What is the first impression customers have when they step into your restaurant? Is it the heavenly smell of fresh baked bread? The tantalizing sizzle of steak on a flat top grill? A sloppily dressed hostess?
First impressions matter in the restaurant business. In fact, Forbes Magazine says you have just seven seconds to make a great first impression. Those seven seconds are why having a well-dressed staff matters. As soon as your customer has stepped into your restaurant, they already have preconceived ideas about how your food will taste, how clean your kitchen is, and how likely they are to come back.
The first step to creating regular customers is making a great first impression. And it all starts with your staff’s uniforms. So, what should you choose as your uniform? There a ton of options, so it will really depend upon what type of food you serve and your atmosphere.
For example, a fancy Japanese steak house isn’t really the place for Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts (a Japanese/Hawaiian fusion restaurant…maybe!). Also, consider cleanliness – white shirts are going to be difficult to keep clean in a BBQ joint.
Here is a few examples of popular restaurant employee uniforms.
Solid Color Shirts
This is probably the most simple and casual option. Having all your employees wear a red or blue shirt is an easy way to differentiate your staff and create a uniform look. This will work best in casual restaurants such as a pizza place or sandwich shop. The darker colors are less likely to show stains, which is perfect for the food service industry. But, with so many different shades of colors, it may be difficult to create a uniform look.
The Happi Coat is a short Japanese jacket which is tied around the waist much like a kimono. They come in many different designs and colors, which means your employees can enjoy a little bit of self-expression at work. Happi Coats are going to work best in Asian style restaurants like sushi houses, stir fry joints, or Asian fusion restaurants. The multi-color patterns won’t show stains as easily.
Black on Black
Flattering, classic, and dressy. A black button down and black pants is a staple of the restaurant industry. Black doesn’t show stains easily, and it clearly identifies your employees to your customers. Which helps avoid awkward “Do you work here?” conversations. This uniform will work for any restaurant from a sandwich shop to a five star bistro.
Embroidered Button Downs
This option is a good in-between choice – not super fancy, but not too casual either. Having your logo or restaurant name embroidered over the breast pocket makes identifying employees easy. (Plus, you can add employee names and never fight over name tags again!) Choose black shirts with white embroidering for a classic look – or go patterned for a slightly weird vibe.
Making a great first impression is crucial to building a successful restaurant. Having a well-dressed staff is the first step, and these suggestions make choosing the right uniform simple.