There are a number of misconceptions about renting aprons in the restaurant industry, namely that it’s far more expensive to hire a service to supply aprons than it is to buy them yourself. But the truth is that the benefits of renting aprons are considerable when compared to purchasing and maintaining your own apron stock. Over time the cost ends up being about the same, but renting eliminates the burden of managing and maintaining your aprons in-house.
Below are the top six benefits you can expect when you rent aprons rather than purchasing them.
1. Quality of Rented Aprons Is Superior
To limit the cost of renting aprons, most restaurants choose low-quality aprons. But not only do they wear out more quickly, they don’t look as crisp and fresh in the short time they are in use.
The type, style and quality of the aprons you choose sends a message to customers. When you choose a low-quality apron, it sends a low-cost vibe to customers. When they’re paying for the ambience, it may add to the perception that menu prices are too high given the value of the experience.
Additionally, low-cost aprons rip more easily, are not as stain-resistant and will not fare as well in the hot washes that are required to sanitize them. It won’t take long before more aprons need to be purchased. Many restaurant managers will postpone the outlay for as long as possible to keep costs down, leaving employees to wear shabby-looking aprons.
2. Renting Aprons Is More Time Efficient
When restaurant managers or owners rent aprons rather than choosing to manage apron stock, they save themselves lots of time. Consider what is required in the upkeep of aprons for restaurant staff when quality and appearance are a priority.
Maintaining an Ongoing Record of Stock Managing apron stock means knowing how many aprons are on hand, which aprons have been assigned to which employees (if employees manage their own aprons) and noticing when aprons are starting to be depleted.
You will need to know when backstock is being pulled to supplement the aprons in use if you are asking employees to turn them in at the end of each shift. And if you assign aprons to employees, you will need to manage requests for replacements for ripped and lost aprons.
If employees are not expected to clean their own aprons, it falls to restaurant management to ensure aprons are washed and sanitized and that stains are treated. Doing all that takes time. A load of aprons is generated after every shift, and if they sit for too long without being washed, stains are more likely to set. That means dirty aprons are an ongoing chore. Ultimately, managing the process takes time and attention that could be better spent elsewhere.
Assessing Stock & Purchasing More as Needed
It is important to manage the overall quantity of aprons. Restaurants are hard on aprons, even those that are worn in the front of the house only. When your aprons are stained or ripped, it’s time to replace them. If they aren’t replaced, they won’t do the job or make a good impression on patrons.
3. Restaurant Apron Rentals Put Less Pressure on Employees
If you assign an apron or two to each employee and require them to maintain the aprons in an effort to be more efficient with your own time, it poses a potential strain on employees and employee–management relations. In such a case, instead of managing aprons, restaurant managers are managing write-ups and records regarding employees’ ability to maintain their uniforms.
Additionally, if aprons are lost or dirty, management will still need to provide replacements so the restaurant maintains a professional look for customers. What was done in an effort to save time can end up taking up more time.
4. Storage Is Not an Issue for Rental Aprons
If you maintain your own supply of aprons, you will need a backstock to supplement ones that are lost, torn or stained. And those aprons have to be stored somewhere.
Aprons, like everything in the restaurant industry, cost less per item when you buy in bulk. That means that a huge box of aprons will take up real estate in your limited dry goods storage areas.
You must find a storage place for them where they will be protected. You don’t want them to get mixed up with aprons that are in use as this will mess up your inventory accounting.
5. Renting Aprons Is More Cost-Effective Than Buying & Maintaining an In-House Supply
It’s not just the cost of the apron that should be considered when determining whether it’s more or less expensive to rent aprons or buy them outright. Other costs need to be considered as well, but those costs are not an issue when you hire a service to supply you with fresh, clean aprons and take the dirty ones to be cleaned and replaced as needed.
Other costs include the following:
Cost of laundry detergent and stain removers
Cost of water in washers
Cost of electricity for washers and dryers
Employee pay per hour spent on managing and maintaining aprons
All of those little costs add up, and those costs are increasing all the time, so the switch to rental aprons can save lots of money in the long run.
6. Style Flexibility Is Far Greater When Renting Aprons
There are many choices to be made every day when running a restaurant. Everything — from what is on the menu and the style of the menu to the pictures on the wall, the tablecloths and napkins, the music being played and employee uniforms — works together to create a highly curated experience for patrons. Sometimes it takes trial and error to determine what works best. It’s important to pivot and make changes as needed.
When you purchase aprons or other employee uniforms outright, it is a major investment. You have to commit to the color, design and style of the uniforms. This is a big part of what customers see when in your restaurant.
When you rent aprons, changing the color or style of your aprons is as easy as contacting your supplier. This is particularly helpful for a new restaurant that is still defining its brand.
At Alsco, we make this situation even easier by giving you the opportunity to design your own aprons and add your logo. You also can choose the color combination and style that work best for you. Anytime you’d like to make changes, we can make them easily.
Rent Aprons for Your Restaurant
If you would like to speak to someone about your options in restaurant facilities management and learn more about having your apron supply managed and maintained by Alsco, contact us today. We can start with simple options as you decide the style and look you’d like for the long term.
We’ll take care of all uniform cleaning, maintenance and storage for you. Call now to learn more about what we can do for your business.