Running a restaurant is tough. Restaurants are notorious for having high rates of failure, with one study suggesting that 23% of new restaurants close their doors within the first year of opening. Restaurant owners need every opportunity to ensure that the value their restaurant delivers keeps customers coming back for years. When your restaurant is struggling to turn a profit, it may be tempting to focus on areas with immediate and trackable profit boosts and overlook nuances like uniforms. However, uniforms make a significant difference in your brand’s appearance and customers’ impressions. And that difference translates into profits.
Think about you own personal restaurant experiences. What makes a more impactful impression? A cook wearing a grease stained shirt or one in a high-quality chef’s apron? Now, turn the scenario around. As a cook, would you feel more appreciated and behave more professionally if you were provided a professional apron or chef’s jacket?
A research study conducted by the Textile Rental Services Association of America revealed that 90% of consumers prefer to see high quality uniforms worn by employees in fine dining restaurants. Guests have the following impressions regarding restaurant uniforms:
When restaurant owners invest in high-quality, well-fitting uniforms made from durable materials guaranteed not to wear, guests have a more favorable impression and are willing to pay more for their experience.
If your staff is still wearing a t-shirt or low-quality polo to serve customers, it is time for an upgrade. Short sleeved, high-quality polo shirts personalized with your brand logo are favored. Select a polished looking polo with breathable side panels and double needle stitching for extra strength. Fused collars will hold their shape better and present a more professional appearance, even after several washings. Opt for a modern fit that is slimming through the body to help servers look their best. Fabrics that are breathable, do not wear easily and are machine washable are the best choices.
Whether you require your cook or your entire front staff to wear an apron, selecting a high-quality apron is essential to the impact of your uniforms. When every piece and every plate is executed with care, the apron should match in detail. As with restaurant shirts, double needle stitched seams bring added strength and durability. Sturdy leather pockets add sophistication and the convenience of storing essential tools.
For restaurants who serve guests on outdoor patios, golf courses, or ski lodges, it is important to ensure that your employees are warm. If you do not provide uniform outerwear, your servers will inevitably cover their uniform shirts with mismatching hoodies and jackets. Provide a lightweight, branded, classic jacket constructed with fabric that allows for breathability and mobility. Weatherproof outerwear is preferred.
Providing durable, high quality uniforms is neither difficult or expensive. Investing in high quality uniform pieces communicates a message to both customers and employees. Customers subconsciously associate high-quality uniforms with high quality food and experience and are willing to pay more. Employees feel comfortable and valued and perform at a higher level. Both of these factors translate into higher profits for your restaurant.