As a member of the team, responsible for overseeing the entire menu and food prep, the chef represents an integral part of any yacht crew. As such, it’s important that the chef not only looks the part but is also comfortable enough in their yacht crew uniform to cook without restriction or safety concerns.
While it may not seem like it at first, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a bespoke uniform for your superyacht chef. In this guide, we’ll examine these key factors to help you make a more informed buying decision.
The first thing to consider when ordering new uniforms for your yacht chef is the budget. If your budget has already been set, you can begin to browse within your established parameters. However, if no budget has been set and you have to come up with one, you should always consider the following:
- How long will the uniform be in use?
- What environmental conditions are they likely to be subjected to?
- Are they comfortable?
- Are they current/trendy?
- Do they accurately represent the yacht’s crew/owner?
After answering these questions, you should have a more specific idea of the kind of yacht crew uniform you are looking for and how much it’s likely to cost. It’s also at this point that you can begin to look for a uniform that fits within your budget.
Now that you know how much you are willing to spend, it’s important to consider the vessel/crew's existing aesthetic to ensure that any new additions fit in with pre-existing design choices.
As part of the crew, the chef needs to conform to the visual harmony on board. If the chef's uniform is too different from the rest of the crew, they run the risk of appearing disorganised. This can be a costly mistake to fix in the long term, so it’s more efficient to ensure the chef’s uniform matches everyone else’s from the outset.
Involve the chefs
It’s important to include the chefs themselves in the conversation. They know what tasks, situations and conditions they face each day and can factor this into the decision-making process. For example, a chef may tell you that the sleeves of a particular jacket are too loose and could create a safety hazard while cooking - something that the decision-makers themselves may not have considered.
Involving the chef can also improve morale and demonstrate that their opinion is valued. By including the chef in the process from the beginning, the decision-maker lessens any potential resistance to the final selection.
Chef wear is typically made from cotton and you may even find your chef has a fabric preference since many will insist on 100% cotton chef jackets. However, with modern fabrics, polycotton (cotton/polyester blends) and fast dry synthetic garments there are many options to consider. For example, many manufacturers now use Coolmax panels in the back of the jacket which aids airflow and movement whilst wicking away sweat. This type of garment is gaining in popularity and may take over from 100% cotton in the near future!
While no one is suggesting ball gowns or tuxedos, exploring what’s current and trendy in yacht crew fashion is advantageous. Firstly, a well-dressed chef can help to enhance the sense of modernity and luxury onboard. Secondly, the more modern the chef’s uniform is, the longer it’s likely to last without requiring costly replacements. Older and outdated designs may have a negative effect on the charter guests’ perception of the yacht and result in more costly decisions down the line.
Ask around/do your research
No yacht uniform supplier is going to state that they have bad customer service or poor-quality products on their website, even if that’s the case in reality. To get a more accurate and honest assessment of a uniform supplier's capabilities (customer service and garments), decision-makers should seek out reviews left by previous customers. They will be able to tell you what to expect from the supplier in question and whether or not they’re worth buying from.
Consider the supplier
It’s tempting to stop the search and make a purchase once you’ve found a set of chef uniforms that you like, however, we strongly advise that you consider the supplier before making any purchasing decisions. For example, the uniforms may look good, but if the customer service is poor it could lead to a costly supplier switch in the future. If the supplier isn’t doing well and collapses shortly after you’ve made your purchase, you’ll be dealing with the expensive process of seeking out a supplier that can create the same uniform, or paying for an entirely new chef uniform once again.
Also, as yachties all over the world become more aware of environmentally friendly yacht practices and sustainable uniform options, they’ll begin to move away from products/services with a negative environmental impact. With this in mind, it’s important to think about the manufacturing process of the supplier you’re considering to weigh up what impact they have on the environment.
With over 30 years of experience supplying high-quality crew uniforms, Sea Design is uniquely equipped to provide you with well-designed, chef-specific yacht wear. So, if you’re looking for new uniforms for your chef, get in touch with us today to discuss your requirements and find out how we can help!