Being a youthful and rapidly growing catering and food development consulting business, we wanted to take an innovative approach to staff to uniforms. This will now include the teams at Schools and Co Catering which will have their own Brainiac line of work wear created just for them and it will be match the color palette of the canteen.
We carried out online research and asked people starting out, thinking of moving jobs in the hospitality sector, as well as our own staff. What do you have the most about staff uniforms? The opened the flood gates, but we did the same themes over and over again and we focused on the top 5
· They don’t showcase the company’s brand, especially chef & kitchen or back of house (59%)
· Badly designed, dull, unmemorable (63% never wear it to work, i don’t want people to know i work there)
· Nothing to connect to the guest everyone looks the same (71%)
· All the same job titles, staff, manager, head of this or that (57%)
· Impersonal and the people who designed never had to wear them (68%)
We believe as do workplace psychologist that your clothing really does affect how you act and feel. Dressing for success is all about psychology, when you feel good and confident in the clothes, you’re wearing then you will exude confidence in your personality and mannerisms both in yourself and customers.
Team members who feel stylish and appropriately dressed for the situation that they’re in will help to promote confidence. But in hospitality everything is the same and our research told the same this. So how we change it.
We wanted to
· Make everyone to feel comfortable and proud of wear it, and it’s the reason that many of the biggest sports teams in the world have an iconic team uniform which is mainly down to branding,
· To create unity and promote equality as all be will be dressed the same house style
· To show off the fun side of our brand but, but our teams’ personalities
· A uniform that they are proud of and wouldn’t be ashamed to hide
So got a load of them in a room and after 20mins we had a big idea, let them design and personalise them, but within the house guidelines. So we tasked our service designer to come up with something fitted the brand, was cool, fun and comfortable. The inspiration came from our Logo, designed by Xpert in London, our innovation partners. The designers took elements of each of the jobs tittles and created a range of 50 icons for chefs, bar, FOH, Waiting, Events and Support Staff. We created engaging and fun slogans that summed up our brand and we came up with new and exciting titles that summed up what people actually did or was fit with their personality.
Bang our new Wixted Catering Uniform Style Guide was created. We partnered with a leading uniform manufacturer who built us an internal brand uniform platform that allows the staff to choose, design and create their own personal look and stylish workwear. Customized and made for them, when we produced the first samples and showed to everyone the reaction was amazing and watching people designing, sharing them designs on social media and to each was just a joy to watch. We showed them our customers who loved them and the feedback from guests has been amazing and they all agree its part of our mission to “to create amazing and memorable food experiences for all”
HERE ARE SOME TOP TIPS WE LEARNT DURING THE PROCESS.
· Choose Fabric with care and it must be comfortable to wear and consider weather conditions.
· You’ll also want your uniforms to last as long as possible to reduce the cost of repairing or replacing them, as well as the environmental impact. Consider using high-quality fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily, that wash well and are hardy enough to withstand daily wear while offering a good level of comfort to your team.
· Let your team design them we did throughout the process and they really felt part of the process and they took ownership. At the end of the date are the ones who will be wearing the uniform and they know what their working day involves better than anyone.
· Employees should be comfortable with their work uniforms both physically and emotionally. If an employee is forced to wear work clothing, they are not happy in, day in day out, morale and productivity will suffer.
· It is important that staff uniforms fit well. Ill-fitting workwear will look unprofessional, feel uncomfortable and possibly hinder performance.
· Staff have first-hand contact with customers and will offer a different perspective on the brand. They’ll no doubt have great insight into what will strike a chord with your target consumers
· Consider your branding strategy as a whole and make sure your uniform design fits. Colour consistency is key to branding success. Inconsistent branding is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to successfully growing a business and corporate identity.
· Use your uniforms to attract new people to your company