We’ve designed and manufactured uniforms from one-off restaurants to Michelin starred gourmet restaurants and here’s what we’ve learned; the uniforms do matter. The baseline argument for uniforms is not having confused customers by knowing who works there and who can help them. We’ve all mistaken someone for an employee and asked for help (please stop wearing red shirts to Target). From the perspective of employees and customers, there are three important factors revolving around proper uniforms that businesses must consider in today’s demanding hospitality environment, and it’s probably deeper than you think.
As you may expect customers like to feel they’re being well taken care of and somewhere special. A well uniformed staff can make one feel that an establishment is of high-caliber or nicer than competition based on uniforms alone. Michelin starred chef Thomas Keller was asked what the first thing he looks for when he enters a restaurant and stated the following to Bloomberg News “it’s really about the staff and how they’re holding themselves, how they’re dressed, it’s very important . . . it gives a sense of how the operators are paying attention to the details, because it’s always about the details." (1) Certainly chef Keller is a denizen of rare air in the world of gastronomy but he nailed it in this interview; details matter and your customers are paying attention. At Bell Uniform Design we’ve supplied many establishments without a need for formal attire such as men’s jackets and women’s dresses, but if you’ve considered upgrading your uniforms to something more formal, then research is on your side. A 2015 study explains the benefits employee’s have when wearing nice clothing: “The findings demonstrate that the nature of an everyday and ecologically valid experience, the clothing worn, influences cognition broadly, impacting the processing style that changes how objects, people, and events are construed.” (2) In laymen’s terms, employees have an improved mental state when they’re well dressed and this will impact your customer’s experience as well. We haven’t run into any employers who wouldn’t want any advantage they can get, so this is an interesting find. Throwing a polo shirt with a name tag on your employees, though appropriate for some pool services and cafes, won’t do you any favors when higher fashion is an option. Good looking and feeling uniforms reduce employee stress by not giving them an option before they come to work which eliminates worry about what to wear and saves time. As an employer, you may know your staff’s financial situation but most often it’s a mystery and by having a head-to-toe uniform you eliminate inequality in employee’s clothing and overall look. A study by professor Karen Pine (3) suggests that both men and women rank nice clothes as a top-ten reason for feeling good and confident. Taking all this information into consideration, it may be time to dress your employees for success.
Dressing for success is a concept that is very much supported by science as noted herein. Looking the part can increase your ability to think clearly, act creatively and can help you feel more confident, what employer doesn’t want that! If you have any questions about how to get the best look for you business don’t hesitate to reach out to the wonderful staff at Bell Uniform Design, the results may surprise you. - Tommy Bell
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=hHq09J8wdQc - Bloomberg; confessions of chef Thomas Keller. 2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550615579462 - The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing. 3. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2644076/You-DRESS-Clothing-significant-effect-self-esteem-confidence-claims-expert.html - Daily Mail; Professor Karen Pine’s research revealed.