When a restaurant owner calls Alsco looking for table linens and worker uniforms, the Alsco salesperson makes every effort to learn as much as possible about the establishment with the understanding that there are lots of different choices to work with. Aprons are just one example.
Anyone outside the restaurant and linen industries may assume that there is only one kind of apron: the vaunted bib apron grandmothers have been wearing in the kitchen for generations. But there are several different kinds of apron styles above and beyond the bib apron. These include:
- Server aprons
- Dishwasher aprons
- Bistro aprons
- Cobbler aprons
- Tuxedo aprons.
Each apron style is intended to meet a specific need. So it is incumbent on restaurant owners to step back and consider each staff member’s job. The right apron for the job is an indispensable tool. The wrong apron might have very little value to the person wearing it.
Server aprons are sometimes known as waist aprons. They are intended to protect the server’s skirts and pants without covering the upper body. Key to this kind of apron is the pockets that give place for order pads, pens and, in the modern era, tablets.
A dishwasher apron is a bib apron designed to give workers a bit more coverage at the sink. It is typically a knee-length apron that protects from the chest area down to just below the knees. Fabrics for these kinds of aprons are usually chosen based on their ability to resist water. After all, dishwashers do not want to get soaked from head to toe during every shift.
Bistro aprons are often thought of in the context of five-star establishments were style is as important as function. A typical bistro apron is a full-length apron covering from the waist to the ankles. Often times they come in basic black with the understanding that black goes with any color scheme. However, you can get them in other colors as well. For the record, bistro aprons are usually worn only by servers.
Your typical cobbler apron looks more like a smock than anything else. It is intended to be a garment to protect the upper body, so it is good for servers, bussers, and even bartenders. Cobbler aprons typically cover both the front and back of the body and utilize adjustable ties for the best fit. They generally come with at least two pockets as well.
The tuxedo apron is perhaps the most classy looking apron you can get, thus its name. It starts as a bib apron offering protection from the chest area down to just above the knees. What makes it so special is its classy good looks. A typical tuxedo apron features a V-neck bib and a more refined cut that makes it appear more formal. Combined with a white shirt and a bow tie, a tuxedo apron really makes a statement.
Aprons and Customer Perceptions
Who knew there were so many different kinds of restaurant aprons? If you are among those in the know, you probably also understand the importance of customer perceptions. What a customer sees while dining at a local restaurant partially forms his or her opinion of the establishment. Staff uniforms are a big part of that perception.
While it is not necessary to dress all staff members in bistro or tuxedo aprons, a restaurant’s aprons choices should be consistent with its overall presentation. And for the sake of staff members, aprons should be as functional as they are visually pleasing.