Your choice of bartending uniform helps set your establishment's tone and brand identity. A well-dressed bartender is a classy way to show your company’s professionalism, sense of style, and brand.
Whether you’re a hotel, resort, coffee shop, or bar, a high-quality bartender's uniform will elevate your guest experience. Here are the top 7 signs of a high-quality bartending uniform:
1. Reflects your brand
The first and most important consideration when choosing a bartender's uniform is that it reflects your brand. If your bar is in a 5-star, formal dining restaurant, you likely won’t choose a more casual-looking blue herringbone denim uniform. Likewise, a casual neighbourhood coffee bar probably won’t select a White Oxford Service Shirt.
Choose a style that reflects the atmosphere you hope to create at your bar.
2. Functional, comfortable, and durable
Another sign of a high-quality uniform is that it’s functional, comfortable, and durable:
- Functional: A high-quality uniform is functional for the job that the wearer is performing. For example, having an apron with pockets allows bartenders to keep a bottle opener, pen, and other bartending tools handy at all times.
- Comfortable: If you have a busy bar, your bartenders rarely stand still. They’re running across the bar and need their uniforms flexible enough for movement. If your bartenders are doing any trick pours or routines behind the bar, ensuring their uniform shirts allow for a full range of motion is essential to avoid embarrassing rips during a shift.
- Durable: High-quality garments for bartenders are made with more attention and care than cheaply made, mass-produced uniforms you buy at a bulk uniform store. This means they are often more stain-resistant and made to last longer than standard “aprons” not specifically made for bartending.
Details matter. The details allow you to add subtle branding or messaging to your bartender uniforms. For example, Hotel Kansas City’s western-inspired speakeasy wanted to create a more upbeat, energetic experience as a bit of a departure from the hotel’s refinement and pedigree but still paying homage. The bartender uniforms included a Stock Mfg custom stretch gray chambray shirt paired with gold cotton duck waist aprons and a custom “outlaw” pin.
4. Top-to-bottom uniform
A bartender’s uniform at bespoke establishments is more than just a shirt and apron. A sign of a high-quality uniform is a top-to-bottom curated uniform. If guests see your bartender walking outside the bar (such as before and after their shift), you want their pants and bottoms to align with the room's tone.
To help you come up with a complete look, check out these curated styles (organized into collections):
- Mixologist uniforms
- Modern bartender uniforms
- Pub uniforms
- Cocktail waitress uniforms
- Bar staff uniforms
- Barman uniforms
- Formal bartender uniforms
- Wine bar uniforms
- Classy bartender uniforms
- Speakeasy bartender uniforms
5. Easy to clean
Being a bartender can be a messy job. They’re likely to get many spills on their uniform in a shift. They need a uniform that can be easily washed between shifts without requiring special cleaning (unless you’re handling dry cleaning of uniforms for them). If spills are commonplace, such as if you’re a wine server, perhaps choose a uniform shirt that is a darker color so it doesn’t show stains (like red wine drips).
Pro Tip: Provide your bar staff with several uniform sets so they have spares to wear while washing their soiled ones.
6. High-quality uniforms = high-quality service
High-quality uniforms have a subconscious effect on your staff and guests. When your bartenders put on a professional, comfortable uniform that gives them unrestricted freedom to do their job well, they are likelier to put maximum effort into their work. As we know, bartenders help set the tone of the room. When they’re happy and doing a good job, their co-workers and guests will feel these good vibes. It’s contagious (in a good way).
When your guests walk in and see a well-dressed bartender, they immediately begin to form their perception and opinion of your establishment. Aside from your hosts, the bartender is often one of the first people someone will see upon walking into your restaurant or bar. This first impression is critical and made easier when they’re dressed well. The happiness and professionalism of the bartender is likely to rub off on the guest, putting them in a good mood as soon as they enter the bar.
7. Unique and customized to your brand
When we’re in high school, it feels like the end of the world if someone else wears the same outfit as you to school. In the hospitality industry, it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying uniforms from bulk supply stores and looking like every other bartender in town. This adds no value to the elevation of your luxe brand.
Instead, look for custom-made bartender uniforms and details that meet all the requirements of a high-quality uniform (as mentioned above). Whether you have an existing idea or are looking for help in the ideation process, Stock Mfg can help. We’ll help you create bartender uniforms that tailor our fit to your vibes and luxe style.
As a bonus, our looks are never discontinued, so you can rest assured knowing you can order more as you hire new staff or open new locations. These uniforms will become a signature of your brand for years to come.
Help your bartenders elevate your establishment by providing them with high-quality, unique uniforms that are functional, comfortable, and made to last.