Dressing Employees for Success

The influence of current fashion is not a new concept to the restaurant industry, since restaurants have long been choice destinations for people to dress up, go out, and be seen. However, some of today’s fashion staples, along with some new functional perks, are beginning to show up on employee uniforms in many restaurants.

Restaurant owners have been motivated by many different things to make these changes. Some are looking to attract

younger patrons by creating a trendier environment, while others are trying to convey their restaurant’s unique culture. Still others are simply looking for a way to keep their employees comfortable while doing a physically demanding, stressful job.

Whatever the reason, restaurant uniforms are getting an upgrade, and employees love the new looks.

Trendy Looks in Server Attire

In general, people perform better when they feel comfortable and confident. Because servers are often young people in their twenties or early thirties, giving them a uniform that closely reflects younger styles can help to boost the quality of service. Also, younger guests may feel more comfortable surrounded by styles that they may wear themselves, rather than overly formal uniforms. For this reason, some restaurant owners are giving their employees uniforms that look like something that they might find in their closet already.

Another rule of thumb that some may follow is to create a uniform that reflects the culture of the restaurant. For some, this may mean traditional black slacks and white collared shirt with an apron. For others, it could mean different colored shirts for each server to create a fun, funky atmosphere.

One restaurant that is very committed to conservation and sustainability opted for shirts made from more than 50% recycled plastic bottles (blended with polyester.) Since they were machine washable and wrinkle free, making them very easy to care for, these uniforms turned out to be very practical as well.

Fashion Functional

Other changes in restaurant wear are showing up in the kitchen as well as the dining room. One major change is in the cut of many shirts and coats. Although most traditional server’s shirts and chef’s coats were supposed to be unisex items, they tended to be too large for female servers and chefs. Even the smallest sizes were often too large in the arms and shoulders, so they would droop unattractively on nearly any female figure and get in the way of female chefs while cooking.

Today, female chefs can get coats that have a more tailored look and are made to fit the feminine body style.

Some restaurant owners are also opting for different fabrics for their employee uniforms. There are some stretchy fabric blends that work very well since they are very comfortable and allow for more movement. Also, moisture-wicking fabrics are becoming very popular. Restaurant kitchens are notoriously hot, and all restaurant employees are almost constantly moving, so fabrics that help to control sweat can help staff remain comfortable and presentable.The best selling fabric for one popular restaurant supplier is cotton/polyester blend that is virtually un-stainable. When something made of this material is soiled, it can be treated with dish soap then soaked in water until it can be washed, at which point the stain will come out.

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