How to choose the right hospitality clothing for your role
How to choose the right hospitality clothing for your role
With the hospitality industry reopening after lockdown, many businesses are updating their staff uniform to showcase new styles and attract new customers back to their establishments.
Yet, it can be challenging to know what uniform to go for with so much choice, especially if you have to purchase workwear for your entire team, who might have very different roles.
This article will show you the top things to look out for when purchasing workwear, the best workwear for every hospitality role and the top things to look for in the best garment manufacturing companies to choose from.
In general, the hospitality industry has sub-sectors which include hotels, restaurants, catering, recreational activities (bowling alleys, ice rinks, cinemas etc.) and events management.
As the industry is so broad, many businesses find it helpful to signify their sub-sector through their uniform. Most roles tend to have their uniform tropes (such as hats on a hotel bellboy uniform), which help customers understand staff roles and hierarchy and this gives a coherent first impression.
Who needs a uniform?
The different jobs in the hospitality industry are wide-ranging to include everything from management and cleaners to chefs and waiters.
Despite the wide range of roles, there are general principles every uniform adheres to. Later, this blog post will look at the kind of uniform suitable for the following roles:
What to look for in all hospitality clothing
Below is a list of general principles to stick to when selecting hospitality clothing for any role.
Look for clothing designed to be durable
Clothing an entire team can be a significant expense, so it’s not something you want to do often. You should look for clothing that’s designed to last a long time, even through the harsh conditions of shift work and the industrial laundering process. To find durable clothing, you should consider:
The garment’s material
You should choose any cotton clothing reinforced with a polyester blend so that you’re not sacrificing durability for comfort. Natural cotton keeps clothing breathable, whereas synthetic polyester gives the fabric a tougher quality and can be easier to clean.
Whether the garment has a guarantee
Look for retailers that offer a guarantee on their clothing, as this shows they design their garments to be durable. Alexandra is one such retailer, and we offer a 2-year guarantee on all of our own-brand garments to demonstrate our faith in their durability.
Make sure you choose comfortable clothing
To make sure your staff are able to do their jobs to the best of their ability, you need to make sure they’re comfortable. Look for clothing that’s been designed with your industry in mind for the specific roles you’re purchasing for. This ensures that garments are comfortable while staff carry out their roles and conform to the right safety standards.
One of the best ways to make sure clothing is comfortable is by purchasing garments made from the correct materials. For example, if a job is in a hot kitchen, choosing garments with a high cotton percentage will keep the wearer cool. With material, breathability is the operative word and will ensure your staff remain at the right temperature throughout their shifts.
Alexandra designs and manufactures clothing specifically for the industries it serves, taking into account regulations and correct specifications. We also conduct wearer testing to make sure clothing is comfortable on shift.
Choose clothing that matches your brand
Any uniform you choose needs to match the aesthetic of your business in style, colour and personality. For example, if your business is a modern cafe, you’ll want contemporary clothing. Whereas if it’s a traditional hotel, you’ll want elegant workwear that fits your style.
You should pay attention to personalisation, adding a bespoke design such as your company logo or employee names to ensure your uniforms have brand recognition.
Alexandra manufactures workwear in a huge range of styles suitable for all establishments. We have a team of designers constantly updating our clothing to meet the latest trends, whether in a contemporary or traditional style. Many of our garments are available with custom embroidery.
Consider eco-friendly workwear
Many customers like to align their purchasing choices with their moral views, and with climate change such a big issue, people want to see companies ‘doing their bit’ to help the environment.
Choosing sustainable clothing is one way you can align with what your customers expect. It gives you a chance for your business to help the environment while offering a marketing opportunity.
To help your business use environmentally-friendly uniforms, Alexandra offers TENCEL® sustainable fabric for specific garments across our Boyd Cooper Made to Order range. TENCEL® is a sustainably sourced and recyclable fabric made from the fibres and wood pulp of eucalyptus trees. By choosing TENCEL® for your workwear, you can help alleviate your customer’s concerns about the environmental impact of your business.
The best workwear for your hospitality role
Listed below are the top considerations for five different kinds of hospitality roles and the top garment suggestions to go with them.
As a member of management, you need a uniform that shows customers you’re in charge and the person they need to go to if they have an issue. You’ll need a uniform that sets you slightly apart from the rest of your team but still suits the branding of your establishment.
Women & Men’s wing collar shirt
A clean-cut design suitable for both modern and traditional establishments, the wing collar shirt is a hospitality classic.
Made from a 65%/35% polyester/cotton blend, this shirt is durable and breathable, featuring a concealed button front, it looks professional paired with a bow tie.
Women & Men’s woven colour shirt
Available in both long and short sleeve variations and with a wide choice of colours, the woven colour shirt can be made to suit any business branding.
Featuring a chest pocket with a pen division, this shirt is excellent for managers who need to keep a writing tool close to hand.
Designed for comfort, this shoe features an energy-absorbing heel, breathable leather and an oil-resistant outsole to keep you from slipping.
Transparent face covering
Management needs to be able to communicate with all staff members and all customers effectively, so wearing a transparent face mask enables communication with the hard of hearing.
As first staff members your customers see, the reception team needs to look sharp and set the tone for the rest of the establishment. Often reception uniforms will feature stand out designs to give a striking first impression.
Designed to be worn across all industries, these trousers are made from a polyester and cotton mix to be long-lasting. They are durable enough to withstand the harsh conditions of industrial laundering, making them ideal for many hospitality roles.
Elasticated bow tie
Ideal for high-end restaurants or establishments wanting to add a vintage twist, this elasticated bow-tie provides the perfect finish to any professional hospitality uniform.
With social distancing still necessary, establishments need to demonstrate to customers they’re doing all they can to keep everyone safe. Having hand sanitiser available and on display at the front desk gives everyone reassurance and lets your customers get on with their evening free from any concerns.
The staff members responsible for taking customer requests and serving their food, waiting staff need to look clean and well kept at all times. This starts with a professional uniform.
Women & men’s roll up short sleeve shirt
As a waiter, you cannot go wrong with a well-fitted shirt because it’s forever fashionable, smart and a sign of professionalism.
Available in a variety of colours with a contrast inner section, our roll-up sleeve shirt makes it easy to get the right branding.
Faux leather waist apron
Adding texture to a uniform is always a great way to make it look smart and elegant. As it seems natural, the faux leather goes well with most colours - suitable for all brands - and its pockets allow waiting staff to keep a notepad and pen to hand.
While not as visible as other staff members due to spending most of their time in the kitchen, chefs still need to look the part to command the respect of their team. They also need to look presentable when a customer asks to speak directly with the chef who made their food.
Designed to be easy and practical to wear for any chef, these trousers feature two hip pockets, two leg-side pockets, pen and mobile phone pockets and one rear patch pocket; with so much storage, chefs can keep their most-needed utensils close to hand.
The kitchen can be a hazardous place with all kinds of heavy and sharp equipment being used every day. Chefs should wear safety shoes with an appropriate stress rating to ensure they are kept safe from any floor or falling hazards.
Often working when the establishment is closed or when most clients are not around, cleaning uniforms need to be practical and safe rather than smart and customer-friendly.
We are also the UK’s most trusted supplier of workwear to the healthcare sector, an industry that relies on its clothing to keep people safe.
We sell accredited clothing
As every industry and role within it has its regulations, you need to make sure the supplier you choose sticks to them. Alexandra designs all of its clothing to meet the strictest standards) and has even received a Royal Warrant to trade.
We offer a reliable delivery
You need your staff to look their best on every shift, and to do that, they always need their workwear to be of a high standard. At Alexandra, we offer next day delivery on most of our items to make sure you can always keep your staff kitted out and looking their best.
Our website makes ordering easy
Purchasing online isn’t always easy, especially if the website you’re using is difficult to navigate or not carrying half of the items you’re looking for.
At Alexandra, we recently relaunched our website and redesigned it from the ground up to be easier to use. Our search function suggests relevant garments and remembers the ones you recently looked at to easily find them again.
We also have an easy-ordering system accessible from your account so you can quickly reorder your own uniform styles time and time again.
How to buy new workwear from Alexandra
To purchase your new hospitality workwear, check out Alexandra, who can supply you with a complete a full range of uniforms including face shields, bib aprons and chef aprons, UK-wide.
While you’re there, be sure to view Alexandra’s healthcare, PPE and businesswear ranges for more inspiration on how to keep your staff safe and looking their best.
Finally, to find out more about how Alexandra is trying to be among the biggest ethical clothing manufacturers, UK-wide, click here.