By Nick Warrick
Staff members in the hospitality industry have a critical role in providing a positive customer experience. These employees represent your brand, whether they work in the background or have face-to-face customer interactions. The clothing your staff wears creates a lasting first impression for your guests. Choosing custom uniforms at your location makes a powerful statement about customer care and respect.
Make a professional first impression
You may have learned never to judge a book by its cover, but you cannot escape the fact that clothing sends a message. Staff uniforms help set the ambiance of your establishment. Clothes in dark colours give a sense of luxury and style, and bright uniforms offer a message of fun and excitement.
Staff members in matching uniforms give a sense of order to your clients. They will see that your business is well-organized and thoughtfully planned.
Uniforms also inspire a sense of professionalism in staff members. Putting on a customized shirt marks a transition from daily life to the official workday. Like actors putting on costumes, staff members take on the role of host. The uniform is a visible reminder that they represent the organization and must maintain your high standard of customer service.
Improved customer service
Time is of the essence in hospitality. Paying guests have limited patience, and their frustration will result in a negative experience.
Travellers arriving at your establishment may be tired and disoriented after a long trip. They need to know to whom they can turn for assistance. Custom uniforms make it easy to spot official employees, and your guests will appreciate this immediate access to help.
On the tourism side of the hospitality industry, a guide dressed in a well-designed uniform will stand out in a crowd. When a traveller loses their group in a busy area, the uniform acts as a beacon to safety. This strategy will also help keep things organized in popular sites served by multiple tour companies.
Difficult guests are an unfortunate side of the hospitality industry. When someone is rude or inappropriate to your staff members, a manager in an official uniform can come to their rescue. The clothing signals that this person is in charge and has the authority to handle the situation.
In hotels and resorts that cater to families, staff may need to speak to children about unsafe or unacceptable behaviour. Their uniforms let the young people and parents know that your staff members have the right to set the rules.
Some organizations may want several custom uniforms at a single location. This arrangement helps identify the roles of different staff members. Your customers will know how to identify the people who can help them with specific needs. If a staff member does not know the answer to a question, they can look around the area and quickly point out the staff specialist who can best provide assistance.
A colour system is another way to differentiate staff responsibilities. Everyone will wear the same design, but the colour of their shirt will indicate their area of expertise. The shared design offers a sense of equality among the staff, but the varying colours provide the specificity that your guests may need.
Colours might also indicate seniority within the organization. In many companies, trainees wear a slightly different uniform than more seasoned staff members. This visible difference prepares customers to be more patient with inexperienced employees. Other employees will know to look for trainees who may need some extra help.
Custom embroidery can bring the whole package together if you use uniforms in different styles and colours. A unique logo on every piece of clothing is a clear identifying marker that lets your customers know that a staff member is conveniently nearby. This extra touch is helpful in situations where a staff member has to cover their regular uniform with a jacket or apron. A logo embroidered on the outerwear will identify them as an official team member.
A team-building tool
There is power in feeling like you are part of a community. Wearing uniforms helps employees identify as a team working on a shared goal. In this respect, a uniform can be part of your efforts to instil a sense of your organization’s mission and values.
When employees change into their uniforms, they become part of something larger. This feeling of connection will encourage positive interactions with guests and the rest of the staff. They will work hard to strengthen the reputation of the organization and provide positive experiences for its guests.
A uniform offers a sense of style and confidence to your employees. Adding a logo to a uniform helps you share your brand. Your logo symbolizes your business for the world. When designed well, it is instantly recognizable.
Once a guest comes for a visit, the next goal is to get them to return. The logo on your employees’ uniforms can play a role in your larger marketing strategy. As former guests think about returning to the area, they will remember the positive experience at your location when they see the logo on your website and other promotional materials.
A recognizable uniform and logo are also helpful as your business grows. If you have several locations, the clothing will make the connection, and guests will know that you are striving to provide a consistent experience.
Dressing for success
In the hospitality industry, a stylish uniform is a single piece of the customer service puzzle. It indicates that your organization is professional and detail-oriented. With this first impression, your guests will know you are serious about giving them a positive, enjoyable experience.
Nick Warrick is the sales manager at All Seasons Uniforms, a professional workwear company based outside of Chicago that has been in business since 1991.