Have you ever noticed how badly some restaurant chefs or crew members look in their uniform?

Especially how they look with a traditional bib apron on top…….sheesh!

What is even worse is the fact that all the restaurant uniform apparel companies basically sell the same exact thing. Shirts, blouses, polo’s and traditional bib aprons.

It’s not the restaurants fault, its uniform apparel manufacturers fault for not coming up with something better….until now!

What is the point of having a great shirt/chef coat and no bib apron to block spills and debris that regularly happen in a restaurant environment? Well that is what most quick-serve, dining and fast casual restaurant are doing to avoid the look that a traditional bib apron gives to an untidy employee. They are willing to buy more shirts and chef coats annually instead of having their employees wear the hideous bib apron.

Well the answer to restaurants in general is the Shirpron!

Restaurant customers find cleanliness and neatness to be the two most important characteristics of restaurant crew uniforms. In general most people are clean, but few are very neat, especially when it comes to wearing a bib apron with that uniform.

At Odis Hardin Apparel we commissioned a study that found that 38 percent of male customers and 62 percent of female customers believe cleanliness is a concern of theirs when considering good uniform characteristics. But, 42 percent of male’s customer and 74 percent of females say neatness in appearance is front and center when they consider whether or not a restaurant is really clean.

The consumer wants it to look like it’s clean, neat and sanitary. They also notice it, unfortunately, if it’s out of spec. If it blends in with the rest of the brand, it’s actually a good thing. But restaurants that require traditional bib aprons, which are standard, “there is nothing worse than coming up to counter or drive-thru and seeing a disheveled employee wearing an apron with a neck strap mangling the collar of their shirt”, said one of the women we interviewed for the study.

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Rounding out the top five most important characteristics of crew uniforms in customers eyes were style, color and age appropriateness.

The same study found that restaurant employees consider comfort, ease of care, easy to keep up with and clean look to be the most important characteristics of their own uniforms. A lot of the crew members we interviewed said they left or had forgotten their apron at home or in the car on numerous occasions. Plus they hate wearing them is a reason for leaving them as well.

We know that there are three opinions weighing in on restaurant uniforms: those of the customer, the employee and most importantly the owner/corporation. In order to find the right uniform for a brand, all three opinions must be balanced.

There’s an art and a science to uniform design. The art side is what we worry about as uniform designers and the science is what restaurant owners/corporate care about, is essentially thinking about cost and using the uniform as a billboard to display their brand. To integrate a brand into apparel is a lot harder than people think, at Odis Hardin we have figured it out.

To fully address the opinions of crew members, they were really concerned about being comfortable and it being easy to clean. About 45 percent of female restaurant employees and 50 percent of male employee found comfort and ease of care/look clean to be the most important characteristics of uniforms. Fit and style, color and age appropriateness rounded out the list.

Ultimately, the ideal restaurant uniform is the one that satisfies customers, employees and owners/corporate team needs and highlights the common ground they all share.

The Shirpron has no strap neck which gives the employees the comfort they want, everybody look the same neat orderly what the customer wants and it cost basically the same price and allows employee wear for longer periods of time to display the brand that owners want.

We really went deep into investigating what would specifically impact a uniforms appearance, comfort, cleanliness and durability. What conditions? What stains? What grease? We actually dig deep into making sure that we understand what this uniform will be subjected to over a six-month horizon. And we found that an apron is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or a burden to deal with.

Three years of product development and countless hours of trial and error, we found the perfect melding of form, function, appearance and cost. The customer wins, the crew member wins and last but most importantly the owner/corporate win and the Shirpron is the result. LIVE FREE!

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