ButtercupMama Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 8:21pm
post #1 of

At my shop, we just do logo t-shirts, but we are getting really grungy, and need to place an order for more.
However, I think it is time to "up our game". We're considering colored chef's coats, but then we'd have to get pants too. Also, they look so heavy and cumbersome. But I think the perceived value by our clients would go up, and we certainly need to raise prices.

I'll note here, and no offense to those who do polo shirts, I despise polo shirts. Not sure why, but I have a serious aversion to them. (My family is trying to get me to go for polo shirts, and I just can't do it!) icon_rolleyes.gif

Not sure what to do, so I thought I'd pick some brains!! Also, if you have an online uniform place you swear by, I'd love a referral.

Thank ya! icon_biggrin.gif

29 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 8:35pm
post #2 of

I say t-shirts for actual work & chef coats for when you interact with the public, be it a delivery or consultation.

tatorchip Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 8:49pm
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

I say t-shirts for actual work & chef coats for when you interact with the public, be it a delivery or consultation.


great point easier all the way around

-Tubbs Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 12:00am
post #4 of

I'm with your family - Polo shirts look quite smart and seem to wear better than regular t-shirts.

Chef coats don't look comfy or practical to me. Very professional-looking though.

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 12:02am
post #5 of

I agree with the polo shirts too. thats what I'm gonna have made with my logo along with a chef coat.

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 12:06am
post #6 of

I hate the polo shirts, too, but I know why. When I worked in corporate america, this was the uniform for trade shows, etal. To me, it was "here's a man shirt and oh yeah by the way, the women can wear them too." Now back in those days, I was a full make-up, hose-n-heels, business suit type of lady. I HATED having to dress like "one of the GUYS" just because they didn't want to put any thought or effort into finding a look that would work for BOTH sexes.

To me, a polo shirt is a man's shirt that "they" casually tossed over to "us girls" and said, "here throw this on ... it's not like you really matter."

Nah ... no issues HERE! dunce.gif

When we're on a catering job, my staff wears black pants, white or black shirt, and I supply the red apron. I wear black pants and my white or black chef jacket (lets everyone know who's in charge). When I deliver a cake, I always wear a chef jacket.

diane706 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:17am
post #7 of

Light pink polo with black logo. Very comfy. I'm thinking about getting a chef's jacket for deliveries. I would sweat my butsky off if I wore it while working though! icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:19am
post #8 of

My white chef jacket is 3/4 sleeves and is heavy material; very hot. My black one I got at GFS (on sale for ten bucks!). It's short sleeved and very lightweight. Not hot at all.

diane706 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:28am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

(on sale for ten bucks


icon_eek.gif What is GFS? Gotta check that out!

snowynight Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:29am

Check out www.allheartchefs.com I get a lot of things from them and they have really good prices. Also I have never had any problems with returns. I bought two chef jackets from them along with vests for my staff. Hope this helps.

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:31am

Gordon Food Service. A food distribution company. I'm fortunate because I'm just 15 minutes away from one of their retail stores so it's easy to pop in and pick up what I need, in between truck deliveries.

Jessica1817 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:46am

I'm self-taught, no formal training, so would feel funny wearing a chef's coat. What would be the next best thing?

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:50am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica1817

I'm self-taught, no formal training, so would feel funny wearing a chef's coat. What would be the next best thing?



I'm self-taught, no formal training, and I thought I'd be insulting those who were "real" chefs. Till our CC culinary grads pointed out that even the dishwashers wear chef jackets. It's a kitchen uniform. (And from what I understand, it's the funny looking hats that indicate kitchen status! icon_lol.gif )

LaBellaFlor Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:51am

Don't. Do you know how many people in the food industry are self taught and wear a chef's jacket? It is just a uniform in their eyes.

prterrell Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:57am

Yup, the jacket is uniform, it's the toque (the "funny looking hat") that's the mark of a "chef".

I'd say make sure you're wearing aprons (many linen services will also rent you white aprons along with your kitchen towels) over your shirts, be they polo or tee, to ensure that the shirts stay nice looking longer!

HarleyDee Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:41am

Yip, I once had someone tell me that it was insulting to "real" chefs for non-chefs to wear the coats. I asked what defined a "real" chef, and made sure to note that education wasn't a factor, because there are plenty of "real" chefs that never went to culinary school. I never got a clear answer, lol icon_biggrin.gif

CakeMommyTX Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:05am

I have found tons of chef's jackets at the Goodwill and Salvation Army, all for about 5$.
I've only bought 1 (pink!) but it's too heavy for me.
I don't even wear coats in the winter when it's freezing, I don't like the feeling of being constricted in my clothing.
I'm having my mom sew me up a few of these
http://www.carolynskitchenonline.com/Apron1.html
..minus the garter of course icon_redface.gif
I love these and they fit my sense of style perfectly!

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:05am
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

I'd say make sure you're wearing aprons (many linen services will also rent you white aprons along with your kitchen towels) over your shirts, be they polo or tee, to ensure that the shirts stay nice looking longer!



On the topic of keeping it clean, last night (at Sat's event), I was wearing my black chef coat and my white kitchen towels left a bunch of white lint all over it. So, as the chef jacket is designed to do, I unbuttoned it and re-buttoned it on the other side. One of my staffer's mouth dropped open ... she had no idea they were designed like that. I told her "Well of course it gets all yucky looking when working in the kitchen, but if the chef is called to the dining room for whatever reason, he/she wants to look nice, so they swap out the buttoning to show the clean side!" She thought that was the coolest thing since pepperoni on pizza! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

cakefanatic Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:29am

I say t-shirts my sister just started this business, and she will be providing me with my logo design. Then I just choose the best one and the t-shirt color.

Jenthecakelady Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 12:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX


I'm having my mom sew me up a few of these
http://www.carolynskitchenonline.com/Apron1.html
..minus the garter of course icon_redface.gif
I love these and they fit my sense of style perfectly!



Those are completely adorable! Our shop won't be opening up for a couple of more months, and I've been thinking about this very same thing. I will have to keep these apron designs in mind.

diane706 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 4:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

..minus the garter of course icon_redface.gif




Oh C'mon! You know you want to wear the garter!! LOL! icon_lol.gif Those are so adorable!

ButtercupMama Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 5:59pm

Okay, well the problem with wearing t-shirts in the back kitchen, and chef coats for the public is, my staff and I are back and forth, from working in the kitchen, to helping folks in the lobby all day long!
(And we do absolutely wear aprons over the t-shirts.)
Is there such a thing as a lightweight chef coat?

This may be a dumb question; you don't wear an apron over a chef's coat, do you?? (We're so used to our aprons, we're going to be a real mess if we go to chefs coats, he he he!)

Right now I also do black and white clothing, like indydebi's staff, for trade shows. I also felt a bit weird considering a chefs coat, as I've not been to culinary school. (Been working in cakes for 19yrs, no "formal" training). It's insane to have these confidence issues.

So, those of you who wear chefs coats, what are you doing for pants?
I really appreciate all the input to this discussion!!! thumbs_up.gif

ButtercupMama Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 6:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowynight

Check out www.allheartchefs.com I get a lot of things from them and they have really good prices. Also I have never had any problems with returns. I bought two chef jackets from them along with vests for my staff. Hope this helps.




Thanks, I'm going to check this out! Looks like much better pricing than the catalog I received in the mail from another company!!

indydebi Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtercupMama

Is there such a thing as a lightweight chef coat?

This may be a dumb question; you don't wear an apron over a chef's coat, do you?? (We're so used to our aprons, we're going to be a real mess if we go to chefs coats, he he he!)

So, those of you who wear chefs coats, what are you doing for pants?
I really appreciate all the input to this discussion!!! thumbs_up.gif




Yes, you can get lightweight chef coats. See my 2 posts on page 1.

Yes, you can wear an apron over a chef jacket. I do it sometimes. Especially if I'm wearing my white jacket and cooking anything with grease. I've seen others wear them over jackets, too.

Pants ..... up to you. I recommend a "uniform" color. (all black or all red or whatever).

KHalstead Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 8:51pm

When I deliver cakes I ALWAYS wear my black chef's coat (it's a medium weight, with the net panels (you can't see the panels) under the arms and I think in the back too to allow breathability) it has 3/4 length french cuffed sleeves. I love the thing...I think it's very comfortable. Generally I just wear a pair of pressed dark jeans with it and a black apron that just goes around my waist. So only my knees down show from the front anyhow...and then butt down shows from the back. People always treat you with more respect when you have on the chef's coat!

Oh indy........I had no idea you could do that with the chef's coat...I always wondered why the double buttons...I figured it was in case you got too fat tasting all of your creations then you could use the buttons close to the edge of the coat lol

d_michelle95 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 9:46pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

I have found tons of chef's jackets at the Goodwill and Salvation Army, all for about 5$.
I've only bought 1 (pink!) but it's too heavy for me.
I don't even wear coats in the winter when it's freezing, I don't like the feeling of being constricted in my clothing.
I'm having my mom sew me up a few of these
http://www.carolynskitchenonline.com/Apron1.html
..minus the garter of course icon_redface.gif
I love these and they fit my sense of style perfectly!




OMG!! Those sooo fit my style too... Thank you for sharing that site.. .I am totally going to make one for me and my daughter when she wants to help in the kitchen... Now I just have to have my mom teach me how to sew with the sewing machine I got for christmas last year, LOL!!

MichelleM77 Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 7:56pm

I have black t-shirts (not big and baggy t's, they fit nice) with my logo. I wear nice dark or black jeans.

I think colored aprons with your logo and either a nice tee or polo would look nice, for front and back in the kitchen. I like the half aprons too, but those might only work for the front; not enough material for powdered sugar explosions!

The gals at a custom stationary store near me wear purple polos and black aprons with their logo, so aprons aren't just for kitchens anymore.

Tee-Y Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 9:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead



Oh indy........I had no idea you could do that with the chef's coat...I always wondered why the double buttons...I figured it was in case you got too fat tasting all of your creations then you could use the buttons close to the edge of the coat lol




icon_lol.gif OMG! That's totally hilarious icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif !!!!!!

itsacake Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 10:23pm

I thought when I finished school I'd burn the chef coat icon_rolleyes.gif Then I started working without it and got chocolate and whatever all over my clothes and got burned several times on the arms where the coat would have been had I been wearing it. icon_eek.gif It made me realize how functional the coat really is, so now I wear my old school coats in the kitchen and I got a lightweight (inexpensive) one with my business name embroidered for deliveries. Turns out that lightweight also means it usually has to be ironed--every wrinkle shows!!!! I hate ironing I'm going to go back to the ones we wore at school when I order again.

In the kitchen, I wear the coat with jeans. For deliveries, unless I'm coming straight from the kitchen, I wear nice black pants. Hate the houndstooth pants. Those I really do want to burn, along with the neckerchief and stupid baker's cap icon_evil.gif

And yes, you can wear an apron with your chef coat. Where else do you put the ever=present towel but tucked into the apron strings? Not fond of the half aprons we used a t school. The chefs had full aprons and stayed relatively clean. We students had the half things and were always a mess.

Really, really love the idea of being able to button the coat the other way when I get scuzzy, but I'm usually messy on the sleeves or somewhere where reversing the buttons doesn't work. Gotta work on that--just get messy in the proper places icon_lol.gif

1234me Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 2:41am

look into a cobbler apron. I LOVE MINE! I hate normal aprons but this goes over your head and covers the front and back and ties on the sides. Get your logo on the front and it makes a great uniform but also protects the employees clothes!

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