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Are restaurants, bars and hotels missing a branding trick by overlooking the importance of the apron that staff wear when serving customers?

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Specialist bespoke corporate clothing design and manufacturer for the leisure sector, Style Uniforms, certainly thinks so and has evidence to back it up too, as Director, Paula Romano explains.

“The apron worn by a waiter, bar staff or member of the serving team is often one of the first things seen by a customer and yet so often it is overlooked as being plain utility clothing. We believe that the apron should take centre stage as a multi-functional branded garment that emphasises the core values of the company it represents. There are so many ways in which an apron can be designed to reflect the bar, restaurant or hotel’s brand that there is no reason to settle for a boring off-the-shelf plain black look. An apron can say so much more about the place it is being worn in and presents the perfect opportunity to promote a brand,” says Paula.

Style Uniforms has been providing aprons to well-known bar and restaurant brands for over 23 years from its base in Sheffield. Over the years it has seen a definite shift by leading brands toward using the apron to make a statement about the company and how it connects with customers. Bars and restaurants that are fighting for every customer have recognised that their brand must be identified at every opportunity and have requested an apron that has synergy with clientele.

Style was recently asked by a long-standing customer to come up with a new apron that connects with its young, dynamic and socially vibrant customers.

“The concept we came up with was a combination of a stonewashed, lightweight denim shirt with a butcher’s striped apron; but we did not leave it just there. We developed the apron to incorporate customised elasticated braces so the garment was figure hugging. This meant there were no loose straps or draw strings hanging down, resulting in the staff members being able to move and work freely while attending to customers.

“The end result is a comfortable, easy fit work garment that emphasises the need to look stylish in company. We have been told that staff love it so much it could be rolled out across the national brand,” says Paula Romano.

According to the designers at Style Uniforms, the secret to a good branded apron lies in combining utility with crafted style. Special attention has to be paid to the range of simple but essential equipment that the modern operative would need to carry, including tablets, hand held radio devices, pens, note pads and blades to name but a few. The plain black apron is certainly on its way out according to Paula.

“We are seeing clients wanting so much more from their corporate clothing and aprons are right up there in importance. Apart from the visual detail which is carefully aligned to the image and focused of the brand, there are other options that can be incorporated for maximum branding effect. We have provided clients with possibilities such as drop down bibs for an instant half apron look with a modern feel, reversible and alternative styles for changing day to evening looks. The apron is possibly the first and the last thing a customer sees, which is why brands should be aiming to make sure it is has a high priority when the staff uniform image is being created,” says Paula.

Style Uniforms has been providing design and manufacturing services to clients in the leisure industry since 1993, it has customers all over the UK, and has some of the biggest brand names in the sector as clients.

The company is based at International House, Nunnery Drive on the Parkway Industrial Estate in Sheffield.

Sheffield’s bespoke corporate clothing design and manufacturer, Style Uniforms, has appointed Cathy Gleaden as its new Sales Accounts Manager.

Cathy Gleaden web

Cathy (43) from Rotherham has been appointed following Style Uniforms winning new contracts with a national hospitality brand and the company’s plan to increase market share in that sector.

Cathy Worked Previously at Uniplex UK Limited where she was responsible for quality procedures as well as direct sales and marketing of on-line products. 

“Cathy brings with her a broad range of skills and experience that will meet many of our needs at Style Uniforms as we continue with our growth plans. We are busy recruiting more sales and manufacturing staff to meet current customer demand and we are looking forward to Cathy planning a significant role in overseeing those new members of the team,” said Style Uniforms Director, Damian Dugdale.

Following hot on the heels of a great March,  interior fit-out specialists, Jephsons had an outstanding April’s with eight of its fit-outs for Costa Coffee being totally “snag-free” at the handover point. Costa Brighton

Jephsons completed re-imaging fit outs at the Costa Coffee cafés in Crewe and The Brewery in Romford with only a four-day shut down on both. At Turner Rise in Colchester it completed a shell to handover project – all three were for the estates department at Whitbread owned brand and all three were totally snag free at hand over.

“We are absolutely delighted with the way our interior fit-out teams are performing and maintaining the high level standards we set for our customers. An 80% totally snag free record over ten fit-outs in one month is brilliant and we will be pushing to raise that percentage even higher in future” said Commercial Director, Ian Jephson.

Sheffield based bespoke corporate clothing design and manufacturing company, Style Uniforms, has launched a new On-line Ordering Portal, offering existing and potential customers the prospect of making substantial savings whilst maintaining consistency over their brands.


Style Uniforms has been providing services to clients in the hospitality, healthcare, leisure and retail industries since 1993, it has customers all over the UK, and has some of the biggest brand names in its target market as clients.

To help make the customer experience easier, Style Uniforms developed an on-line re-ordering system that is specifically tailored to each client. It is designed to allow customers with multiple outlets to control expenditure and maintain brand image consistency, as Director Chris Baldran explains.

“We found that some customers experienced difficulties when orders from various outlets in the chain became inconsistent. This led to re-orders, lost time and the brand being presented inconsistently. We designed the portal so that any manager in the chain can log on and order a new item in any quantity, colour, style or size they need; but they are only ever presented with choices that have been approved by head office. This reduces errors, saves time and money and means that no matter where the salon, clinic, shop or restaurant is located, the staff always order only the approved uniforms or clothing with the correct brand designs on them. The Portal proved so successful in our pilot that we are now making it available to all existing clients and it will be a key service benefit we offer to new customers,” says Chris Baldran.

The portal allows for the construction of a dedicated on-line booking page that is based on and contains each customer’s previously ordered or agreed items that can be worn by members of staff. The system provides for much faster simultaneous order placing by numerous employees without the need for one person having to act as a central contact point for re-orders.

“A huge amount of work goes into getting a brand image right, and nothing represents the brand more than employees, so they have to look the part. We spend a considerable time with our clients in the designing of uniforms and corporate clothing so that all members of staff are perfect looking ambassadors for their brands. What our Portal now adds is peace of mind in the re-ordering process as all orders are cross-referenced with purchase orders and if an item of clothing is discontinued, it becomes instantly unavailable to order, which maintains consistency of brand image in front of customers,” says Chris Baldran.

Style Uniforms is based at International House, Nunnery Drive on the Manor Business Park in Sheffield, where it shares premises with its sister company Kit Design, which manufactures and supplies personal protective clothing for security services such as the police, it also supplies Sheffield City Council parking attendants with their utility vests.


Notes to editors:

This news release was brought to you by Parker PR. For further information about Style Uniforms or anything in this release, please contact Graham Parker on 07977 448 306 or 0114 250 8586

All comments made are the responsibility of those quoted and not the responsibility of Parker PR Ltd. Any subsequent misinterpretation of them of damage caused by them is not the responsibility of Parker PR Ltd.

Style Uniforms has designed and manufactured bespoke uniforms and clothing for use in the hospitality, healthcare, leisure and retail industries from its base in Sheffield since 1993. It has customers all over the UK. This year it conducted its very first customer satisfaction survey in preparation for developing a new marketing campaign with the assistance of marketing and PR agency Parker PR - and was blown away by the results.

Company Director, Damian Dugdale says they did not really know what to expect from the survey but that the company’s Directors were totally delighted with the outcome.

"We found a very high satisfaction level among our current customers with nearly 70% stating that they are either highly or very satisfied with the services they receive; overall 92% of current customers are satisfied with the services we provide. What’s more, over 86% of Style Uniforms’ customers have already or would be happy to recommend us to another business or organisation.

“It was great to discover that Style Uniforms is valued by its customers as a supplier of high quality services and is not commissioned on price alone, in fact, price is not a significant defining factor when it comes to purchasing for our customers,” says Damian Dugdale

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To say thank you to the customers that took the time to respond to the survey each one was entered into a prize draw to win a stay at the Four Star, Peak Edge Hotel in the Derbyshire Peak District.

Nearly 40 Style Uniforms customer names were entered into the draw with Nicola Lucas, the Manager of the Best Western Cutler’s Hotel in Sheffield being the lucky one to have hers pulled out of the hat. Nicola was shocked to have won the draw as she says; “I was stunned to be honest, I’ve never won anything before in my life so to win this is amazing, and then when Damian turned up with a surprise bottle of Champagne it completely blew me away.”

Best Western Cutler’s Hotel uses Style Uniforms to provide its staff with suiting, waiting staff uniforms and tabards for housekeeping. Nicola was presented with her bottle of bubbly on the steps of the Hotel, as can be seen in the photo above.

Style Uniforms is based at International House, Nunnery Drive on the Manor Business Park in Sheffield, where it shares premises with its sister company Kit Design, which manufactures and supplies personal protective clothing for security services such as the police, it also supplies Sheffield City Council parking attendants with their utility vests.

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