If you think the biggest challenge when searching online for THE ideal restaurant uniforms is finding a good deal, well, then… whew. It’s a good thing you found this blog.
When it comes to dressing up your crew of servers and cooks, there is so much more at stake than your budget, starting and ending with the morale of your team.
BUT, if your only guide for buying workwear is saving money, keep reading.
With almost three decades in the workwear industry, in the company that I work for — All Seasons Uniforms — we’ve seen every error made when buying restaurant uniforms. Because of this, we know all the pitfalls, and we can help you avoid a few of the big holes today.
There are at least 99 considerations you should make before sorting your buying options by price. Here are the top five questions buyers fail to ask before they start searching.
5) What do my uniforms say about my me?
If the restaurant you’re dressing is like your baby, then every part of it says something about you. You know this without anyone having to explain it.
There is no way you should let go of this lens in your decision-making process.
How you dress your team says everything:
How you value the people who work for you
How you value their work
What you think of your customers
How you see yourself
Don’t make “me” (yourself) the first consideration you weigh, but don’t let yourself slip off the scale either.
It won’t be easy to make everyone happy, but there is only one person mentioned in this blog who will be there year after year. That’s you.
4) Do my uniforms look cool?
It’s possible to outfit your team in uniforms that don’t offend the patrons, fit many unique individuals, and wear well in the environment, but still fail the cool test.
“Cool,” in this context, has less to do with temperature and more to do with looking good in a selfie.
Proud team members are happy team members. Their uniforms may not be something they wear out after the kitchen shuts down, but it shouldn’t be the uniform of shame either.
Choose colors that reflect the modern standard and update those colors as often as you can. If it’s been five years, it’s time to consider a refresh.
Don’t forget that fit changes about as often as the seasons shift, but if you’re updating every five years you should be okay.
3) What is the environment of my restaurant?
From the literal inside to the outside of your establishment, the environment of your restaurant ranks a close third to the first two categories.
As an extreme example, you can’t put servers in long pants and sleeves if they are serving outside in the summer heat.
Chefs are used to sweating in the kitchen, but in more laid back environment, your chef may look better in something lighter, like short sleeves or even shorts.
Think outdoor bar and grill or poolside eatery.
2) Are my uniforms as diverse as my team?
Consider the general profile of your team. If you’re already staffed, you will smile at that first sentence. There is no such thing as “general” when it comes to the team of individuals that make up a restaurant staff.
With your servers and cooks, you want them to comfortably fit into their workwear, which means you need size options.
You also need to do a test run with some uniforms samples before you make the big order. Put your actual team members, from big to small, young and aging, into the uniforms you intend to buy.
Get ahead of that idea and have them weigh in on the catalogue of options before you order any samples.
However edgy you believe your style compass to be, giving your team a chance to weigh-in on the options earns you an emotional buy-in to your final decision.
Let as many of them as possible have a say. You get the final choice, but you should let their opinions guide you
1) Who are my diners?
Lastly, this is what you should consider first. Always start with your audience. Without them, there is nobody to serve.
One can’t put a uniform made for Hooters’ waitstaff in Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The patrons will walk as soon as they come in the door.
The same is true in reverse so always consider your diners as your first guide. Those opinions slightly age out the opinions of your team.
If you need more help, then contact the All Seasons Uniform team. We’ve been helping business operators just like you sort out their options for almost 3 decades.
We know what’s trending, what works, and what doesn’t. Rest assured, you won’t be the first person to call us for advice. Better now than later, that’s for sure.