Coffee culture and corporate clothing

Costa Coffee now has male and female styles
Costa Coffee now has male and female styles

Incorporatewear provides an insight into how what staff wear in a café affects a customer experience by detailing its recent work with a high street coffee chain and the effect a change in uniform has had.

One thing nearly all of us have in common is starting the day with a hot drink.

Heading to the high street for a cappuccino or a flat white is a daily pleasure for many. In fact, this new trend helped high street coffee sales pass the £1 billion mark back in 2013.

Customers don’t think twice about the little details – the months taken to choose the perfect font for a legible menu, the hundreds of floor plans considered to make the store look as welcoming as possible.

There’s more to it than a good cup of coffee. Guaranteeing a great customer experience ensures visitors keep coming back again and again. The great customer experience is made up of three things – the look, the atmosphere, and the final product.

When we talk about appearance, we’re not just talking about the look of the store, we’re talking about everything inside the store too. That’s why Costa Coffee, one of the high streets most recognisable coffee stops with 1,755 stores up and down the country, has teamed up with Incorporatewear to overhaul its whole approach to uniform.

Incorporatewear is the UK’s premier corporate wear supplier. With over 15 years’ experience, Incorporatewear has established itself as an expert in corporate clothing both nationwide and worldwide.

For Incorporatewear, the challenge was to create a style and look for Costa’s 16,000 baristas and maestros to match the feel of the store. While the previous collection had a unisex, one-size-fits-all approach, Incorporatewear was keen to keep individual appearance in mind. That is why the new clothing range has been designed for both male and female fits.

Coffee shops are the high street retreat – a place to relax and unwind. For Costa Coffee, Incorporatewear wanted to match the uniform to the atmosphere. Having worked with the company for many months to develop their new style, the collection captures the coffee shop atmosphere. Characterised by approachability and uniqueness, the bespoke Costa Coffee collection stands out on the high street.

This industry can be a messy business – a willingness to be covered head to toe in syrup and other muck is in the job description. Costa Coffee’s new line of aprons and shirts are designed using a dark coffee and café-crème colour palette, a new custom feature. As well as being practical and functional – as all corporate clothing must be – the uniform disguises the spillages.

The uniform has been designed using coffee colours
The uniform has been designed using coffee colours

The new Costa Coffee uniforms for 2014 are manufactured from premium poly/cotton fabrics that are strong, durable and are relied upon by the wider catering trade who have to hit high hygiene standards.

So why is this so important? Coffee culture is grab and go – nine times out of ten, the customer probably isn’t paying attention to what their barista is wearing. Coffee with no fuss is the aim.

Corporate clothing gives a sense of belonging and it is part and parcel with the image of a brand. Although you may not notice the importance of uniform when it’s right under your nose, but as soon as something is amiss it’s like a bull in a china shop.

Costa Coffee has 1,755 outlets across the UK and Ireland. No matter how big or small the client may be, it’s vital that the uniform supplier is trusted to deliver what they need. Just like we rely on Costa Coffee for our morning pick me up or afternoon treat, Costa Coffee relies on Incorporatewear to deliver high quality corporate clothing when they need it. Communication is the key to success in this industry.

Getting the right fit for Costa Coffee took time. Extensive design and trial phases took place and three uniform designs were put to the test. Staff nationwide then had the opportunity to cast their vote to select the final design. Allowing those who will actually wear the uniform to choose the final design reflects how important it is for staff to be happy in what they will be wearing day in, day out.

Incorporatewear has long standing relationships with clients and understands the importance of getting to know the brand. Capturing the image of a brand in the uniform requires high quality design and good communication. Attention to detail is exactly the ticket for turning a mediocre customer experience into a memorable one.

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