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Entrepreneurs Panel

Michael Oliver
Charlie Mullins
Julie Meyer
Jeremy Roberts
Brian Hay
Debbie Pierce
David Pollock
Jennie Johnson
Richard O'Sullivan
Laura Tenison
Steve Purdham
Tony Caldeira

Uniform resistance

Jennie Johnson

Jennie Johnson set up nursery chain Kids Allowed in 2003 when she struggled to find suitable childcare. Kids Allowed was recently awarded Nursery Chain of the Year 2010 by Nursery World magazine.


I run a small chain of cafes and I’d like to introduce a staff uniform but I’m meeting with some resistance. Do you have any advice?


Uniforms are great for sectors like yours. They promote the company and ensure team members are readily identifi able to your customers. For the team, it’s one less thing to think about in the morning, it creates a sense of belonging and they can even get a small tax break towards the cleaning costs!

Don’t impose your choice; instead, get your team involved in selecting the uniform. It doesn’t need to be traditional and boring. Nip in to any Apple store – they have funky tee-shirts that give you a feel for the company’s personality.

Things to consider: once someone wears your uniform, they are representing your company – not just in the workplace, but also to and from work – so you may need to consider a dress policy that outlines things such as expected behaviour when wearing the uniform. Also, remember people come in all shapes and sizes so select something that works and is comfortable for the majority or have a couple of different options.

Good luck!

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