food chains globally, does not merely represent just a food chain. McDonald’s is a success story in America, holding the strategies that transformed a hamburger into a multibillion-dollar food Corporation worldwide. Once started as a hotdog restaurant in San Bernardino by two brothers, now McDonald’s has over  37,855 outlets as of 2018 in more than 100 countries. McDonald’s has employed over 1.7 million employees who wear their unique McDonald’s Dress Code every day and serve the customers.

History of McDonald’s

McDonald’s is known worldwide for its hamburgers and French fries. But in the beginning, McDonald’s was just a restaurant in San Bernardino where two brothers named Mac and Dick Donald used to sell hotdogs (Tikkanen). After a few years, the Donald brothers decided to close the restaurant but later opened it again to sell hamburgers, French fries, and milkshakes. That is when the Donald brothers started to see success in their business. As they were succeeding with their restaurant, in 1954, they went ahead and franchised McDonald’s and opened more outlets.

Then they took Ray Kroc as their first agent, who was the one to give birth to the Corporation of McDonald’s that we see today. He did not only give birth to McDonald’s Corporation, but he also secured the exclusive right in the corporation name. Ray Kroc wanted McDonald’s to become such a fast-food chain that will serve the same quality and taste in all the outlets. McDonald’s constitutes the picture of being a family restaurant that is welcoming to families and children. To become a children-welcoming restaurant, McDonald designed their mascot to name Ronald McDonald, who speaks almost 20 languages and entertains the children.

Being a family restaurant and holding the consistent taste and quality of their fast-food, McDonald’s began to expand to more and more outlets. By the year 2018, McDonald’s has expanded to over 37,855 outlets all over the world. It does not matter which part of the world the McDonald’s outlet is; every outlet has the same preparing method, high food quality, a unique dress code, which still holds on to Ray Kroc’s philosophy when he first franchised the McDonald’s corporation.

McDonald’s Dress Code

Dress code plays a vital role in a food chain corporation, as it symbolizes the brand and makes it stand out to people all over the world. When a food chain has a dress code of its own, and all the employees strictly follow the dress code, it creates a perfect example of professionalism. When all the employees wear the same uniform, the customers can identify the employees and know whom to call when they want any service and feel at ease. Besides, a uniform dress also creates a sense of visual uniformity in the restaurant and creates a professional and confident environment for the workers and the customers. To reach such goals and represent the food chain brand, McDonald’s Corporation also set a unique dress code from the early ‘90s.

The Evolution of Dress Code for the Workers in the McDonald’s

As dress code is an essential part when representing a food chain brand, McDonald’s had a unique dress code from the very beginning. The employees working in McDonald’s never have to worry about buying their own uniforms, as the McDonald’s business manager provides every employee with their work-uniform.

Around 1950, McDonald’s set a dress code of wearing a white shirt with formal white pants and a white hat with “McDonald’s” written on it (Hatic, 2017). As McDonald’s always wanted to adapt to the era’s fashion, in the 1970’s they designed their uniforms in brown tones and introduced kick-flare pants to go with the swinging era. Ten years later, in the 1980s, they re-designed their uniforms, focusing on the power look with colors and stripes. Later, adapting to modern fashion, McDonald’s designed their uniform in softer colors. In 2017, McDonald’s re-designed their uniform in black and gray color that we currently see today.

The Latest Dress Code for the Workers of McDonald’s

In the last two decades, McDonald’s has been seen playing with vibrant colors when it came to their uniform. But in 2017, McDonald’s unveiled a completely different and new set of uniforms moving far away from their traditional red, yellow, and vibrant uniforms, designed in black and gray tones. 

The latest uniform was designed by the celebrity designer named Waraire Boswell (Fu, 2017). He designed the uniform in black and gray tones to feel comfortable wearing it outside their workplace and feeling confident. The latest dress code includes wearing a gray-toned t-shirt, with a gray denim apron, and a gray baseball cap for the staff, and a shirt and a tie for the managers. But pants have never been included in the uniform package that McDonald’s provides for their workers.

Kind of Pants McDonald’s Workers Wear

An employee of McDonald’s does not need to buy his own uniform. Instead, he is provided with a uniform package that includes a shirt, a cap, and a name tag of the employer. As the uniform package does not include a pant, the McDonald’s Workers need to provide pants on their own. 

There is a strict policy on what kinds of pants McDonald’s workers can wear. With the latest uniform design, the worker must wear black colored pants. A formal or casual black pant is accepted. But some kinds of pants that must be avoided. Some of them are:

  • Jeans with Wide Legs
  • Running Pants
  • Jeans with Wide Stitches on the Seams
  • Yoga Leggings
  • Warm-Up Pants

McDonald’s Employees Dress Code Policy

As McDonald’s constitutes the picture of being a family restaurant that is welcoming to families and children, all the McDonald’s employees have to reflect this image and maintain the proper dress code policies. The McDonald’s employees’ dress code policies are-

  • The employees must have a clean look that represents well grooming and cleanliness.
  • No piercing is allowed around the mouth area. Nose piercing is allowed as long as a small or no nose pin is worn. Wearing a hoop nose ring is not allowed.
  • Fingernails should be well-groomed to ensure the hygiene of the food. 
  • Only minimal jewelry is allowed as long as they suit the working environment.
  • No wild hair color is allowed. Hair should be well-groomed and tied so that it does not go beyond the collar. Hats must be worn at all times.
  • Employees have to wear black, sturdy, polished, and non-slip shoes.
  • Alteration of the style of the uniform is not allowed. 
  • Employees can wear Hijab, headscarf, turban, etc., according to their religious beliefs, but these must be clean, minimal, and dark in color to not draw any attention.

McDonald’s Dress Code Policy for the Customers

Like any other food chain, McDonald’s does not have any strict McDonald’s Dress Code policy. But as McDonald’s portrays a family restaurant, a general policy says, “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Besides, as now there are outlets of McDonald’s worldwide, based on each state regulation and norms, if the restaurant authority finds any dress code of the customer inappropriate, they hold the right to ask the customer to leave.


  1. Tikkanen, A. McDonald’s. 
  2. Fu, J. (2017, April 22). McDonald’s Debuts New Uniforms by Waraire Boswell. HYPEBEAST. 
  3. Hatic, D. (2017, May 4). McDonald’s Uniforms from 1950 to 2017. Eater.

Also read Starbucks Hiring age – What age does Starbucks hire?

McDonald’s Dress Code: Everything You Need to Know

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