Do any of you make your staff wear aprons?

How do you do it?
I looked at Cintas but they are very experience.
So I believe I am going to buy them. Do you give them to the employees, and have them wash and keep track of themselves, or do you have them leave the aprons at the store and wash them ?


This is something that I am real fussy about. All the staff MUST wear an apron in the kitchen. They must NEVER wear their apron outside. I purchase the aprons and wash them here at the store (yes I have a washer and dryer here). Once every three months I send them out to be dry cleaned.

The aprons I use are the type with a bib and they must be worn as they were intended and not folded at the waist. My belief is the apron serves two purposes, first it is to protect objects that may be on the employees clothing from falling into the food and second it protects the staffs clothing(uniforms) from being stained by the food.

all new hires (except drivers) are given an apron… they take it home and take care of it. if they stain it screw it up due to negligence, we issue them another one for the cost of the apron, which is $7 (btw, we have the logo embroidered on it.)

I do just like Daddio does except I have never had them dry cleaned. It is so nice to have a washer and dryer in the store!!!

Richard I wonder if in your area with so few workers you could get away with making the staff wash their own aprons and/or make them pay for lost or damaged ones…

All kitchen help wears aprons in our store.

They are given to the employees to wear and take home, then there is a “surplus” of them at the store as well.

I wash the aprons and hang them up weekly, even still, even though I’m not able to work…it’s the least I can do to still feel “useful” while I see what will go on with my back.

All kitchen staff wear aprons, hats and disposable gloves. I take them home nightly along with the tea towels and sanitise / wash them each day.


It is so much easier just to have them leave them here and not have to worry that they really have been washed. I was a driver for a place that had their staff take their uniforms including the apron home and you could tell most of them only got washed if they had spilled sauce on them. Not my idea of a clean uniform.

I wash all of our aprons myself (I do the terry towels as well.) You’re right, Cintas is very pricey for this service. We dropped them to start doing it ourselves.

I have about 60 aprons and I do the wash once per week. Before using Cintas I issued each employee an apron and it was their responsibility to keep it clean. Guys that work 4 or 5 times per week aren’t going to wash that apron every night; they’d come in for most shifts with soiled aprons. You could issue them 4 or 5 aprons, but then they tend to disappear.

And of course, there would be 1 or 2 times per week that somebody forgot their apron. It’s a health code violation here to not use an apron, so I’d have to give them one out of our store backups. It was then their job to take it home and wash it and we tended to never see them again.

It’s much easier to wash them yourself. If you can’t fit a washer in your restaurant just take them home. I do them all from home, and the price for washing all 60 of them is probably under a dollar.

Not sure if you were looking at Cintas for towels too, but that was a MAJOR ripoff. They charged 22 cents per towel. Sam’s club sells terry towels for 21 cents each. It would have been cheaper to buy them and throw them away after one use than to use Cintas. Based on the inventory rundown of towels that I see, they last on average about 15 washes!

We have a laundry company that we use to clean our aprons,towels and door rugs in the dining room.Our waitresses are giving one apron that they must keep clean. If they want more we charge them $10.

We use Spirit Services, and get a reasonable price as far as professional services go. We will break our contract at its next renewal to save costs. It turns out we have a laundromat and laundry service opening up shop about 40 yards down the property from us (they are renting from US as we own the property).

We are going to barter food for laundry services. So, we buy a gross of kitchen towels at 17 cents apiece, a case of aprons, and send them to be washed once a week at the laundry for the cost of some food. We don’t have to do it ourselves, they get a business account to keep their staff busy, and we pay out maybe $25 a month in food costs. Lots of goodwill to be had by all if it works out. [size=2](yes we will have some sort of written agreement about the laundry and what we expect matched together with what they agree to provide)[/size]

i have a service that does our aprons, rags and floor mats. in a pinch i have washed my own aprons, what is the trick to not getting all the strings of the aprons all tangled in a huge knot? It takes forever to loosen them!

Hey that’s half the fun doing it yourself.

Great to see what sort of patience you have or not. :?


Been a bit of study on why tangles occur:

Dorian Raymer, a biophysicist at the University of California, San Diego, often found himself with unwanted tangles. “Headphones in my backpack would inevitably come out knotted,” he says, and he wanted to know why. Though there is a branch of mathematics called knot theory, it doesn’t explain the probability that a particular piece of string will knot when it is tumbled about, so Raymer and colleague Douglas Smith devised a series of experiments to find out.

They dropped pieces of string of various lengths into a 30-centimetre cubic box and spun it around for 10 seconds. They then took digital images and used a computer to help identify the knots that formed.

The shortest string to become knotted was 46 centimetres long. Strings 1.5 metres long formed a knot about half the time, but longer strings were no more likely to knot. Like headphone cables, the longer strings tended to form more complicated knots, with the string crossing itself up to 11 times. Surprisingly, almost all the knots were “prime knots” - knots which can’t be broken down into a collection of smaller knots.

Spinning the box longer increased the chance of a knot, but spinning it fast made knotting less likely, probably because the string was flung up against the sides (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0611320104).

So what to do with the apron strings? Conventional wisdom says to reduce the number of free ends. So knot the ends together before washing. It will still tangle, but not as much.

I remove the apron strings and hand-wash them and drip dry.

Um. Then how do you tie the aprons on when wearing them? I may have misunderstood “remove the apron strings”. Try tying them all together in one large knot and then using a front loading washer and drier. We have done tying each individual apron strings together, and it does a fair job of making it possible to untangle quicker.

And do you wash the aprons as well as the strings them selves? :slight_smile:

After the apron strings are dry (yes, I hand wash those seperately being the aprons get the machine), take one end of the apron string and put it underneath the shirt clip of a ball point pen.

Put the pen in the hole and bunch the “canal” of the apron to where the pen top comes out the other end, pull, voila…restrung apron.

Too simple to do.

I wash the aprons here at home myself, I don’t have the convenience of front loading equipment.

I can certainly admire your commitment to cleaning the aprons. Neither my wife nor I have the time to devote to your process. We would rather buy new aprons every week, given the time it would take to dismantle and rebuild 20 aprons. They are the economy kind that have the strings sewn onto the garment.

It does make me wonder if more people do take the strings off the aprons.

Nick when ever I do a “chore” I make sure it really has the best effect on my bottom line…Could the time spent doing laundry be better spent “marketing”?..Also, I went to the local food court yesterday and noticed the staff in all 3 units (this is not the big city) were wearing dingy aprons in a mish mash of flavours…I think bright, clean, logoed and consistent aprons would do more for the bottom line than the few $$$s saved by cleaning them yourself…

Well, I just do the apron washing out of gratitude.

I mean, previously mentioned quirks aside…I do enjoy my job, and my employer…so if I can wash the aprons and save him some money that can be used on marketing or other equipment…why not?

Right now, I’m not able to do my shift manager job because my back has deteriorated more than I ever knew it was…so between washing aprons at no cost and now doing customer call-backs…hey, my boss didn’t HAVE to keep me, so why not show him he’s appreciated?