Five tips for picking the perfect uniform for your catering business

If your catering business is yet to find the perfect uniform, it’s never too late to get started with the design process. A staff uniform can give a coordinated and professional look and will ensure your team are identifiable in even the busiest of venues.

From colour, to branding and style, there’s plenty to consider. So, if you’re in need of some advice for creating an impressive uniform for your catering business, read on.

Decide on the style

As a catering business that serves food and drink to the public, the focus of your uniform’s design should be on hygiene, as well as health and safety. Implementing a uniform policy that requires employees to be fully covered from the neck down will appear more hygienic to those being served, while protecting your staff’s skin from hazards like hot drinks, so everyone is safe and satisfied.

If your staff have plenty of variety in their work, it’ll also be a good idea to consider more than one uniform style to suit various occasions and weathers. This might mean something as simple as having different shirt options, ranging from poplin to cotton, to see them through both cooler and warmer temperatures. Accommodating their needs will ensure your staff are kept comfortable, which is likely to improve productivity, and consequentially your reputation and profit.

Select a durable material

When purchasing uniforms for lots of staff, some companies can be tempted to go for cheaper and less durable materials, to keep costs down. However, doing so will have the opposite effect, as you’ll need to spend more on uniform replacements in the long run.

In general, good uniform will withstand years of general wear and tear as well as frequent washing. Choosing a fabric that will resist shrinking and fading, like cotton or polyester, will ensure your staff are not left with poorly-fitted or shabby uniforms – especially if they’ll be washing their own uniform rather than it being laundered professionally.

Choose appropriate colours

The colours you choose can dictate how many sets of uniform you need to buy to keep your staff looking orderly. For example, having a white shirt and apron for staff that serve up food will be impractical, as these will show dirt more quickly and so will require washing more often.

For catering staff, it’s usually best to stick with darker colours, which can disguise spills and stains easier. Even if this conflicts with your company colours, putting your company logo over a darker base fabric will make it stand out even more – so your staff can look refined and be identifiable.

Think of a suitable logo

First impressions matter, and it’s no different when it comes to your company logo. While some businesses may prioritise easy identification with a large logo emblazoned on the back of their uniform, others may go more low-key for a sophisticated look.

If your company specialises in catering for special occasions, like weddings and dinners, it might be more appropriate to go for subtle branding. However, for those working at food festivals and more casual events, a creative logo will match the atmosphere and make your company stand out among crowds.

Consider employee needs

Creating a high-quality uniform that’s attractive is important to many business owners, however it’s necessary to ensure this isn’t at the expense of employee safety and comfort.

For catering businesses that involve plenty of rushing around, striking the right balance between a tailored and relaxed uniform fit will be key: a shirt that’s too tight will restrict movement, whereas one that’s too loose will easily get caught on things. So, you should cater for individual measurements, or invest in a range of generic sizes providing everybody with a comfortable fit.  

You might also want to consider giving them uniform options to choose from. For women, this might mean allowing a long skirt and tights, as well as a pair of trousers. If your staff are comfortable in what they’re wearing, they’re likely to perform better, so listen to their feedback!

With so many decisions to make, designing a staff uniform can seem complicated. But, with my top five tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a uniform that’s popular with both your staff and customers!

by John Armstrong, the director of custom clothing specialist, Custom Planet

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