Ensure workwear is a strategic aid, as well as a practical one…

A recent study by Just–Style Magazine revealed that the global workwear market is growing once again. This demonstrates the increasing importance of conveying a unified and professional image, as well as meeting practical needs that relate to specific roles within a business.

A tool to reinforce values

A boutique hotel has a number of Unique Selling Points (USPs) but attention to detail is particularly key. However, it isn’t only fantastic surroundings and excellent food that help convey this image. The attire worn by employees also has a major influence on a hotel’s image and helps enhance the overall experience for guests in the process.

For boutique hotels it is essential that workwear design is bespoke and matches the individual image of the business itself. This not only helps to provide the right impression for guests but reinforces the fact that all members of staff, regardless of their role, are part of the same team and considered equally important to a hotel’s overall success. Although it is important to cater for practical differences to suit specific roles, overall design and colouring should be identical.

It might sometimes be assumed that bespoke workwear is a costly route to take which can be an unwelcome prospect for hotel managers trying to balance a wide variety of overheads. However, bespoke doesn’t necessarily equal expensive. Suppliers with experience in the sector should be able to offer the commercial workwear range required to bring together a combination of garments that conveys an original identity. For example, by offering a wide range of colour options, hoteliers can select individual stock garments and create striking and individual looks. Although it is fantastic to design something from scratch, this is usually more cost-effective for larger businesses or franchises. Many boutique hotels only employ small numbers of staff so it makes sense to use stock items to create that all important unique impression.

Practical considerations cannot be forgotten…

A core consideration for boutique hoteliers is the practical elements of workwear that allow staff to perform their duties safely and effectively. Although all uniforms should be identical in terms of colouring and style, staff working in specific areas such as the kitchen should be wearing attire that possesses heat-resistant and fire-retardant qualities. For example, it is possible to impregnate the material which chefs’ jackets are made from with a flame-retardant coating without adversely affecting the specific ‘look’ hoteliers are trying to convey.

It is also important to ensure that clothing is durable, especially for those working in intensive environments like the kitchen but also for those staff who need to carry out duties outdoors. Although it is important that designs are tailored and fairly fitted, clothing should not be so restrictive that it limits performance or causes discomfort.

Combining individuality with comfort, safety and functionality should be the main priority when it comes to selecting workwear for boutique hotel staff. However, it is important to remember that suppliers should have the insight, sector knowledge and range required to act as an advisory business partner to hotel businesses, not simply a mere vendor.

Nigel Crunden, is a business specialist at Office Depot

For more information, please visit http://www.officedepot.eu/


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