Employee uniforms have a lot to do with public perception of a restaurant.

Restaurant Uniform Trends: Being Updated, Not Outdated

The Workplace Today Industry Insights & Trends

Restaurant uniform trends have a lot to do with public perception of a restaurant. Here’s a look at the potential challenges around updating uniforms.

Keeping up with restaurant uniform trends is key for culinary and business success. Whether you’re talking front-of-the-house or back-of-the-house, the way your people look matters a great deal to your customers (and your staff).

Perhaps more than any other business, restaurants seek to create a great ambiance and try to serve up a memorable experience that will keep patrons coming back. Yes, the food matters, but what’s on the plate is just part of the entire dining experience. When you combine great food with a winning look — as embodied by image-enhancing uniforms that are ready to serve customer expectations — you have an unbeatable combination.

Kitchen Uniforms Grow in Importance

With the growth of open kitchens in the restaurant industry, chefs and cooks are increasingly on display, not just the front-of-the-house staff. Having the right look among your kitchen staff is a crucial detail, especially to your most discerning, demanding customers who want every detail of their experience taken care of. The kitchen uniforms of your restaurant employees tell an important story about your brand, and can shape customer perceptions to good, bad or indifferent. Employees outfitted with the latest uniforms can significantly enhance the customer experience, just as outdated uniforms can take away from that customer experience.

Image matters, but kitchen uniforms must be practical, too. Restaurant kitchens are uniquely stressful workplaces, filled with high temperatures (and not just from the ovens), fast-moving staff, shouted instructions, splashing, cutting, chopping and much more. Like your kitchen staff, your kitchen apparel need to work hard and put up with tough working conditions. Garments need to withstand all the strain placed upon them — and look good doing it. Now that many customers want to see your kitchen staff on full display, those same kitchen uniforms need to transmit a clean, professional and customer-centric image too.

What Image Do You Want — Outdated or Updated?

You can bet your customers keep their eyes wide open when they visit your restaurant, or any other. They’ll have a clear sense of restaurant uniform trends, and know the difference between what’s contemporary and cool, and what’s not. Outdated uniforms get noticed fast and commented upon, and not in a way that flatters your restaurant or your staff. In all likelihood, your staff also knows when your uniforms are outdated, and wearing outdated culinary apparel may even embarrass them. It certainly won’t motivate them — and none of this is good for business.

Worst of all, outdated culinary uniforms may tell your customers that you don’t really care much about the image you display. Their next natural assumption may be equally bad: that you don’t much care about the food you serve, either. Once this chain reaction happens, you may find that your customers no longer care enough to come back.

Getting Some Help

Of course you care about your restaurant’s image and want to keep your customers coming back — so you may need to update your uniforms from time to time. Restaurant uniform trends are evolving fast these days, as are so many other parts of the restaurant business. When you think about kitchen uniforms, Chef Works is a category leader, offering attractive and work-ready apparel for all restaurant staff needs. From the staffs of upscale French restaurants to barbecue joints, they are ready and able to outfit.

Whether you need blouses, jackets and coats for your chefs or wait staff uniforms for the front-of-the-house, there is a wide a range of culinary apparel options available to you. Your restaurant’s image matters, and your staff communicates your image directly as they interact with your customers. Show your staff and your customers that you care about their experience, and keep them coming back for more.

Chuck Leddy
Chuck Leddy

Chuck Leddy is a versatile, fast-learning communications professional with a proven track record as a digital content marketer. Writing for clients like GE, ADP, the National Center for the Middle Market, smartShift (computing), Office Depot, and more, he's published hundreds of articles, features, profiles, and interviews.