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What is the best workwear for pub staff?

It is really important to strike a balance between clothes that look the part and workwear that helps get the job done!

When it comes to deciding on your staff’s workwear, comfort levels, cost and style are priorities likely to spring to mind first. You may also want to think about whether sustainability is a priority for you and consider that when looking at different suppliers.

For multi-site operators, a set uniform across sites can consolidate your pub brand in the eyes of customers, especially when it incorporates branded elements like logos.

However, a less formal workwear code may prove to be the more affordable way to go. Operators say it depends on your pub’s selling point and atmosphere as well as what is practical.

Individual style is what’s required!

Allowing staff members to show off their style can sometimes work better than everyone kitted out in the same clothes. This will give staff the individual freedom to be quirky and allow them to express themselves. It leads to a more carefree look and feels. Some pubs encourage smart-casual but something that at the end of the day is still practical and more to the point comfortable to wear for many hours working behind a busy bar.

Some say don’t have too many hard and fast rules and embrace the different fashions that staff members can wear. Some places even encourage staff to wear more ‘party style’ clothing on Friday and Saturday nights and go with the more upbeat feeling of the evening.

Outfits must be presentable and shoes must be comfortable but also sensible too. Tatty and dirty clothes simply won’t cut it!

Open toe shoes and sandals can also pose a problem due to risk of cuts (because of glasses and bottles etc) or bruising and as you would expect high heels are just too dangerous to wear in a working environment where you are constantly on your feet.

Create the perfect atmosphere

At the end of the day, you need to create a welcoming atmosphere at your pub and what your staff wear can also play a part with this. Jeans are great to show your not too fussy, with maybe an apron that holds what you need i.e. a pen and pad. Wearing white shirts shows you are serious about your work and also clean and smart too. Some staff could wear a brewery shirt (if it’s going to be a long customer-facing day), the shirt would match the beers they have on sale that day for example.

If for example your pub is based in the highlands of Scotland, for example, you might like your staff to wear tartan pockets on their aprons because you are proud to be Scottish and go with the theme of the pub!

Be careful with the legislation!

Be careful! Some pubs have been faced with big fines from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after docking staff’s wages to cover the expense of uniform costs when this results in their pay being lower than the minimum wage.

Employers have a legal duty to issue their staff with protective clothing if needed and they cannot be charged for their uniforms if the result is that they receive less than minimum wage.

The dress codes can fall under (what is classed as a uniform) so please make sure that your staff aren’t charged or expected to pay for their workwear!

Changes in the seasons

As businesses look to planning summer offers and promotions, many will be hoping for a return of the scorching temperatures of last year. However, it is also important to consider if any seasonal changes needed to be made to uniforms or dress codes updated.

Lighter materials can help keep your staff looking professional in the sweltering temperatures. Ideally, you need to find the right balance of style, comfort and affordability that will ensure your staff enjoy their role more. You want to make sure that your staff are comfortable during their working shift – with no tight waistcoats or high heels… and remember a happy waitress/waiter makes for a happy pub guest and it starts and ends with comfort!

For more information on how to get the best out of your staff’s uniforms talk to Logos 4 Clothes on 01400 230 180 or email us at info@logos4clothes.com.