The Importance of Staff Uniforms and Recommendations For Your Restaurant Staff
A uniform by definition is the distinctive clothing worn by members of the same organisation. In the modern-day, uniforms are everywhere. Shops, schools, restaurants, emergency services, gyms, supermarkets and many more all use uniforms for their members. Even taking into account school uniforms, It’s highly unlikely you’ll get through life without having to wear a uniform at some point. They’re just such an ingrained part of society.
In the restaurant business, uniforms are a key part of the service provided to customers and are fairly important for several reasons. You’ll find that most restaurants you dine in will have some kind of uniform to consolidate the staff.
So read on to find out more about the importance of staff uniforms and recommendations for how to dress your staff.
Why Wear Uniforms?
Uniforms have a variety of uses, some for practical purposes and some that have a mental effect on the employees and consumers alike. A uniform can also be a very flexible term, ranging from a whole outfit to just one simple piece that connects employees
Here are a few reasons why staff uniforms are important.
Spotting an employee in a uniform as you enter a restaurant or business gives a customer a great first impression. It reflects well on your brand to see an employee smiling in a uniform as potential customers enter. Your staff are essentially extensions of a brand, so a uniform is a good way of identifying them as this extension. This can even help outside of work if a potential customer sees an employee in their uniform in public, they might be inclined to visit, essentially functioning as a walking advertisement.
The uniform they wear also sets the tone of the restaurant or business. Formal wear indicates a fancier, upscale establishment while T-shirts with slogans shows a more casual environment. So if from the outside a customer cannot tell the vibe of your restaurant or business, an employee's uniform can be an easy identifier of this. If a customer sees that the kitchen staff are all dressed in chef wear, they’ll be more relaxed knowing their food is being prepared by a professional team.
Uniforms are used to easily identify staff. In a busy shop or restaurant, it can sometimes be difficult to see who works there and who is a customer, especially if there is no uniform. Uniforms make employees look reliable to customers, ready and waiting to help out at all times. It will also stop a customer from embarrassing themselves by accidentally asking another customer for help instead of an actual employee. Uniforms are usually bright or designed to stand out in some way, to help make employees easily identifiable.
Having a uniform separate from casual clothes means an employee is not bringing germs from home into a workplace. This is especially helpful in the restaurant business, as you want to minimise the risk of contaminating food. The risk is reduced even more if you make it a policy to have employees change into their uniforms once they arrive at work, reducing outside contaminants coming into your restaurant or business. A sleek, fresh uniform will make your restaurant feel like a cleaner place than if employees wear their own clothes.
Food hygiene law states that anyone who works with food needs to prepare it safely so wearing a clean uniform to work helps achieve this. This is why chefs also wear protective clothing such as hairnets, hats and gloves while handling food. There’s no point using this protective clothing if the uniform isn’t also clean and sanitary.
Some jobs are dangerous, so require uniforms that will help keep their wearers safe. An extreme example is a fireman, who must wear a suit to protect them from the intense threat of fire. Chefs wear clothes that will help protect them from dangerous kitchen equipment that could harm them, such as hobs, ovens and pans filled with boiling liquid.
Some jobs are very intense, working with high heat, heavy loads or other conditions. So uniforms are designed to be helpful and comfortable for these scenarios. Chef's wear is breathable and comfortable as they work with high heat, while some uniforms will be designed to reduce stress on your body while carrying heavy things. Comfortable clothing makes it easier to get your job done. This is why uniforms shouldn’t be ill-fitting or embarrassing, as nobody feels good dressed badly, affecting their workplace mindset and not allowing them to get in the professional mindset.
Uniforms can help to create a unified professional environment. Employees at a business will all be wildly different people, but the uniform makes them all part of the same team. It also will help them get into a professional mindset as soon as they put on the uniform, ready to serve the brand they are representing.
When picking a uniform for your restaurant, there’s a bunch of different options you can go for. A uniform should reflect your brand, help identify your employees and help aid in workplace safety.
Here are some recommendations for uniforms for your restaurant.
A quick, easy and cheap way to unite employees with a simple brand is to have them wear all black. Pairing a black polo or shirt with jeans or a skirt provides a sleek, clean look that is very identifiable. It’s also a flattering look for everyone, making all your employees feel comfortable while they’re at work, so they can focus on helping diners instead of thinking about their own clothes. Black is ideal in a restaurant environment as stains do not show up as obviously.
Aprons are a very easy identifier of an employee, anyone wearing an apron is clearly working at the restaurant. Aprons are useful to stop dirt, bacteria or food from getting on other clothes. They’ll also reduce your laundry costs, as you won’t have to clean your chef’s uniforms so often, just the aprons.
Uniforms can easily showcase your brand. A shirt with your restaurant name or slogan can help customers easily identify an employee, while also promoting the brand. As mentioned before, all employees are just extensions of your brand, so their uniforms can help reflect this.
Name badges can be used to make customers feel welcome as they can immediately see who they are talking to, providing a professional atmosphere where employees are easily identifiable. They also provide brand recognition if you add your logo and branding to the badge. For new employees, name tags will help them feel part of the team quickly, being able to learn names more easily. Name tags help to build a bond between employees and increase communication between them.
They also make employees more accountable for their actions, so will be working to the best of their ability. If an employee is being lazy or rude to a customer, they can easily complain and give the employee's name.
Uniforms for managerial positions can often go in two ways, more formal than the usual uniform or more casual. By having a more formal outfit, they are clearly marked as being in a position of power. This can help if a customer wants to talk to someone about a major problem that a normal employee won’t be able to deal with.
It also helps employees separate themselves from someone in a position of power, being able to respect the managerial hierarchy more. If everyone is dressed the same, employees can easily forget who is in charge
If you are looking for great quality chef wear or uniforms for front of house, London Linen has a range of professional, functional clothes that are perfectly tailored to the needs of a busy kitchen. We provide long and short-sleeved jackets, bib and waiter aprons, polo shirts and a selection of coloured trousers. So with us, you can stock both your kitchen and waiters with smart clothing that will make your customers see how professional your restaurant is. Concerned about your restaurant’s environmental impact? We also have a range of chef wear that is made from recycled plastic bottles and waste polyester fibre.
London Linen doesn’t only have chef's wear, we also stock a range of table linen such as tablecloths, serviettes, kitchen cloths and hand towels. Make your restaurant reflect your brand with a range of colours and patterns so you can pick what suits you.
So give London Linen a call on 020 8574 5569 to talk through your requirements. We have over 80 years of experience being London’s leading laundry supplier, working to provide packages suited for whatever your restaurant requirements are. We have a range of products that are contemporary and traditional, suited to enhance and complement your restaurant. Check out our website now to find out more about us and the range of products and services we offer.