When it comes to choosing chef uniforms, there are several things to consider – colour always seems to be the first talking point. It’s quite traditional for chef’s uniforms to be white, however, restaurants don’t need to stick to traditional colours. The priority for your chef’s clothing should be whether it’s functional, practical, comfortable and made of high-quality material. Ultimately, you want a uniform that reflects your restaurant’s ethos and brand.
So, if you own a restaurant, café or catering business, here are some tips on how to select the perfect chef uniforms for your employees.
How Chef Hierarchy Works
Before you start ordering your chefs’ uniforms online, it’s important to understand the hierarchy of chefs as the ranking in the kitchen may determine the uniform they wear. The French Brigade System, or the ‘Brigade de cuisine,’ is the most common system of hierarchy for chefs and typically includes the following:
- Head Chef: The head chef, or the chef de cuisine, is the senior member of staff in the kitchen and the overall boss.
- Sous Chef: Second in command to the head chef is the sous chef or assistant head chef. If the head chef is absent, the sous chef assumes the role of first in command.
- Chef de Partie: The chef de partie is also known as a line cook or station chef and is responsible for a specific area of food preparation.
- Commis Chef: A commis chef is a trainee chef or apprentice.
Also essential to the smooth running of the kitchen are the kitchen hands and dishwashers.
Essentials for Chef Uniforms
At a minimum, every chef needs a jacket, pants and a hat. Be sure to check your State Government regulations on health and hygiene to see what is recommended. Many chefs also choose to wear an apron and neckerchief and tuck a towel into their belt for safely grabbing hot pots and pans.
Jackets and Pants
Traditionally, a chef’s jacket or coat was white and double-breasted to protect their chests from hot splatters while cooking. If they needed a clean front, they could unbutton the flap. Nowadays, chef’s pants and jackets can be virtually any colour, which is more practical in the event of spills and stains.
In addition, chefs have worn a tall, pleated paper hat for hundreds of years. The taller the white hat, called a toque blanche, the higher the chef’s ranking. These hats keep hair out of food and sweat off the face and allow the air to circulate for coolness. However, there are better alternatives, which we will discuss in our Tips section below.
Tips for Choosing Chef Uniforms Online
- Choose long trousers and jackets to protect the wearer.
- Baggy or loose-fitting trousers are cooler.
- Look for quality pieces that are competitively priced and available to purchase in the exact quantity you require.
- An apron provides an extra barrier against hot splashes, has a waistband for comfort and convenience and looks more contemporary.
- Instead of a chef’s hat, you can choose a cap or box hat. Caps stop hair from dropping into food and help control perspiration. In addition, they are easy to wash, are more fashionable and more comfortable.
- Involve your team in the selection of their garments so you choose something they are happy to wear. A happy team is a more productive team.
What Colour to Choose for your Chef Uniform?
As discussed earlier, white is the traditional colour for chef’s uniforms, however, many businesses are opting for alternative colours in the kitchen. The colour scheme you choose for your chef’s uniform can depend on your brand, theme, surroundings or decor. For example, a relaxed beachside restaurant would choose a different colour scheme to a busy establishment in the central business district. Consider whether you want your team to look fresh and modern, vibrant and energetic, professional and efficient or rustic and friendly.
Every chef needs a chef’s uniform for safety, protection and hygiene. If you need to discuss what type of uniform would be best for your business, talk to the team at Stanlee Hospitality Supplies. At Stanlee, we always offer a wide range of products to choose from and can arrange fast delivery of in-stock products. To see the range of products, call into the showroom or to place an order, visit the online store.