Uniforms can project a lot about your pub in an instant. Proper consideration can help you carefully craft and control that message.

Uniforms might seem like a small consideration for an operator when looking at the overall offer of a pub, but it’s one of the things that instantly help inform patrons about your venue. First impressions matter, and first impressions of people – rightly or wrongly – can be made through their attire. This is true both of individuals and of groups of people, such as the staff of a hotel.

A professional uniform will make a good impression, but it can do more than that. If well thought out, it can enhance the impact of your brand, as well as convey a sense of the identity of your venue. So what makes for a good pub uniform?

“First and foremost is staff comfort and functionality. That’s right on top of the list, making sure that staff feel good in it and that it’s functional,” states Craig Shearer, founder and director of KickOn Group.

“Clearly the next one is that it looks great and presents the way we want it to, and is on brand for the particular venue or space that they’re wearing it in.”

Practical matters

While there’s a lot to consider for venue uniforms in terms of design, aesthetic, colours etc; staff buy-in and comfort is also a huge consideration that shouldn’t be overlooked. If your team find their uniforms uncomfortable, impractical or downright ugly, this will be reflected in their demeanour and presentation on the floor of your pub. Collaborating with staff on the uniform can increase the team’s buy-in to the uniform and allow them to project pride in what they wear. Felicity Rodgers, founder and creative director of Cargo Crew, says this is essential.

“From a practical perspective team members need to feel comfortable in their uniform and it’s often a valuable initiative to involve key staff in the selection process to gain insights and support for the new uniform.”

With decades of experience on the subject – Cargo Crew celebrated its 20th birthday earlier in the year – Rodgers has plenty of great advice on the practical considerations of a hospitality uniform, particularly around fabric choice.

“Fabrics that are easy care and withstand frequent washing are always popular and best suited for hospitality. Colour shades of classic black, navy, tones of greens and tobacco bring modern, translatable looks, whilst also being suitable for hiding marks and stains,” she suggests.

“We have created our Cargo Crew proprietary Fight The Fade fabric to resist against fading with frequent washing. We designed these fabrics to specifically address the pain points of our hospitality customers and to meet their durability requirements.”

At KickOn Group, Shearer – with the help of Cargo Crew – also ensures that the uniforms reflect reflect the locality and atmosphere of the venue.

“It ranges from waistcoats and ties in Barlow down at The Continental Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula, through to t-shirts and aprons in Townsville. It’s got to match the environment that it’s in.”

Regardless of the type of uniform you land on, the essential branding factors are that it clearly showcases the venue name or logo somewhere visible to patrons, and complements the general aesthetic of the venue.

“To deliver a memorable guest experience, the uniform should be curated to support the visual handwriting of the venue,” states Rodgers.

“The colour tones selected for the uniform should complement the interior and venue design, whilst consideration of individual roles may require variation of the uniform styles to meet practical requirements. For example, teams working outdoors may need additional layers such as a sweater or jackets for warmth.”

Uniform selection really can have quite an impact on the patron experience of a venue, and thus should be given the same consideration you give to any aspect of your pub.

Cargo Crew can help you carefully hone that message sent about your pub through well considered and high quality uniforms. Get in touch today!


(03) 9411 9850

Shop online 24/7 cargocrew.com.au

The team at Cabana, a Tilley & Wills venue, kitted out by Cargo Crew.