If you are supplying your hospitality team with uniforms in 2019/2020 or planning a uniform refresh sometime soon, there are a few trends you need to know about to stay ahead of the competition. We've explored 7 of the hottest trends hospitality businesses need to know...
1. Approachable & Relatable
First impressions matter, and staff uniforms set the tone for your customer service expectations. Embrace cool, effortless and approachable, but make sure the uniform is still functional and distinguishes your staff from your patron. Your staff should feel comfortable, and physically able, to do their job in their uniform. When organising a new uniform think about the types of activities that your staff need to perform. For example, are they bending down or reaching up a lot? This often requires longer length shirts to maintain modesty and professionalism. Do they need to carry items with them, like notepads, pens or bottle openers and how does your uniform accommodate these to make it easier for your staff? You also need to understand your customers and culture, to ensure the uniform communicates the desired brand voice.
2. Fashion Forward Updates
Who said uniforms can’t be fashionable? In a fast-paced market, companies can no longer expect their uniform style to be relevant for 5+ years. The industry leaders are all about implementing stylish and fashion-forward uniforms and reviewing them regularly. We recommend you plan to refresh your uniform every 3 years to ensure your team and brand stays relevant in your market. This can be done incrementally and subtly. Updating smaller items like aprons, or adding a custom scarf or bandana can be a powerful way to change a uniform look without draining the budget. Seasonal items can be a fun way to keep your staff comfortable but add some branding flair. Updating your uniform also keeps your employees interested in what they’re wearing. Block colour and pattern mash-ups continue to inspire hospitality uniforms through 2019/20. Checks and chinos, and denim-on-denim aren't going away anytime soon. Checks are also great for hiding those tough hospitality stains!
3. Statement Pieces
Don’t be afraid to make a statement when shouting out to the world who your company is and what you stand for. The best results come when you use a statement tee, polo or accessory that strongly represents the new look in a fun and flamboyant way. If you are rebranding or launching a new fit-out, a statement piece is often used for the launch month. Often these statement pieces become a staple in your uniform program. It sends a message to the market and your team about the changes you have made and sets the tone around brand expectations. Accessories such as belts, that tie into your colour palette, are a nice finishing touch to your uniform and cool enough for staff to wear when off-duty. Total Uniform Solutions have a huge variety of belts and accessories to choose from – check out our Facebook and Instagram for some inspiration.
Uniform customisation is becoming increasingly popular. There are now so many affordable ways to customise a uniform so your brand stands out from competitors. Customising aspects of your uniform is a great way to bring uniqueness and a design edge to your brand. Some examples of customisation that Total Uniform Solutions can provide include custom leather apron straps, contrast stitching in your brand colours, feature buttons, silicone badging, modesty buttons or custom zip pulls. We can even do fully sublimated aprons, polo shirts and button-up shirts for a look that is truly your own. Stuck for ideas? Check out how we can customise your look here.
5. Tailored chic
While most hospitality uniforms are still casual and relaxed, we'll be seeing a lot of styles that have a more structured and "grown-up" look. The utilitarian look can be sophisticated too. With features such as patch pockets, oversized poppers and eyelets – utility shirts add drama to hospitality uniforms. Light, soft, and stylish chambray is even more flexible than denim and a great choice when extra mobility is required. If you want a more tailored casual look – chinos, tee and a blazer give an instant update to your look and are available in a plethora of colour options.
Sustainability is not so much a trend as it here to stay, but it's a hot topic in many industries (and rightly so!) – and hospitality is no different. When curating a uniform program with sustainability in mind, opt for fabrics that are more sustainable, such as organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp to reduce your carbon footprint. Choose high-quality garments that will wash and wear well, which means a decrease in uniform replacements, and less impact on the environment through a reduction in ‘throw-away’ garments. Sustainability might also be a part of your brand story, and an opportunity to communicate this to your patrons, particularly those who share the same values.
Uniform Program Management Technology
Venue managers and business owners are increasingly looking for technology to help streamline the online ordering process, reduce complexity, save time, reduce risk and resolve sizing issues for their staff. Total Uniform Solutions' advanced technology are taking cues from online retail, and making the ordering process an enjoyable experience. In mid-2019, Total Uniform Solutions will be launching our next-generation B2B online ordering portal to elevate your uniform experience. Our proprietary WotSize app will assist you and your team in ordering uniforms that fit, the first time around. No more hassle or delay with returns! We also offer personalised logistics solutions that suit your business, read more about those here.
No matter what type of bar or restaurant you operate, it is important to remember that staff uniforms are an integral part of sending a targeted brand message to your customers. Take advantage of this opportunity to create a more complete customer experience. Speak to one of our experienced sales representatives today for more information on how Total Uniform Solutions can help you create a curated brand image through your corporate uniform.