Clothing the Wait Staff

The typical clothing uniform for a caterers wait staff is black pants and a black (or white) button-down shirt. While this clothing requirement is generally acceptable for most occasions, don’t forget to consider making special requests if you want to customize your event.

For example, you could request that the serving staff wear Hawaiian shirts for a catered lunch or barbeque. The colorful clothing adds flair to the event without too much effort. If you are looking to spend a little extra money, you can order the shirts yourself to make sure the design matches your own esthetic. You can also save some money by visiting a local thrift store and selecting a variety of Hawaiian shirts for the wait staff.

For a more formal event, you can ask that the wait staff dress in tuxedos or chef’s coats. Generally, this is going to add a significant cost to the overall budget. Tuxedos, specifically, will cost more as there is a greater range of sizes and styles. Chef’s coats come in only a few sizes and can easily fit over a base layer of the serving staff’s own clothes. You can buy these coats yourself and provide them on the night of the event. Make sure to tell your caterer of your plans.

For a younger crowd, provide the wait staff with superhero t-shirts, fun hats, or colorful wigs. Again, let the caterer know ahead of time. Some professional servers take their work very seriously and might frown on wearing a comic book t-shirt or pink wig.
Generally, your wait staff will try to act as inconspicuous as possible. However, encouraging them to dress up and interact with your guests can be an easy way to make your event more memorable.