The Definitive Guide to Uniforms your Employees will Love



If your logo is outside your door, it doesn't

need to be prominent on your uniforms. Your

guests already know where they are, so take

engagement to the next level with branding

on team apparel that communicates something

new. Use the space your logo previously

occupied, and express your vibe with a

retail-inspired design.

The retail world is creatively applying decoration

techniques beyond the typical screen

print or embroidery. Full color/full garment

sublimation allows huge branding statements;

patches and sewn-on labels hearken back to a

nostalgia of yesteryear, and lasering provides

subtle branding that never washes out. Take

inspiration from these trends for your

Uniforms - fully custom apparel is easier than

ever before.

Additionally, tie dye and baseball sleeved T’s

are the comeback kids of 2018. Everything old

is new again, but in better fabrics and with

longer lasting decoration. Retail is exciting

and always pushing the design boundaries.

It’s OK to borrow, copy and re-purpose.

Remember imitation is the sincerest form of

flattery and a great way to attract younger

workers to your brand.

In the way of garments, T-shirts have become

the standard attire for quick service and fast

casual establishments, which is a good thing.

Your hires like to wear comfortable clothing

and what you provide should feel somewhat

like what they choose to wear outside of work.

Your branded apparel can have the same cool

vibe as a concert tee, it just takes a bit of

design magic.

Attract younger workers with a uniform

that reflects a cool retail vibe.


The restaurant industry is the king of the

limited time offer. Your uniform program

can be the well-dressed queen. Fashion

can be fickle and quickly goes stale, so

take a page from fast fashion with a

uniform that keeps it fresh. Think LTO

for your branded gear.

An example of this concept in action

is a national baked goodies brand

that currently maintains no inventory

and all purchasing is done on a monthly

basis. Each owner jumps on the current

offering when it suits their taste, with

revolving items from headwear to aprons,

T-shirts to bandannas. They get seasonal

garments in a timely manner, and the staff

loves the frequently released new gear.

For brands with routine menu changes,

regularly scheduled LTO’s and seasonal

offerings, it is the way to think about

uniform management. Why not hit the

refresh button more frequently?

Keep your look and appeal fresh with

gear that changes with the season.


Personal Expression isn’t going away

anytime soon. We all want to be unique,

so what do we do? Mix it up, with an

assortment of shirt styles, colors, and

imprints that all go together but look

refreshingly different! Like you all shop at

the same store, but in different departments.

Someone likes Athleisure gear and

another person wants to be a bit more


If your establishment caters to the cultured

and creative set, then a uniform program

should be a bit less uniform and a bit less

programmatic. Yes, you still want to have a

dress code and a standard that is enforceable.

So set the tone. Give options. Allow a

palette of well-suited colors, silhouettes,

and fabrics that all support your brand in a

brand-centric way.

Not only is it possible but, for certain

employee groups, it can be an attractional

element that gives you the hiring edge.

When people get to choose what they

wear, they tend to wear it with pride,

confidence, and panache.

Think in terms of collections; seasonally

adjusted; with more regular and trend-setting

additions. Then your important brand

ambassadors get to choose what they put

on from an assortment of well-chosen

items. It’s a branding win for all involved.

A uniform can sometimes

look too uniform.


Have you noticed the recent fad? Restaurant groups are hiring well-known, high-fashion

designers to re-do their uniform program. Have you also noticed the response? Almost

no one likes the results, and these uniform launches have been met with mockery, and

memes online.

You already have all you need to create a pretty awesome uniform update: your staff.

Bring your fashion design in-house. Get opinions, input and powerful ideas about what

real people actually want to wear. Your frontline is a rich treasure trove of age-appropriate

creativity. With a little guidance and know-how, you get a fresh look that won’t make

headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Tap in-house talent with outside

guidance for a perfect culture fit.


Dress shoe sales are down. Career wear

sales are down. What’s up? Casualization

of America is what’s up. Athleisure has

gone from weekend to weekday, gym to

the office.

Counter this trend by differentiating your

look with something a bit classier and

smidge dressier; with a whole lot more

panache. We call this the counter trend.

Crisp pressed shirts can oomph the

professionalism of a turnip. No offense

meant to turnips. When you want to turn

heads and make your guests feel extra

special, invest in a look that reflects a

by-gone sensibility for dressing to

impress. Blazers are coming back, as are

slacks, polished shoes, and neck ties. You

may have to teach some youngsters what

a Windsor knot is but who doesn’t like the

look of freshly pressed pleats?

A funny thing happens when we humans

wear fancier clothes. We behave a bit

fancier too. We become ladies and

gentlemen. Capture the timeless respect

that a well-fitting ensemble garners from

your guests.

Set a dressier tone and let

staff live up to the image.

Ready to think differently about your employee uniforms? A fresh take

doesn’t have to mean a complete makeover. Optimizing your look can

happen in stages, just be ready to make the necessary changes to achieve

your objectives. In our hyper-connected world a uniform could end up

being the star of the next social media sensation, for better or worse.

Increased engagement and retention of your front line are well-supported

goals with image management. People like to like what they are wearing.

It makes them want to come to work.

Attract the brand ambassadors you need and want with a beautifully

designed and well-executed uniform program.

SALES@RCHQ.COM | 503.655.1227 | RCHQ.COM


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