So, you’re thinking of switching your staff’s uniforms? Before you do, read on to discover insight into this seemingly simple decision. It’s very important to stop and think through the implications of a uniform change, including brand representation, employee satisfaction, and overall cost. What may seem like a simple switch involves much more than just the dollars and cents of the decision. Here are four suggestions for making a successful uniform change.
- Gather all necessary information. First, think about what you like and dislike about your current uniforms. Do they work well? Are they an accurate reflection of your intended image? Does your staff like them? Consider the ambiance, décor and architecture of your restaurant or resort. Gather renderings and images of the facility and décor to help you share the scene with uniform vendors. It’s important to ask yourself what impression you want to give your customers. Is your vision to have a formal, traditional staff? Or is your vibe more laidback and casual? Finally, you must determine your budget and timeline for implementing the new uniforms to make sure that the transition will be seamless and feasible.
- Communicate thoroughly with vendors. Take all of the information gathered in tip #1 above, and provide it to 2-3 vendors. Ask these vendors to provide 2-3 options of uniforms from which you could choose. This is a crucial step to get a sense of whether you and the vendor are a good match. The choices that the vendors provide should be new on the market so that they will remain available for the next 18-24 months. Only buy sale itemsif they are for a one-time use. Sale items often become discontinued and therefore can present problems when it comes to reordering.
- Try samples and get feedback. After reviewing the uniform options with your team, request samples from each vendor. Most vendors will ask you to pay up front for samples, with the option of returning them within 30 days. The expense is worth it – you’ll want to see, feel, and use products before committing to purchasing them for the entire staff. Compare samples from various vendors and get feedback from the team in terms of comfort and look. In order to get a sense of its laundering, you can soil and wash some of the samples to gauge wear and care. Even though you will not be able to return samples that have been laundered, it’s a small investment to make the best choice possible.
- Rate each vendor based on your observations. Determine how knowledgeable each vendor was about their products and your personal needs. Include an assessment of things like the quality of the product, pricing, overall aesthetic, as well as company values such as customer service, business model, and potential for a long-term fit.
Choosing new uniforms for your staff is much more than just picking a style you like. You must analyze your needs, evaluate vendors across a several factors, and anticipate the future to ensure a good business decision.