Does a uniform have anything to do with service and good service-deliveries? Maybe not directly, but certainly important for the guest-experience and in the whole service-work picture. Uniforms shows belonging, statement and should always be worn with pride!
In the military and on ships for instance, it is always easy to see who is, what is and to see the importance of a uniform. Both as a hierarchy factor and for identity purposes as it is easy to see who is who and mainly who is doing what. Hotels and restaurants are businesses with a long tradition in uniform structure; waiters, chefs, receptionists, management – They all wear their uniform, and hopefully with a clear statement: I belong, I serve and I am proud to wear what I wear.
A good position with a nice uniform is not tantamount with respect, attitude, management skills or being a leader. But worn with pride it is an important part of the whole picture. Uniforms are a facade and should never be used for personal earnings. A uniform in the service industry is as simple as it is important: A shop assistant with a uniform and nameplate – A waiter with a clean shirt and freshly brushed shoes – A chef with a neat white jacket and a chefs hat – A bartender with a nicely tied tie – Sounds easy and maybe a bit strange? A service institution with a good implemented uniform structure gives a good first impression, it exudes seriousness, hygiene, identification, safety, team-spirit and pride of the job.
- Nameplate: The proof of who you are for the guest. First name is preferred as it gives a more personal relation and is safer when it comes to personal security.
- Fresh polished shoes: A specific detail which tells the guest “I am to be seen, and I care”!
- Clean and neat clothing: Don’t pull up your sleeves for example… Maybe an extreme uniform conclusion for some, but even though, a sign of order and hygiene.
- Hands in your pocket when wearing a uniform: Maybe unnecessary to say! Hand in the pocket shows a bad and insecure attitude and just looks silly.
- Half in uniform, half in “civil” in public areas: Guests don’t know if you are done for the day or not. Keep a clean and neat uniform profile all the way in public.
- Personal effects: To be kept to a minimum level. On the job, a service-professional is as neutral as possible. Too much jewelry? Personal effects? Buttons with republicans or democrats? Don’t annoy Your guests, be neutral all the way!
- Cellular phones: The world is becoming a place where cell phones controls us. Let your colleagues have their phones with them, but give them the challenge of high etiquette standards. Not on you, kept on silent in the back-office, not to be used in public, not to be seen by guests.
Uniform and respect
Use and treat Your uniform with pride and respect. If your service-institution does not have a uniform, take the responsibility and choose your outfit carefully. Personal preferences, signs, t-shirts with logos, buttons etc. can be inappropriate, it can offend and be directly unwelcoming for some potential customers. A tip is then to, at least wear a name-sign. Guests and customers like to know who is who, and visualizing this is an important factor for trust and a nice service-moment.
Invest in uniforms – Have straight up uniform rules – This gives a nice profile for your business and builds the team spirit for all employees: They belong here and is part of the business.
- Uniform is identification.
- Identification is safety.
- Safety is guest friendly.
- Friendliness is a key for a good service-delivery.
- A nice service-delivery is the factor for upselling.
To summarize the theme, clothes and uniforms, we can listen to the Norwegian author, Knut Hamsun: “Clothes make people, but it doesn`t make humans…”
Article written by Tore Berger who is a VIP hospitality consultant at Berger Consulting