When it comes to creating a truly immersive and consistent experience for restaurant guests, we know that there are many aspects to consider. The menu must offer variety but together, the dishes should be a showcase of cuisine that reflect your values. The restaurant itself should be welcoming and stylish yet still highly functional. And the uniform that your staff wears should be durable and comfortable whilst aligning with your restaurant’s overall vibe.
What makes getting the uniform right even more difficult, however, is finding garments that offer something different to standard shirts and black waist aprons that are a common sight in so many restaurants. They are a classic combo, and we understand why, but we also know that restaurateurs are looking for something a little more contemporary. That’s why we’ve collated this list of cool restaurant uniform ideas to give you some inspiration.
Suits are a time-honoured favourite for a reason. They are smart, easy to change up and can add an extra touch of sophistication to any dining experience. However, tailoring doesn’t have to be monotone or overly serious. Your staff uniform can make use of classic cuts and elements like waistcoats and pencil skirts but mix things up by experimenting with colour, pattern, fabrics, and accessories.
For example, you could opt for shirts with Mandarin collars rather than Oxford collars or you could go for a silk cravat rather than a traditional necktie. If you’re set on a three-piece suit for your restaurant uniform, you could set it apart by choosing tartan, for instance, or more muted trousers and a jacket paired with a brightly patterned waistcoat.
When we think of linen in a restaurant, it's usually concerning how the tables are dressed but this fabric shouldn't be overlooked as a choice for cool restaurant uniforms, figuratively and literally. The hollow fibres make it breathable and absorbent, which ensures it will be comfortable for whoever wears it, but its versatility means there is so much choice for cuts and styles.
Take an Asian fusion restaurant for example. The uniform could echo the cuisine by pairing tailored linen trousers with an obi tie waist tunic top. Or if you offer Moroccan cuisine, you could opt for linen in terracotta hues which is looser in fit but plays with necklines and the finishing details.
A leather apron is a fantastic choice if you want a garment that looks great and is functional but also has guaranteed longevity. Plus, it also protects the wearer from heat and sharp implements and doesn't require washing machine cleaning like many other uniform types.
Here at Billy Tannery, our leather apron was our first foray into kitchen products and it was James Cochran that commissioned the first set of black aprons from us for his restaurant, 1251. Since then, we have also collaborated with SILO and our aprons have even made an appearance on Escape to the Chateau.
Made from goat or deer leather, our premium branded aprons can be customised to match your unique style. The leather can be tanned in a variety of colours, and they can be embossed with your logo. We can even tweak the cut, hardware and finishing touches of our popular design.
All the denim
Denim has become a more popular choice for restaurant uniforms in recent years and we’ve included it in this list because it can be styled in so many ways. Yes, you could go for denim jeans and a shirt or a denim apron but there are other options too.
For instance, denim dungarees could be a contender if you want to play on the farm-to-fork approach of your restaurant. Or you could utilise patchwork denim fabric to echo your values of sustainability and recycling.
There is no rule that says restaurant uniforms must match perfectly or be muted in colour. If your food uses bold flavours and oozes creativity, why not make a statement with your uniform too? Weave your brand colours into the garments but add contrast. Forego solid colour for stripes, spots, paisley, or checks. And use statement jewellery like oversized necklaces or layer different textures to add interest. Have fun with it!
Hopefully, you now have some cool restaurant uniform ideas that will help you decide on the look you want for your restaurant. If your choice includes bespoke uniforms or accessories for your restaurant, as was the case for chef Doug McMaster from SILO, then we’d love to hear your ideas to see how we could collaborate. Get in touch today.