Uniforms are not unique to a singular industry or organisation; a lot of businesses choose to adopt them, and workplaces that don’t impose a uniform still tend to enforce a dress code. The uniform fulfils a number of purposes, practical and otherwise. Within the hospitality industry, uniforms are incredibly common; chefs, in particular, can be united by a uniform regardless of where they work, but why? Let’s explore.
There are several laws and regulations pertaining to food safety and hygiene standards, like the Food Safety Act of 1990. The regulations are all obviously geared towards ensuring that the food is safe to consume and the responsibilities and obligations of those preparing said food. In addition to best practices when it comes to cooking and storing the food, it also includes the attire of the chefs too. For the most part, this means uniforms and hair coverings; individual establishments may impose other guidelines like the appropriate footwear or the use of gloves or other sanitation tools.
A chef’s uniform plays a role in ensuring food safety. Chefs should change into their uniforms just before entering the kitchen. This is to prevent contaminants on your outdoor clothes from contaminating the food. The uniform also includes hair coverings of some form, like a hat or hair net, to prevent hairs from falling into the food. Chefs are also not permitted to wear jewellery while working. The uniform and clothing requirements are all designed to limit the possibility of contaminating the food with foreign substances.
Comfort & appearances
Uniforms are designed to protect the food but also the person wearing them too, ensuring their comfort throughout their shift in the kitchen. Working in a kitchen can be hazardous, they are often incredibly hot, and the heat can be both uncomfortable and even dangerous at times. The uniform helps to keep the wearer cool because they tend to be more breathable, encouraging airflow. Most of the time, the uniform is made from materials that are designed to be softer on the skin because they are worn for long periods of time by the wearer.
In addition to the above food standards and employee comfort, the uniform also helps the wearer to achieve a certain professional look. Some restaurants feature open kitchens, and therefore the guests can see the chefs in action, and they need to look the part. For the most part, the uniforms themselves are pretty standard, although there may be slight deviations in colour depending on the establishment. For quality chef clothing in London, you should check out Johnsons. Oftentimes, the uniform helps to give the appearance of professionalism. Finally, it helps to easily separate the staff into the front-of-house and back-of-house placements at a glance.
Obviously, there are lots of things that go into running a restaurant or food establishment beyond what the chefs look like. You also need to find reliable suppliers, plan the menu ensure that the front-of-house staff have adequate training and design the table dressings too. In that respect, it is easy to see why your chef’s uniform – or lack thereof – may not be a priority for you. However, it is important for a number of reasons, as showcased above, so keep this in mind to ensure ongoing success for you and your business.