Dress to impress and win customers

Staff clothing can influence custom and boost trade, suppliers say

First impressions count and staff uniforms can influence customers’ views on a bar or restaurant.

The appearance of staff, workwear manufacturers claim, is crucial in customers deciding to return to a premises for a second or third visit.


And if customers do not like what they see, it can put them off coming back.

“A lot can be said for first impressions when it comes to the restaurant industry,” said Rick Shonfeld of workwear firm Tibard.

“And staff uniforms form a large part of this.

“As we know, the appearance of the serving staff can have a huge impact on that important first few seconds, where a new customer will create their personal initial opinion based on what they see, and how they feel.”

Shonfeld said workwear is constantly changing and clothing such as T-shirts would previously never have been considered for outlets offering formal dining.

“However, times have changed and T-shirts are fast replacing traditional shirts and blouses as the main choice for front of house wear,” said Shonfeld.

shutterstock_bartender pouring drink

He added that, in addition to T-shirts, recent years have seen a number of other developments in workwear.

He said: “Aprons are the easiest item to produce and short rolls of fabric, while not cheap, are cost effective given the outcome.

“We have seen denims, linens, tweeds, canvas and leather all regularly requested by customers who are all looking to stand out and make their uniforms a talking point.”

Style married with practicality is important in selecting workwear.

Kate Morris of Fruit of the Loom said polo shirts, in particular, are “ideal” for pub and bar staff.

She said: “These garments not only give businesses a professional appearance, they create a unified

“That’s why our shirts feature high quality finishing details and co-ordinating styles and colours across our men’s and ladies’ options, ensuring staff look their best during even the busiest of days.”

Morris claimed polyester and cotton polo shirts could withstand “the rigours of busy kitchens, hectic front of house or behind the bar”.

She added: “Perfect for uniform, their easy-care fabric means staff can repeatedly wash and wear them without worrying about time or affecting the appearance of the garment.”