One of the biggest components to the overall atmosphere of a dining room is the wait staff and the uniforms they wear. Whether you are just beginning your journey as a restauranteur, or are looking for an inexpensive, yet impactful way to revamp your current establishment, a waiter’s apron is a great place to begin to set the scene for a diner’s experience. Selecting uniforms for your wait staff is more involved than just choosing between a black apron and a white one. There are several factors to consider to ensure finding an apron that will provide functionality and aesthetics. Here are some things to consider.
What is the nature of the server’s work?
There are several different sizes and materials you can choose from, depending on the functionality required. What is it exactly your servers will be doing? For instance, a cocktail waiter in a crowded bar, might opt for a quarter length leather or vinyl waist apron with two small pockets for housing money, notebook and check presenters. Conversely, a busser might be better suited with a full-size bib apron to protect the uniform from stains that might occur while collecting dishes or leaning over a table to clean it. Consider things such as durability, number of pockets needed, and degree of protection needed.
Will the apron serve as part of a uniform ranking system?
Traditionally uniforms serve a dual function. The first is one of protection against perils unique to the respective industry. The second is to designate, both within the industry and outside of it, the role each member has in the operating system. You must decide if all servers will wear identical aprons, or if servers will wear ½ length aprons, sommeliers a ¼ length apron, and head waits wear full length aprons.
Will the Apron match the intended tone of the dining room?
This is where aesthetics comes into play. We all know a fine dining restaurant is not the best place to wear an apron with electric cars printed on it, however there are finer points to consider. My advice here is to sit down in your dining room and look around. Then jot down two to three phrases that would best describe the décor in your restaurant and the perspective of your food. Now take your top three favorite apron choices and see which of them best matches the phrases you just listed. Just because you like the way something looks, doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your restaurant.
Will the apron be the only component of the server uniform?
This is something to consider, because if your servers will have no other uniform, it might not be a great idea to wear a small ¼ length waist apron, as it might be missed in a crowded dining room. Furthermore, if the apron is to be the only component of a uniform, perhaps you might look for one that is easily customizable to include your business logo or name.