Learn the Standard Dress for Restaurant Waitstaff

By Josh Clark

Learning the standard dress for your restaurant waitstaff is important to increasing business. Uniforms keep your servers motivated and present a professional image. However, each type of restaurant, bar, and fast-food business has a distinct style. Ordering custom uniforms is easy once you figure out the standard employee wear for your business. Below are our top uniform styles to go with different types of restaurants.

Learn the Standard Dress for Restaurant Waitstaff

High-Velocity Bars

High-velocity bars are any large bars located in a city setting that serves thousands of customers per night. Bars in Boston areas like Faneuil Hall or Patriots Place are packed with large sports bars. There you’ll find flat screen TVs, party music, and a non-stop crowd. The uniform solution? A black t-shirt. Our top picks for high-velocity bars are from Bella and Canvas. Try the B8410 for ladies or the 3005 for men.

Irish Pubs

Irish pubs serve a smaller crowd and have a lot of charm and character. A collared shirt like a polo or button-up provides a professional look for these intimate settings. Brand CornerStone has a selection of industrial-strength polo shirts and dress shirts ready for a busy night at the bar.


Italian restaurants are the place for great wine and a delicious pasta dish to match. Waitstaff will impress in a collared button-up shirt paired with dress pants. Try an easy care dress shirt like the L612 or the S646 from brand Port Authority. You’ll look professional and stay clean. A black vest with a collared shirt is always a nice touch for any upscale dining restaurants.


A great place for BBQ always has a laidback, Southern vibe, so find something with a relaxed style. No need to match the gingham print tablecloths. Wear a plain t-shirt with your logo and you’re ready to serve great BBQ! A solid-colored Eperformance t-shirt from Extreme will last forever, set the relaxed atmosphere, and keep you dry, cool, and clean.

Burger or Pizza

For local, casual pizza or burger places, a polo shirt and matching cap are standard. Adams Accessories provides a huge range of bright caps and visors. Go-to styles for easy care, professional polos are the K500 and the L500. These polos from Port Authority look good with embroidery and come in tons of colors. There are even variations of this style with pockets. If shopping for a more upscale, gourmet pizza place, a nice button-up in black is appropriate.

Sub shop

An affordable t-shirt or polo from Gildan or Jerzees is a great pick for a sub shop. A DryBlend jersey t-shirt or pique knit polo is always within budget, and the moisture-wicking fabric keeps staff cool, too. Try the G800 with a screen print or the 94800 with embroidery to save on custom uniforms for your sub shop.

These are just a few uniforms suggestions for wait staff at local dining restaurants, bars, and eateries. Locating a shirt that is professional, easy care, and on budget is easy once you know the standard options. There are many affordable choices that will meet your restaurant’s style. Tell us, what style do you use for your restaurant waitstaff uniforms?

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