As the adage goes, first impressions last. Creating a good first impression in your restaurant is the first step to a successful business and happy customers. You may have the best décor, the funkiest waiting staff or the most delicious meals, but giving your staff the right look can entice customers and create an excellent first impression. A bad uniform can ruin a customer’s entire perception of your restaurant. If you own a themed restaurant, your job is pretty easy as your uniform will simply complement this theme. But how do you go about creating a brand image to best suit your business and objectives?

Colour is key

Never underestimate the power of colour. Those in the marketing field will always point out the importance of colours, shades and hues in an environment, including a restaurant. Various colours are associated with different feelings – red and orange are known to stimulate the appetite and promote an overall feeling of happiness, while yellow represents creativity, but too much of this colour can overwhelm a sensitive customer and cause anxiety. Green is associated with natural elements, healthy dishes and home-grown ingredients, while white can represent cleanliness and purity. Red and yellow colour schemes are popular for fast food and casual dining restaurants, while gold and deep reds, blacks, dark blues and greys are often preferred for more upscale establishments.

Think about style

There are many different styles to choose from when it comes to restaurant uniforms. If your restaurant is more casual, a simple t-shirt and jeans combo will do for the waiters, while a similarly laid-back approach can be taken for the rest of the staff. For more formal establishments, you may want to consider polos or button-down shirts for waiters and staff. Ensure that the style of the uniform suits to overall theme and atmosphere of your establishment, but also make sure that it is comfortable for your staff.

Figure out its function

It is important to consider what the staff will be doing in their uniforms. The cooking staff should have a jacket, chef’s hat and comfortable shoes at all times as these serve various functions, while the waiting staff should look respectable and clean but should also be comfortable as they are on their feet for most of their shift. Any staff member working with food should also have an apron, as stains are inevitable.

Fresh and clean

Restaurant uniforms should look crisp and clean at all times. Nobody wants a sloppy person handling their food, and an untidy or dirty uniform is a sure way to completely put off your customers. You should avoid materials that wrinkle easily and ensure that shirts and pants are fitted properly. A size chart is typically available from the uniform manufacturer; therefore you must make sure that employees order the right sizes garments.