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The Power of the Uniform

I’m willing to bet that in the midst of Saturday night’s dinner rush, your uniform is the very last thing on your mind. In fact, whether you’re front of house or working the line, the state of your uniform is the last thing you need to be focused on when the tickets are ringing in and just won’t stop. I’ll admit there was a time when I wore a dirty chef coat like a badge of honor, believing that clean coats were worn only by lazy chefs (False!). However, a recent conversation with my mom reminded me just how important a crisp, clean uniform can be for your business. A thoughtfully-designed uniform reflects a thoughtfully-run business, and believe it or not, the appearance of your staff can have a profound effect on your bottom line. Here’s how:

1. Unity: If you were ever a part of a team in high school, you remember the pride and sense of belonging that came from stepping out in your uniform, surrounded by team mates, ready to take on the opposition. Let’s be honest: you haven’t changed that much since then! Matching your co-workers creates an immediate bond, much like your synchronized swim uniform bonded you to your fellow water dancers back in the day. Uniforms unite us with our coworkers, make our common goals even clearer, and subliminally heighten our inclination to work together as a unified team. A happy, united staff means happy, satisfied guests.

2. Pride: Consider waiting to give new employees their uniforms until their training is complete. When they’re ready, create a sense of ceremony when presenting their new uniforms. This way, every time your employees don their dapper new apparel, they will associate the action with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and belonging. Your employees will feel that they are a part of something truly special and will put their best feet forward when wearing your company uniform.

3. Professionalism: Carefully putting on a uniform for work sends a message to your brain that it’s business time. Have you ever tried to work in your pajamas? If you’re anything like me, work and sweatpants don’t mix. But when I pull back my hair, put on a pressed white chef coat and a clean apron, there is no doubt what time it is: business time. The same goes for your front of house staff. Having standard uniform practices keeps everyone focused and professional.

4. Perception: Snappy uniforms can have a profound affect: not only on your staffs’ attitude, but also on the way your guests perceive you and your company.  A clean, pressed chef coat reflects a clean and tidy kitchen. Likewise, when your servers and cooks look polished, your entire establishment shines. As superficial as it may seem, a well-dressed staff imparts confidence and trust to your customers.

5. Advertising: Your staff, in their uniforms, is a fantastic way to advertise your company. Keep this in mind when choosing styles and designs and make sure that your company logo is clear and unmistakable. You should also keep this in mind when choosing your staff. These are the folks who represent you day-in and day-out.

It may seem frivolous, unimportant, or superficial, but uniforms and the appearance of your staff can have a profound effect on your business and the way outsiders perceive it. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts! What kind of uniforms does your staff wear? Have you found uniforms to be a valuable tool for both marketing and morale? Feel free to leave a comment below, and don’t forget to check out KNG’s Corporate Uniform Program!