The number of hipster bearded chefs — those who sport huge swathes of hair from their lower facial regions — seems to be growing at an exponential rate. (The number of beards at this year's James Beard Awards was impressive.) Though there are no specific guidelines for individual grooming, long facial beards raise food safety issues. The Tampa Bay Times writes that as the number of beards increase in restaurants, so has the use of beard hair nets. This good thing: A new study revealed that many beards contain "poop particles."
Every restaurant and grocery store doesn't have a policy regarding hair nets for beards, but many do. A marketing coordinator for Whole Foods tells the paper that the store currently has a policy that states "beards and moustaches longer than 1/2 inch must also be in a restraint." A representative for Publix — a grocery store chain based in Florida — notes that it has a similar policy.
This means the companies must buy more and more hair nets crafted specifically for beards. The Tampa Bay Times writes that U.K. manufacturer of beard hair nets Lion Haircare & Disposables had to recently invest in more staff and equipment to keep up with growing demands. Looks like the real money is not in the restaurant industry, but in manufacturing beard hair nets.