LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Florida's favorite grocery chain will finally allow its employees to grow beards, albeit with strict standards.
According to a Publix memo circulating online, beginning on September 29th, a new appearance standard goes into effect.
Facial hair will be allowed but must remain "neat, clean, and professional" looking. That includes defined cheek and necklines, and hair length no longer than 2 inches.
Beard guards must be worn by those in food prep areas.
— _Mitrani (@_mitrani) September 21, 2018
Spokesman Dwayne Stevens says the company has been "testing" the facial hair change in different markets and the new standard will be applied company-wide starting the 29th.
The Lakeland, Florida-based company previously only allowed conservative-style mustaches.
Three years ago, an online petition to allow Publix employees to wear bears gathered over 20,000 signatures.
The 88-year-old food retailer has almost 1,200 stores in seven states and employs 190,000 workers