Dressing the Part
3. STUDY THE WORKSPACE
Before you formally pitch a client on a uniform program, it can help to look around the property a bit to not only judge the environment, but see what the staff is currently wearing. "Visiting the property and doing an environmental scan is the first step," said Lloyd. "Take notes on what each area is wearing. If you can't tell the front desk associate from housekeeping, then they may require a more formal uniform program."
4. PERFORMANCE APPAREL FOR OUTDOOR STAFF
"Polos are great choices for outdoor staff, and we've definitely seen the switch from cotton based knits to 100 percent polyester performance styles," said Barreca.
5. BEAT ERRATIC WEATHER WITH ACCESSORIES
For resorts that don't have the same weather all year round, accessories can be helpful in handling seasonal temperatures. "The easiest way to transition a uniform program from cold weather to warm weather is through accessories," said Lloyd. "For example, a hotel property may outfit the front desk in dress pants, white or blue shirt/blouse, neckwear and a suit coat for colder months, then transition the suit coat to a vest for warmer weather," she said. "The same can be true for property maintenance. The cold weather may warrant casual work pants, a long sleeve woven shirt or polo, and a service coat. As the weather gets warmer, they transition to shorts and a short sleeve woven shirt or polo," she explained. "The uniform stays the same but transitions easily, providing versatility."
6. TALK GARMENT LIFESPANS
Uniforms are of course meant to be worked in, so durability and overall garment lifespans are going to be concerns. The same two apparel items, say two different vest for example, could have different lifespans depending on their fabrications, color finishes, catch-resistance, etc. It's crucial for you to talk with your client about their budget and needs for the garment's lifespan, and then with your supplier or manufacturer to make sure the chosen product matches said needs. "End-user demands such as high frequency wear and laundering, continued exposure to sunlight and/or harsh chemicals, and additives and temperatures in commercial laundering processes will affect apparel wear life," explained Barreca. "It's best to check with the manufacturer and be sure your client has communicated their laundering and use expectations." Once you pinpoint your client's garment usage habits, you can move on to selecting items that will be tough enough to provide the appropriate "budget lifetime," i.e., the timeframe the garments need to last before the client is willing to buy new ones.