We all know that how we look has a big impact on how we feel. It’s important that customer facing staff such as waiters and waitresses have a uniform they enjoy wearing.
They’re the ambassadors for your brand, so making them feel their best will motivate them to keep customers coming back. A good uniform will boost their earning potential too, as our study found that 20% of people leave a bigger tip when their server is well-presented.
While uniforms should look good, they also need to be practical, so how exactly do you go about choosing the right one?
We’ve put together this guide for restaurant, pub and bar managers to help point you in the right direction…
1. Ask your team
Your team will already have a few ideas about what kind of clothes work for them on a busy shift and the styles they like. Consulting them makes them feel part of the decision and they’ll be proud to wear what you choose.
2. What’s your vibe
Think of your uniform as part of the overall look and feel of your restaurant, bar or pub. If it’s fine dining go for classic shirts and crisp aprons with stand-out accessories like a waistcoat, braces or bow tie. Casual feel? Denim and rolled up sleeves will always look good and trainers are on trend.
3. Impact of colour
Choose the colours of your uniform wisely and think about the impact they have. Bright and vibrant colours create feelings of fun and excitement, so they could work in a family-friendly or fast-food environment. But if you’re an upscale restaurant you’ll want softer, muted colours that are calming and professional.
4. Make it move
Waiters have to carry heavy plates, fetch lost forks from under tables and sprint between kitchen and customer, all while looking effortlessly calm. With all that movement it’s important that uniforms are not restrictive. Choose fabrics with stretch to make life easy and keep them looking smart.
5. Pick a pocket
Ask any waiter and they’ll tell you, they always need a good-sized pocket! Notepads, pens, receipts, tips and a multitude of other things all need a place to go or they get lost. Choose an apron with deep pockets or a money purse to make life easier.
6. Easy to care for
Restaurants are often hot and busy, and accidental spills happen. With that in mind, it’s much easier for you and your waiting team if you choose clothes that can be washed after every shift at 30 degrees and come out looking like new.
7. Budget for extras
Because spills do happen make sure to have a few spare uniforms on hand. Nobody wants to be served by a person that looks grubby due to a gravy stain down their shirt.
8. Consider the season
Long sleeves might be great in winter, but when you’re in and out of a hot kitchen and rushing around it might get a little hot under the collar in warmer months. Consider offering a summer season option to keep them cool.
9. Personalise it
Adding your logo to your uniform helps you to stand out from the crowd. Choose a key item from your uniform and have it embroidered to make sure your brand is always in front of your customers.