Waiter and Waitress Uniforms: Different but the Same?

Employee Uniform Ideas

As a top restaurant uniform supplier, we get a lot of questions from the restaurant industry. What’s trending? What’s hot, (and what’s not)? What’s the best way to shop for restaurant uniforms online for your employees – in such a way that you can see and “touch” the fabric, and maintain a consistent look and feel? And, of course: cost. Waiter and Waitress UniformsEmployee uniforms can be a “cost center” for your restaurant, and so – accordingly – everyone is always worried about cost. We get that. Our job as “employee uniform idea consultants” is to help you brainstorm not only a consistent look-and-feel for your restaurant uniforms but one that fits with the trends in society and fits your brand image. Costs are part of the equation, too. We like to think of ourselves as “professional” eye-of-the-needle threaders. We help you with all aspects of your employee uniforms.

Waiter and Waitress Uniform Ideas

That said, let’s dive into one of the thorniest issues in restaurants: waiter and waitress uniforms. You have several issues here to creating a consistent look and feel for the “wait staff” of your restaurant, starting with the customer-facing employees such as the waiters or waitresses, but going to the busboys (and busgirls) as well as the “back of the house” staff such as uniforms for chefs, cooks, and other cooking staff. You want that consistent look-and-feel across all employee categories.

However, the wait staff is primarily the staff with whom the customers interact and there are problems here in terms of consistency. Let’s take the “guys” first. Fortunately, when it comes to waiter uniforms for men, you don’t have quite the hassles of what’s appropriate and what’s not. The style choices are not as robust with respect to uniforms for men, and men are generally do not encounter the problems of sexism and the like in the workplace that women do. Not that they don’t, but not to the same extent. It’s a rare uniform for a male waiter that will provoke criticism that it’s “not appropriate.” So, with that in mind, we suggest that you brainstorm your wait staff uniforms starting first with the women, as their uniform choices are more problematic?

How so? Well, first, you have the issue of what’s appropriate and what’s not for women to wear as waitresses. Casinos have this problem “in spades” (pardon the pun), as they often have cocktail waitresses as well as regular restaurant waitresses and the clientele in a casino may not always be on their “best” behavior. Yet, you don’t want to look too conservative as a casino waitress either. After all, casinos are places where people go to “have fun” and the ideas of dress and behavior are, shall we say, more liberal than you might encounter at a dine. So your first issue is what is your vision of “appropriate” when it comes to a casino waitress uniform?

Second, you have the issue of styles and fashions, which (again) change much more rapidly for women than for men. You want your waitress uniforms to “fit” with the times, but not be “out” next season. So you have to keep an eye on fashion trends and know what’s likely to fade, fast, and what will be more permanent. Again, men don’t have quite the problem here as male fashion trends are just not as rapid. Third, and we don’t want to be sexist, but you might expect that women will be “more critical” of their uniforms than men will be, so you may have some staff interpersonal issues to deal with vis-a-vis women that you don’t with men. Not always – but, let’s be realistic, in general women may be more sensitive to their appearance than men, and so you may want to be more inclusive vis-a-vis your female wait staff when selecting uniforms as opposed to your male wait staff. But that’s a good idea for every business – to include the employees in any major change of appearance to the employee uniforms.

And, finally, and this really impacts both men and women, the choice of fabric type. Many men and women are sensitive to the newer “artificial” fabrics and yet the older “natural” fabrics like cotton or linen may not be durable enough and are subject to wrinkles. So you have the look of the uniforms plus the style trends and the choice of fabric. In summary, we do recommend that you really work “out” from the look and feel of your female wait staff uniforms, first, and then coordinate that with the desired look of your male wait staff uniforms.

An Employee Uniform Idea Consultant

It’s more complicated than it seems to brainstorm ideas for male waiters and female waitresses, so reach out to one of our restaurant employee uniform idea consultants, today!