Durability and cleanliness vital for chefs’ workwear, say suppliers
STYLE, practicality and value are three of the main factors operators should consider when selecting kitchen workwear.
Suppliers contacted by SLTN said the role uniforms can play in presenting a clean, professional image for a venue cannot be overstated.
“Choosing the right clothing for staff means taking many factors into consideration,” said David Hill, sales and marketing director at Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services.
“Chefs want to look good but their workwear has to be practical, in terms of comfort and stain resistance, and it has to be of a good and lasting quality.”
In order to create the best quality workwear, Hill said manufacturers are increasingly turning away from cotton in favour of materials like polycotton or polyester, which are less likely to shrink.
As well as holding their shape and colour, these materials are said to be easy to iron and able to ‘breathe’.
Hill also stressed the importance of having workwear professionally cleaned – citing the risk of cross-contamination as one of the main dangers.
“With a commercial laundry, uniforms will be washed at specific critical temperatures,” he said.
“The minute you ask staff to launder their own clothing in a domestic environment, you are exposing your business to the risks of washing items at too low a temperature, and risking the potentially serious hazard of cross-contamination.”
Regardless of the quality of the material, uniforms will eventually
start to fade with repeated washings, so it is important that employers
invest in several changes of uniform for each chef employed in the
“Clearly if a chef is only given a couple of jackets and washes them every other day then the natural fibres will deteriorate pretty rapidly and the jacket will fall apart,” said Rick Shonfeld, commercial director of workwear specialist Tibard.
“If a sensible allocation is made, say five jackets, then we would expect them to last at least 24 months.
“Whatever the item the less frequently it is washed the longer it will last.”
Image – Chefs need practical workwear, suppliers say.