What’s on the Tick List of Hospitality Industry Operators When They’re Ordering New Uniforms for Their Staff?

Stylish, individual, classic but cool, often an urban look for bars, durable, keen pricing, great size range, ease of ordering, ongoing availability, and of course ethically sourced!

  • What improvements have you witnessed in hospitality uniforms in recent years in terms of innovations/R&D (for example, changes that have helped with durability, safety, comfort, presentation, and flexibility etc)?

Improvements in fabric technologies, particularly those that are man-made, have had a significant effect on our industry. Gone is the need for harsh fabrics requiring dry cleaning to ensure durability. Today, finer materials, with stretch, breathability, and extreme durability that can withstand higher washing temperatures and have an overall longer lifespan are in demand. We are now seeing garments featuring recycled plastics. Our latest suiting collection features 15 recycled bottles per suit! There is a great choice of styles and colours across all ranges, which has reduced the need to manufacture bespoke uniforms for companies requiring an individual look. In addition to the standard personalisations, such as embroidery, print and, labelling we are now able to modify stock garments by adding coloured and textured trims, changing buttons, etc., which is logistically for better, especially for smaller companies who may struggle to meet bespoke minimum order quantities. This also relieves the customer of the need to commit to stockholding. Garments are far more in line with fashion with much more availability of female-fit garments and styles in all ranges that are being regularly modified to ensure they are on-trend.

  • Have you observed any changes in demands from industry operators in their orders for kitchen staff uniforms or chef uniforms (for example, driven by trends such as open kitchens)?

Open kitchens have had a massive impact on chefs wear. With chefs now visible, carrying out their work in front of their clients, the need has been brought for a higher quality garment needing regular washing! Also, the demand for long-sleeved chef jackets has increased for those not wishing to show off their tattoos! Industry operators are also aware of the need for comfort and are embracing the new fabrics which feature technical specifications, for example, wicking, breathable, and stain resistant. Additionally, separate garments for ladies rather than choosing unisex items which are ill-fitting are also gaining popularity.

  • Are there any particular trends in uniform requests for front-of-house/waiting staff who are more visible to customers (for example, new colours, plainer or more decorative styles, more bespoke, long aprons, etc)?

New uniform requests are now regularly looking for a more casual approach for all areas; front-of-the-house, waiting, and bar staff. We offer a business casual range, featuring chinos, collarless shirts, gingham shirts, tweed waistcoats, and jackets which have been very popular pre-COVID times. Branding is minimal, but classy. Even some reception areas are choosing a less formal approach. To set your company apart from your competitors you can include distinctive colours, branding, and accessories to our business casual range.

  • Are there any traditional/classic styles/ranges of staff uniforms that remain popular despite the new trends and if so, why do you think this is?

The Chef’s jacket remains a classic garment. Developments in technical fabrics have brought some great improvements for the wearer and most chefs are happy to spend a little more to look the part, especially with the open plan kitchens and the need for cool and comfort whilst working. Also, there is a broader choice for female chefs. However, the traditional full suit, shirt, and blouse are still the popular choice for most reception areas and managerial roles. The main driver for this is likely to be the requirement for an authoritative smart look and sign of status. This is unlikely to change significantly in the near future.

  • How do you expect uniform trends to evolve in 2023 and what should we be looking out for?

There is a rise in companies opting for a more casual look and some even move away from a compulsory uniform policy altogether for non-customer-facing employees. Also, there are fewer chances to see employees wearing formal shirts and ties/blouses and scarves in the workplace unless in a managerial or reception role. Part of the thinking behind this is to make the wearer more approachable and, of course, have a more comfortable work uniform. Additionally, casual uniform clothing costs less than formal staff workwear. That said, we are also seeing companies shifting to higher quality, a sustainable uniform that has been reliably sourced and will stay looking good for longer!

At PCL Corporatewear, we offer a wide range of garments suitable for staff workwear. Be it traditional, casual, or the more trendy –sustainable clothing, we have something for businesses of all sectors and sizes.

Comments are closed here.