Three wait staff showing uniforms


Restaurant Uniforms and Branding

Uniforms for the restaurant industry provide an additional layer of branding that can’t be ignored. Similar to an establishment’s website, décor, or menu design, the uniforms worn by restaurant employees signify the type of dining experience a customer can expect to have – supporting and projecting the brand image of the business.

A restaurant’s brand should be clear and reflect a specific style. While black and white server uniforms still have a place in a formal restaurant, more often than not, some element of style has been added. Whether it’s a black shirt for a sleek, sophisticated look, a striped server apron for added color or a patterned tie for all servers, restaurant uniforms are becoming more personalized. However you choose to customize your restaurant’s uniforms, make sure that they suit the look and feel of the brand you want to portray.

A restaurant employee’s uniform can also be an indication of menu price. The more casual the uniform, the more budget-friendly the menu. Whereas, more elaborate uniforms can signify more upscale prices.

Not only can a restaurant’s uniform indicate price, but it can also imply the level of commitment that the staff has. For instance, when cooks in an open kitchen wear white, double-breasted chef coats, they’re showing that they take their job seriously and make their food with high attention to detail.

Other Important Functions of Uniforms

Uniforms don’t just affect customers. Having a special uniform can get employees excited about the work they are doing, especially if the uniform is well-made and flattering.

Furthermore, having a set uniform creates a feeling of unity and purpose among staff members. Uniforms allow the customer to easily see the difference between the staff and the other customers. They can also help people differentiate staff with different duties, such as servers, bartenders, and the host or hostess.

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What Happens When Uniforms Aren’t Considered

Some restaurants have a loose uniform policy and only require pants, jeans, or tops in a particular color. Other establishments leave it completely up to the employees themselves. But experts caution against allowing employees to have full control over what they wear to work. They recommend that staff members wear set uniforms while on the job.

According to Full-Service Restaurant Magazine, experts maintain that employees in restaurants without a uniform showed up to work in inappropriate clothing or looked sloppy; neither is a message that a restaurant would want to send to customers. It reflects an inconsistent brand image and leaves much to the mercy of public opinion.

It’s not up to restaurants to decide whether or not their employee’s uniform affects the brand image of their restaurant—it’s happening no matter what! However, restaurants can control whether their message is beneficial or harmful by choosing uniforms that are flattering, consistent, and in line with the restaurant’s image. And with uniform services companies like Canadian Linen, it’s easy to ensure on-brand looks for all of your hospitality employees.


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