In order to decide how your servers should dress it is important to first decide whether you need to have a specific policy for your servers’ dress code. Depending on the theme of your restaurant it is important for you to decide whether your servers need to have a specific dress code or whether they can just choose to wear whatever they want to. In small restaurants and cafes generally servers can just be casual but in large hotels and restaurants, there would be a specific dress code.
It is important to remember while deciding the dress code, that the servers dressing does not only include the outfit they are wearing but there are certain other guidelines they need to follow such as:
The first rule about servers’ dress is that they need to be clean and they need to look clean. If your servers do not look clean then your first impression is already ruined. No customer would want to eat at a place which looks hygienic and sends an unclean impression. Therefore, it is important for your servers to look clean. In terms of cleanliness you should have guidelines about:
The customers might not see the fingernails of your servers. However, the fingernails should be cut short and clean so that there is no risk of disease and contamination.
There is nothing worse than a customer finding a hair in their food. So, all of your staff should be hygienic about their hairstyling and make sure that their hair never falls in the food. So, it is important to make sure all of your kitchen staff, your manager and your servers should have their hair clean and tidied up so that they do not fall into the food.
Certain jewelry items such as watches and bracelets etc. are forbidden to be a part of the servers’ uniform due to risk of contamination. However, the jewelry rule is up to the restaurant. If the restaurant is a fine dining restaurant and would be considered “fancy” it might even be recommended to their servers to wear jewelry.
In addition to the above guidelines on cleanliness and hygiene of uniforms the servers should be dressed according to the:
Theme of the Restaurant
Before you decide on how your servers should dress it is important to decide on what your theme is. As mentioned earlier, if your restaurant has a casual environment then it would be advisable to actually let your servers personalize their dressing. However, there should be some rules to casual and personal style as well, i.e. basic hygiene guidelines should be follow and their outlook should be clean and presentable. Moreover, customers should be able to tell the difference between the servers and the rest of the staff.
Whereas, if you have a specific theme of your restaurant then your servers should dress according to the theme. For example, if your restaurant has a cowboy theme then it would be recommended for your servers to dress as cowboys to follow the theme of your restaurant. If your restaurant as a high-end clientele then it will be recommended for your servers to dress up in formal attire, suitable to the environment.
Therefore, it is important to decide the theme and then if you have created a specific uniform policy it is recommended:
Buy your Servers Uniforms
To align the theme and servers dress code you can buy the uniforms for your servers yourself. Most of the high-end or even small scale restaurants provide their servers with their uniforms. If you expect the staff to pay for their uniforms themselves make sure that it’s not putting extra burden on them and not reducing their pay below the wage scale.
While choosing a uniform for your servers please ensure that it matches your identity. It will be a part of your branding and most restaurants in contemporary environment use their servers’ style of dress as a marketing point as well. So, you need to present your restaurant as a complete package. Whatever code you choose for your servers should be followed by the rest of the staff as well so that you brand align your restaurant.