The Importance of Restaurant Staff Dress Code

Whether your restaurant depends on a team of experienced and highly professional waiters and waitresses or a handful of inexperienced teens for whom this is their first job, establishing an employee dress code can significantly affect your success.

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that all your bartenders, managers, or servers make a great first impression in front of your guests. Besides that, you should also make sure that the employees at the back of the house also comply with all the safety and sanitation regulations. And a functional and aesthetically pleasing dress code can help you do this.

Why Is It Important for a Restaurant to Have a Dress Code?

restaurant staff in modern urban uniforms

Although there are numerous significant reasons why restaurant owners implement a dress code, your staff might not completely understand why they’re required to dress a certain way. That said, it’s crucial to inform your personnel about the importance of dressing properly for the job. Here are a few of the key justifications for restaurant dress codes.

Creating a Great First Impression

The way your staff is dressed is among the first things your guests see. Therefore, it greatly affects their first impression of your establishment. That said, you want them to be greeted by a staff that looks sharp and clean.

Seeing a server who is dressed clean and neatly inspires confidence in the establishment itself. Good uniforms simply let customers know that your restaurant pays attention to all aspects of the hospitality business, which must mean they also provide impeccable service and prepare their dishes while paying attention to hygiene.

Helping to Establish Your Brand

The type of uniform you choose should reflect the kind of restaurant you’re running. For instance, if you’re an upscale establishment, a formal-looking dress code with crisp white shirts and bib aprons will help make your place look serious and professional. On the other hand, if you’re aiming for a more relaxed dining experience or want to create an edgy image, denim aprons will be perfect.

You can also go the extra length and order embroidered aprons to personalise the look with your restaurant’s logo or motto.

Building Team Spirit

Colourful monogram personalized aprons

In the workplace, all employees should be treated equally and as valuable members of the team, regardless of their backgrounds or histories. And when they’re dressed in the same fashion, it helps to create a sense of equality and promote camaraderie. When they don their uniforms, all the members of the staff are reminded of their role which helps them get in the appropriate frame of mind.

Still, it helps to preserve a sense of individuality as well. And to do so, you can order special monogram aprons or shirts. By having every employee’s initials embroidered on their uniform, not only will you prevent uniform mixups, but you’ll also establish a more personal connection between your employees and your business. Seeing their initials as part of your brand will make them feel valued and accepted.

Everyone loves to be a part of a team while still standing out in their own special way, and monogram aprons, shirts and other uniform elements are perfect for this. If you have the freedom to pick more creative and fun uniforms, make every employee choose the colour and font of their monogram. You can also bring an element of humour and add an emoji that resembles the person wearing the uniform.


Any business that deals with food must uphold all health and safety regulations. And a big part of that, especially in the kitchen, is the workers’ attire. Besides preventing food contamination, uniforms help protect chefs and other food preparation personnel as well as servers, from burns, splashes and spills.

How to Create a Professional Dress Code for Your Restaurant


women in a denim apron

Aprons might seem simple, but they have an important purpose, especially in a professional kitchen. For one, they preserve the safety of your staff by protecting them from splashing oil, spills, crumbs and other stains. This, in turn, also helps them stay clean and preserve the professional and presentable image. As a result, no server, bartender, chef or kitchen worker should be caught without one.


Provide disposable gloves for employees that handle food. They should be available in a variety of sizes and be replaced when they get dirty or break. It’s important for workers to wash their hands before putting on gloves. For non-food-related tasks, such as cleaning counters and equipment, you can provide multipurpose gloves. These must be cleaned, rinsed, and sanitised between uses.

Hair Restraints

a chef covering her hair in the kitchen

Covering the hair isn’t necessary for hosts, servers, or employees providing packaged drinks or food. On the other hand, kitchen staff and workers who represent a high risk of contaminating exposed food must cover their hair and wear clothing that covers body hair as well.


People who are involved in food preparation, need to remove rings, wrist watches and other jewellery from their hands and arms as these can present a risk of contamination. Some establishments may also create dress codes that ask the employees to remove any jewellery like necklaces, earrings and similar because these can affect the overall image.