Business owners get in the game because they plan to make money sooner rather than later. But running a restaurant or bar comes with some significant start-up costs. One estimate found that it takes an average cost of more than $30,000 to start a restaurant. While planning everything out, there’s one cost you may not have thought about: uniforms. Unless you’re the only employee, it’s worth considering uniforms for your staff. Here are three reasons why.
1. For simple identification
“Do you work here?” We’ve all been asked that question at one time or another, even if we don’t actually work there. But handing out uniforms and making them mandatory eliminates at least some of the confusion. Sure, if your business colors are green and white, then some customers are going to approach anyone in the vicinity wearing green and white. But most people will look for indicators that aren’t just related to color. The best uniforms come with a name tag or, even better, the name of the employee stitched right into the fabric.
This allows you to keep track of which employees are doing a good job. And if an employee isn’t doing a good job, a uniform allows you to hold them accountable. A customer complaint like “John was rude to me” is a lot more actionable than something like, “That tall guy was rude to me.”
2. To build unity (and a brand)
You don’t want your employees to feel like a random collection of people who just happened to show up at the same building at roughly the same time. You want employees to feel like they are on a team. Team-building exercises might help with that, but few things are as tangible as wearing the same uniform. If it works for players on your favorite baseball team, then it should also work in other settings.
There’s also a sense of pride that comes with wearing the right uniform for the right company. If your run your business the right way, your workers will be proud to put on their uniform and head into work. Sure, there will still be hard days; every job has those. But you want the people who work for you to feel like a part of something bigger.
Speaking of something bigger: uniforms also help with branding. You need a distinctive brand to survive in an increasingly crowded marketplace like the one that exists in 2019. Let’s say your restaurant participates in a local “Taste of the Town” event. These events usually feature dozens of local restaurants. Attendees pay a flat to sample as many types of food as they want, and it can be quite chaotic. If someone comes by your booth and likes your food, it’s important for them to be able to look at your employee and instantly know what brand they represent before heading to the next vendor.
3. To show a sense of purpose
Operating a sit-down restaurant comes with certain expectations that exist both inside and outside the dining industry. For instance, you might know that you need to order white Jobeline chef apparel, but you may not know how, exactly, white became the standard color for people cooking high-end meals. A chef who wears white is trying to send a signal about cleanliness, among other things. White also reflects heat, which is important in a boiling-hot kitchen environment. At the end of the day, white looks clean and professional.
White chef’s uniforms are also practical for other reasons. For instance, bleaching a white piece of clothing is a lot easier than bleaching something with a lot of bright colors. That means if you buy white uniforms for your kitchen staff, you shouldn’t have to replace them too often. For your wait staff, black and white is a good color combination, or you can stick with all-black if you want to provide more of a contrast.