Mark Sargeant opened Rocksalt in Folkestone, Kent, last summer and wanted a uniform company to complete the look and brand for his first solo venture.
"The Oliver Harvey brand was recommended to me by a long-standing chef friend who had used it in his restaurant," says Sargeant. "I had used other uniform companies and brands before but was looking for something a little bit different for my own restaurant, both in the kitchens and front of house. I wanted more than just a supplier and that's what Oliver Harvey was offering. We discussed the look and feel of the restaurant, bar and open kitchen and they came up with some great suggestions for both the chefs and the waiting staff.
"Samples duly followed and were discussed by the head chef and senior management team who whittled down the selection and quickly agreed on a final combination of colours and fabrics. The wall tiles in the kitchen at Rocksalt are predominantly a smoked grey colour so we opted to have a similar colour for the chefs' jackets to provide a point of difference to the standard white jacket. These were teamed with a high-quality, adjustable black apron with a discreet logo taken from the Rocksalt name.
"The choice of front of house uniform was also an easy one to make. We wanted to move away from black trousers and white or black shirts, so taking reference from the water in the harbour by the restaurant, we chose blue Oxford shirts and khaki chinos. Their aprons are a similar grey to the chefs' jackets. Further samples were sent in a range of sizes so we could see the finished look on several staff members.
"Of course cost is always going to be a consideration but just as important is form and functionality. All chefs and front of house staff want a uniform that is comfortable, hard wearing, fit for purpose and easy to maintain. What we believe we have achieved is a perfect combination of all of these, along with a competitive price, from a company that clearly cares. And it's a British company as well, which also adds a certain element of ‘cool'," he adds.
For more information on Oliver Harvey chefswear, visitwww.oliverharvey.co.uk