Dressing Your Cafe Staff: Tips on Choosing The Perfect Aprons

baristas heavy duty aprons

For cafe workers, the apron is like a superhero’s cape. You just put it on and immediately transform into a bartender that whips up the tastiest cocktails or a waiter that’s lightning speed fast. The apron is the one piece of a cafe uniform that makes bartending and waiting tables easier by keeping the crews’ tools at hand and properly organized. It also protects workers from spills, splashes and other stains and helps keep them clean and presentable. And when chosen right, an apron can also serve as a promotional tool.

Considering how the humble apron is of such great importance for cafes and their crews, cafe owners should focus on choosing a durable, practical and stylish design. Here are some important things to consider in order to pick the perfect aprons for your staff.

Which Fabric Is Best?

First of all, let’s talk about materials. Cotton is one of the most commonly used fabrics for aprons. Cotton aprons are available in all sorts of colours, thus giving you the ability to create a uniform with a lively colour palette if that’s your wish. However, colours can fade over time with washing, which means you will have to replace your aprons more often.

denim apron

And then there’s denim. If you want your crew to look contemporary and urban, a denim work apron is a great choice. By adding a denim touch to your employees’ uniforms, they will look more relatable which can help you in achieving a comfortable and laid-back cafe environment. And before it was iconised by the fashion industry, denim was a fabric that was originally invented for workwear. So today, denim aprons can be equal parts trendy and functional.

Denim is made of cotton but it differs from regular cotton in that it has a much stronger twist in its yarn. This makes it a long-lasting fabric that can withstand tough conditions and day-to-day wear. In addition, a denim work apron is easy to maintain. It doesn’t wrinkle and in the case of dark denim it doesn’t easily show stains.

Barista Apron

But don’t think that because it’s tough, denim isn’t comfortable. Just how we wear jeans in the summer as well as in the winter – a denim apron is suitable for all kinds of weather conditions. And with a slight stretch added, a denim work apron can mould to the body of the wearer without causing any discomfort.

Leather is another material that’s extremely durable. It also gives uniforms a touch of warmth and texture. However, leather aprons are uncomfortable to wear in warm weather due to being unbreathable.

What Apron Style Is Suitable for Cafes?

Aprons are separated into three different styles: the cobbler apron, the bib apron, and the waist apron. Out of these styles, the most popular one for hospitality workers is the bib. Also known as the chef’s apron, the bib is a traditional apron made out of one piece of material that goes around the person’s neck and ties at the back and ends just at the knees. This lightweight and easy-to-put-on apron covers most of the front part of the body and provides great protection from splashes and stains.

woman wearing bib apron

And then there is the waist apron, which doesn’t offer any upper body protection. This type of apron is usually used by waiters and normally includes handy pockets for storing a pen and a notebook or some change. On the other hand, waist aprons are usually unsuitable for bartenders who are more prone to receiving splashes and spills on their upper bodies. With that being said, you may want to use different styles of aprons for different employees.

The cobbler apron is similar to a bib with the difference that it covers both the front and back part of the torso. This type of apron is most commonly used by metal workers as well as people in the retail industry.

How to Personalize an Apron?

personalized aprons

As a business, it’s important that you build a recognizable brand that will set you apart from the rest of the competition. And your uniforms can be a great extension to that brand. You can spice your aprons up by using a variety of personalised touches such as fun badges, patchwork or embroidery that represents your business’ logo or motto. If you don’t like to permanently modify your aprons you can also use accessories such as ties, scarves, apron straps in your business’ colours.

Where to Get Aprons?

And finally, many cafe owners wonder where to purchase their aprons from. While you can find plenty of $8 aprons on Amazon that will do the job (protect clothes from spills), they’re simply not presentable enough. Plus, you don’t get much variety to choose from as most of the cheaper aprons are made of polyester and white.

So, if you want to get something that’s more than just fine, it’s best to consult a store that specializes in hospitality uniforms. It’s even better if you go for a business that’s open to creating aprons that are precisely tailored for your brand and your crew’s needs. These types of stores often feature discounts on bulk purchases which means you can still save some money.

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