Foodservice uniforms: Form, function and flair

The latest foodservice uniforms are speaking volumes.

restaurant uniforms illustration

The standard foodservice uniform has undergone a makeover. Whether to make the job more appealing or extend personality to the guest, operators are allowing workers to express their individuality through what they wear, from T-shirts to bandanas to hipster-style aprons. Even in more conservative operations, staff can show their personality through uniforms, now offered in a wide range of colors, fits and styles. In choosing uniforms, operators also are weighing the message their workers’ wear sends, be it one of culinary skill and expertise, or a sense of camaraderie with the community or the rest of the culinary team.

Dressing for success

As part of a revamp of dining services at Lincoln County School District in Fayetteville, Tenn., cafeteria staff at the K-12 schools were outfitted with chefs’ coats. More polished than aprons, the coats give the entire staff a professional flair and promote a sense of unity across the different locations, says Stephanie Britt, nutrition supervisor and dietitian for the district. “The uniforms allow us to present a good impression to people that may not know us well,” says Britt.

Chef’s coats also have improved the work ethic among staffers at Madison County School District in Richmond, Ky., says Director of Food Services Scott Anderson. “They’re proud and putting a little more effort into their work,” he says. 

A bit of personal flair

It’s now common in both restaurants and noncommercial kitchens for staff to dress in pants made from stretchy, breathable material that are moisture wicking. And today, fit is not only practical, it’s also fashionable. Yoga-style pants are starting to pop up for female cooks, while cargo pockets seem to be a big add-on for men. And instead of standard cuts, many restaurants spec shirts in gender-specific fits.

Lincoln County cafeteria staff can choose from two chef’s coat styles, based on fit and preference, with special inserts to keep them cool. “We try to pick something that’s got a wide variety of sizes,” says Britt. “We don’t want anyone to be singled out because of size.”

To add interest and a little fun, the district also has the cafeteria staff wear a different color chef’s coat every day of the week. And as a way to promote school spirit on Fridays, the coats are replaced
with team apparel from their respective schools. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The Louisiana Senate is asking the state’s Education Department to create a task force to ensure every student gets a meal at school, KLFY reports.

The task force resolution was OKed after a bill that sought to end lunch shaming failed to pass the Senate Education Committee last month. State lawmakers say the bill, which was backed by the Louisiana House, failed to pass due to worries about districts losing money.

Members of the community, however, are upset that the resolution does not fully ban lunch shaming. A reporter at KLFY created a Facebook poll asking local...

Industry News & Opinion

An agreement between Northwestern University’s new foodservice vendor and the union that represents many of the school’s service workers has put to rest some staff concerns over its upcoming vendor switch, reports The Daily Northwestern .

Unite Here Local 1 said that it met with representatives of Compass Group North America, which assumes control of the Evanston, Ill., school’s foodservice this fall, and reached a deal to ensure that staff who previously worked under Sodexo and Aramark would have job security with Compass. In addition, the agreement continues many benefits that...

Ideas and Innovation
scratch card

Two days a week, we do scratch card purchases of $6 or more to get a free item on the next visit. Patients and staff look forward to the Monday and Friday scratch card days. It increases sales on slow days as well as guest satisfaction.

Ideas and Innovation
ramen noodles

The Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock has unveiled a new, full-time food truck called Food from the Heart. It’s the first hospital-owned and operated food truck in the nation, according to KATV .

The truck, which will offer a limited menu that includes Chef Coby Smith ’s popular ramen, served its first meal on May 2 and will roll out service throughout the area beginning next month, the report said.

In addition, it will have pop-up locations, allowing the hospital to extend its reach to communities outside metro Little Rock. The truck can also be used in emergency...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code