A Chef’s uniform has always been and will always be a symbol of professionalism, experience and the Chef’s expertise, giving the chef and the rest of his kitchen team the highest status available and creating trust and confidence in the eyes of the customer. Chef uniforms, which are usually white in color, convey a clean and hygienic kitchen.
There are many aspects to a uniform, such as:
- Chef Hat (or Toque).
- Chef Coat.
- Chef Apron.
Out of these the Chef apron is a very important part of the overall uniform as it provides additional protection to the wearer from any and all of the hazards that are present in a fast-paced busy kitchen.
It is not only a Chef or kitchen staff that need to wear aprons to protect themselves from spills and splashes, but front of house staff as well, and there are many different types of aprons to suit the different types of work involved.
Chef Apron – This apron usually covers the wearer from the upper body up to the knees, and are generally known as Bib Aprons because of this coverage that they provide. They consist of an adjustable neck loop and waist ties, as well as a waistband that makes it more comfortable to wear, and provides a tight fit with great moveability and functionality. These Bib Aprons provide chefs and other kitchen staff, absolute protection over their traditional uniform, and act as a double layer of protection for them from heat, fire and even sharp utensils.
Server Aprons – These are usually worn by servers and waiters, and are of a shorter length. They usually only cover the lower part of the body, and consist of wide waistbands and ties around the waist. They are made to fit perfectly, while not restricting the wearers movements, and are made of 100% cotton breathable fabrics, which can be made in many different colors, although popular colors tend to be black, blue and white. They come with one or multiple pockets which help the servers to carry essential items to make their job easier and their service more efficient.
Waist Aprons – Waist Aprons are very much similar to Server Aprons, and are worn by Head Waiters, bussers and servers. These too come as shorter length aprons and provide an elegant and stylish look for all front of house staff. This type of apron also covers only the lower body.
Bistro Aprons – Bistro Aprons also provide protection for the lower body, and most specifically for the trousers, from spills and splashes, as they are much longer than other aprons providing coverage up to a little above the ankles of the wearer.
Cobbler Aprons – These aprons are best used for bakeries as they offer both front and back coverage with ties on the two sides, where you can adjust the looseness of the apron, making it either snug and fit or loose and comfortable. They only cover the upper torso and are great at keeping shirts and coats clean and neat without any stains.
While aprons are not officially a part of the kitchen uniform, they are certainly an important add-on. So why is wearing an apron so important?
Maintains food hygiene – Maintaining food hygiene these days is not only important in retaining your customers, but in certain areas is a legal requirement that simply cannot be ignored. While uniforms certainly provide enough protection from contaminating food during preparation and serving, an apron provides an added protection. This is why many kitchen staff wear a Chef apron while cooking, over their usual uniform.
Protects the uniform – A chef or even a front of house staff will need to meet and talk to customers at times, and this would not be a good idea if they are wearing a dirtied up or stained uniform. The Chef Apron and Server Apron provides protection for the white or other colored uniform that they are wearing in order to keep it looking clean and tidy, and stain free.
Protects the wearer – An apron provides an additional layer of protection from fire, heat and sharp utensils or tools, and protects the wearer from accidents that could happen with such things.
Stylish – Aprons create a fashion statement of their own, and can be customized with branding and colors according to the theme of the restaurant or café, making them very attractive.