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New Trends in Food Service Apparel

food service apparel

Although chef and food service uniforms are steeped in tradition, today's chef uniforms are anything but customary. Gone are the 19th century chef whites, as they are replaced by looks that reflect modern needs, individual personality, and branding.


Current trends in food service apparel are moving in two directions, style and utility. Let's start with style. More and more restaurants or cafeterias are looking to create an "overall look and feel" for their establishment. Apparel is a major part of establishing that effect. Choosing a uniform’s style, color, and customization is as important to the décor as seating space and menu ingredients. As an example, apparel companies are now providing five or six different shades of blue so managers don't have to settle for buying something "close enough." And this isn't only happening in the kitchen. Front of house and back of house are now being coordinated with similar elements to tie their styles together.


As far as utility goes, you need to constantly anticipate the needs of chefs, kitchens workers, and servers. Take for instance, chef coats. Those stiff starchy whites aren't exactly the lightest material. These days, cooler is better. Airy fabrics, vented mesh, and moisture-wicking fabric are all used to keep uniforms as comfortable as possible. The important thing is keeping the crew cool so they can focus on cooking great food – which is what matters most, right?


Another need that arose suddenly was tech-friendly gear. The use of tablets as menus, seating charts, and POS systems in service is more popular than ever, and managers are looking for apparel that can accommodate those devices. Happy Chef created a #SMART line with secure Velcro pockets that are sized for smartphones and tablets. Whether you want mobile devices out of the workspace and stowed away or you're taking calls and listening to music with built-in headphone ports, these uniforms let you control how they are used (or not used).


Tying these two elements together, you get stylish uniforms that help your employees feel great and make their jobs easier. Great apparel means products that don’t get in the way of what’s important – running your restaurant. It’s easy-care fabric that doesn’t require prolonged or expensive laundering. It’s lightweight, breathable material that keeps employees feeling fresh so they can stay fresh all shift. It’s products with the right fit, because your staff comes in a lot of sizes, or coordinating colors for men's and women's cuts. These considerations work together to build the smarter, hassle-free approach to outfitting for everyone.


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