The “no uniform” uniform

When it comes to Uniforms, companies that like to give their employees some choice in what they wear to work face a double-edged sword. Employees usually love the freedom of getting to choose the shirt, pants or skirt that fits them best. But management then finds themselves policing the dress code—which is a pain point for both the leadership and the employees who struggle to interpret the rules.

Recently, I got an email from a CEO of a large restaurant chain asking me to meet with his team. The problem? They had dress guidelines rather than uniforms, and people were showing up looking less than professional. This CEO was reaping the advantage of not having to invest in uniforms, but struggling with the aftermath of individual interpretation of those pesky guidelines.

Freedom of choice without the risk

For this client, we delivered an online system where each team member can order what they want to wear to work. So employees still have a choice. Lots of choices, in fact.

Our solution included a range of garments for each specific role within the restaurant. Then, we provided multiple decoration techniques. Now, each employee can choose the garment that suits their personal style and body type, then custom design it to fit their own personal expression. This is a high value for Millennials. They want to look uniform without uniformity. Between garments and decoration of their brand images, the employees have dozens of options available to them, and they are using them.

The upside for the restaurant chain?

  • There’s no cost for the company
  • Leadership is relieved of the hassle of monitoring wardrobe choices
  • There is no apparel inventory obligation

A company of thousands of employees gets what they want when they want it, and all without the added cost of carrying a stock of uniform inventory.

A fun solution to a common problem

Some people know how to dress; others don’t. It’s always a mixed bag. With this online system, the employees are having fun designing a shirt that expresses what they love about the restaurant’s brand. The corporate team has jumped in too, with their own collection of office-appropriate apparel that can be ordered one-off, with the brands and designs that suit their tastes. One person wants basic apparel, and another person wants higher-end name brands. When it is produced on demand, one at a time, they can all get what they want. And look great, too.

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