I’m a great believer in the use of staff uniforms. Why wear staff uniforms?
1) They help establish an employee dress code.
2) Staff uniforms eliminate the question of what to wear to work. Front of the house staff are also spared the cost of having to buy expensive elegant clothing.
3) Uniforms can be very comfortable.
4) Uniforms make it easy for guests to identify staff.
5) Uniforms also help create the sense of team unity. (Good management will make the spirit of team unity, a reality).
6) Uniforms can advertise your business. I always wear a staff shirt even if I’m off duty. My staff shirt has caught the eye of other business people – helping me to build a business network. Travelers looking for a place to stay in the Lykens Valley have approached me after seeing my shirt. I have even had two waitresses refer prospective guests to me while dining in a restaurant. Since I realize that my shirt helps to attract business, I always make a point of carrying business cards to share with anyone I meet.
Uniforms may be purchased from a number of different suppliers. I like to use King Menus: http://www.kingmenus.com
I purchase unisex Jersey knit shirts in forest green for $7.77 each. Our logo of a pink rose with our inn’s name is available for an additional $7.99 each for a total cost of $15.76 (not including the cost of shipping) for each shirt.
The housekeeper wears a staff shirt and long trousers with close toed shoes.
I wear my staff shirt with chef trousers, (either herringbone, black with white vertical stripes, or solid black), and a burgundy red apron. I also wear socks with either chef clogs or black leather shoes – both of which have built in arch support since I’m usually on my feet for a good part of the day.
I even have a dozen chef jackets bearing my name, white chef hats, and red neckerchefs – though I seldom dress as a chef anymore since I have discontinued our dinner operations in favor of running a strict B&B operation as opposed to that of a country inn.
3 thoughts on “Staff Uniforms, Why Have Them?”
The first inn I worked in had the employees, who were women, wear white aprons. The aprons kept our clothes clean, identified us as employees, and gave us pockets to store things like pencils and small items that we might be carrying.
If my wife reads this and makes me start wearing a uniform, you two are in big trouble.
We have some pullover shirts that have our name and logo embroidered on them, but we rarely wear them for the benefit of our guests. (Our B&B is small so if the guests don’t remember who we are, they have had too much to drink Shocked ) We wear the shirts mainly when we go out into the community, to the wineries or parks. Its a bit of subtle advertising that on occaison leads to some interesting conversations.
There are uniforms and there are uniforms.
If you’re a reasonably good looking guy and your wife decides to have a Roman theme night, your uniform could be a short little tunic. (The Romans didn’t wear trousers, so your tunic would leave your arms bare and your legs would also be bare from mid-thigh down).
Needless to say, this would make a straight leg bend (to pick something up) rather problematic.
Woo-hoo for the women folk!
As for something that would attract the men, I’ve always liked the “naughty” French maid costume. Wink
Truly though, if you think of a uniform as a type of costume, they can be a great deal of fun. I myself have dressed as a 19th century waiter. Here is a picture of yours truly from my website. (You’ll have to scroll down. I’m standing beside the Inn at Elizabethville sign).
While working as a teacher, I dressed as a knight in chainmail with a steel breastplate, shoulder guards, and helmet.
I have also been a Pilgrim, a pirate, a Spanish conquistador, a Bedouin, and a merchant from the 13 colonies.
It was all loads of fun – especially since I role played various historical characters.
My favorite character was Cabeza de Vaca, the Conquistador. (His name translates as cow’s head). As Cabeza de Vaca I wore thigh high custom fitted leather boots, baggy pantaloons, a puff sleeved shirt, a custom fitted steel breastplate, a flowing brown cape, black leather gauntlets, and a combed morion steel helmet topped with a white ostrich feather. Spirit gum gave me a thin mustache and a pointed beard. I wore an antique leather shield on my left arm and carried a staff with the Spanish royal flag in my right. It was always great fun to wander into a 1st or 2nd grade class, plant my flag on a child’s desk, and declare in a loud and heavily accented voice that I was seizing a child’s in-door recess snack, “For the glory of Espana!”
The child would of course, never relinquish the snack, where upon I would explain how the entire “claiming for the throne” idea worked. The basis for this idea was simple. An explorer has a flag, the explorer plants the flag on the item being claimed, and the explorer announces to the world in a loud voice that said object is being claimed for said country and said king.” For reasons that always baffled Cabeza de Vaca, the children never relinquished their goodies.
Ah … the joys of education … and costumes and uniforms …
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