Whether shaking, stirring, or serving, bartenders are hard at work to ensure guests have a great night out. But beyond making sure bartenders have the right tools for the job, what about dressing the part? A great bar uniform can make your bartenders and wait staff look and feel professional, while also helping to brand your business.
Stock Mfg. is a Chicago-based company specializing in creating high-quality custom hospitality uniforms. Whether you're a fine dining restaurant with a strict dress code or a more casual bar or tavern, we can help you create the perfect uniform for your staff. After all, uniforms are one of the first things your customers will notice about your business.
In this article, we've put together design ideas that should inspire you. We've rounded up our favorite bar and restaurant staff uniform ideas you might want to explore, but if you have something else in mind, get in touch with our team for custom options
Embroidered Chambray Uniforms For that Casual Vibe
Goose Island is a Chicago-based brewery with a relaxed vibe. They are one of our closest neighbors and have collaborated with us for many years, so when they came to us to design their uniforms, we were ecstatic.
The uniform starts with a classic chambray shirt with a custom co-branded label. Chambray shirts are a great option for bartenders and bar staff because they're comfortable, breathable, and easy to move in—perfect for those long nights behind the bar. You can customize them with your restaurant logo or other designs to create a bar or restaurant uniform that's unique to your business.
Wearing a shirt untucked is not a common sight to see in hospitality, and it can give off a casual and fun vibe in an environment like a brewery taproom.
To add a bit of color and personality to your chambray t-shirts, consider adding a custom patch or embroidery. We think it looks especially good on the left chest pocket, but you can embroider your design anywhere you like.
Minimalist Western x Japanese Uniforms
The team at Momotaro knew they wanted their bartenders to look sharp and stylish while donning functional uniforms, so they went with a clean and modern choice that still speaks to their brand identity.
The end result is a sleek and stylish shirt with a subtle Japanese influence in the apron. While this may appear to be a minor detail, the inspiration for it is quite intriguing: the post-WWII fusion of traditional Japanese aesthetics with Western sensibilities. This makes for a good conversation starter with customers, and it also helps the bartenders to feel more connected to their work.
The button-down shirts are made of a lightweight fabric and are charcoal colored with a cross-hatch print, while the aprons' main fabric is black canvas. The cotton straps for the aprons are natural and braided to create an interesting visual when set against the black of the apron and they mirror the rope detail on the dining room ceiling.
The straps cross in the back and are held together by custom leather cord stoppers with the restaurant's Japanese kana logo engraved on them. The result is a sharp and polished uniform that's perfect for any upscale bar or restaurant.
Bolo Tie + Sleek Shirt = Quintessential Western Bartender
Bartenders are the life of the party, so why not let their uniforms reflect that? This uniform from The Madeline Hotel in Telluride, Colorado, does just that. The sleek black shirt is given a pop of personality with a bolo tie — a quintessential Western accessory.
We looked at the server aprons, too, and thought they were a great way to add some personality to an otherwise simple uniform. The herringbone weave is tight and clean, elevating an otherwise plain apron, perfect for a formal bar or restaurant.
Rather than opting for synthetic fabrics, we went with organic materials like corduroy, herringbone wool, leather, waxed cotton, and chambray to make our uniforms more eye-catching. This also lends the uniforms some authenticity and history; they pay homage to the town's mining roots, for instance.
Low-Key Bib Apron and Pin: Make Your Drinks The Star
For a more low-key approach to bartending uniforms, take a cue from The Violet Hour. Their bib aprons are simple and understated, with a Ranch Tan hue that matches the bar’s aesthetic and is a great complementary color to the barstaff’s purple shirts. We also love the enamel pin of their "unicorn" mascot — it's a quirky way to show off their brand personality.
If you want this look to work, make sure the rest of your uniform is plain and let the drinks take center stage. The Violet Hour is perhaps the best example of this philosophy in action, because their drinks take bartending to an art form. The Chicago speakeasy bar is known for their exquisite and one-of-a-kind cocktails, which are all made with the utmost precision and care.
What Makes a Good Bar Uniform?
Fashion is about personality. Your bartenders' uniforms should be an extension of the establishment’s style- unique, trendy, but also comfortable and functional. They should make your bartenders feel confident so they can provide the best service to customers. Here are a few things you need for designing fashionable bartender uniforms:
While black is always a reliable color, don't hesitate to try new hues. You can experiment with complementary colors to your venue’s decor or branding, such as bright colorways that are still true to your style.
A white shirt isn't usually our first pick for bar staff to wear, but if you're going for a more relaxed vibe, it can be effective. Just keep in mind that white shows stains easily, so light gray might be a better bet.
Remember, your bartenders will be on their feet all night, so comfort is key. Some things to look for in a comfortable uniform include breathable fabrics, padded straps, and adjustable closures. Different designs will work better for different body types, so make sure to try them on before you commit. Stock Mfg. is happy to send a sample to help establish the right fit for your uniforms.
When it comes to choosing the right fabric for your bartenders' uniforms, cotton is always a good choice for bartenders' uniforms because it's comfortable and breathable. But you can also experiment with other fabrics like stretch chambray, linen, and denim.
Don't be afraid to mix and match different fabrics to create a vibe that’s perfect for your bar. What's important is that the fabric is durable and easy to clean when spills happen.
Bartenders need to be able to move freely behind the bar, so make sure their uniforms don't get in the way. Some things to look for include aprons with plenty of pockets, shirts with long sleeves that can be rolled up, and pants with a comfortable fit.
Whether you go with a formal or casual look, make sure the design of your bartenders' uniforms is consistent with your brand. And don't forget about the little details — they can make all the difference. Bow ties, pocket squares, and lapel pins are all great ways to add personality to a uniform.
Why Should Your Bar Invest in Custom Uniforms?
Custom uniforms may be more of an investment, but they're worth it. Your bartenders will look sharp and professional in custom uniforms, helping you to build a stronger brand identity.
Stock Mfg. has been helping bars and restaurants create custom uniforms for many years. We understand the importance of finding the right style, fit, and fabric for your bartenders. We also offer a wide range of customization options, so you can create uniforms that perfectly reflect your brand.
It's time to level up your bar's style with custom uniforms from Stock Mfg Co. Contact us today to get started.