It may have started back in the late 1960’s when Joe Gross began manufacturing work uniforms in South Africa, but today Chef Works supplies both front- and back-of-the-house in over 60 countries with comfortable, fashionable work ware.
“Our products are designed specifically for the person who will wear the garment for hours on end,” says COO David Roth. “But we also know that the key to our success is to combine both comfort and fashion. You don’t have to look like you’re wearing a uniform. We start with careful selection of fabrics, then move to how the product functions in its natural setting.”
Chef Works focused in the early years solely on back-of-the-house uniforms like chef coats, chef pants, aprons and headwear. “Then we began to expand into more front-of-the-house,” says Roth. “Along the way we created Cool Vent™ technology fabrics and developed our own lightweight fabric, which both won Univator awards.”
The Univator award was created by UniformMarket to showcase the best programs, ideas and innovations the industry has to offer.
“Our customers and prospects are always looking for new concepts for their uniform program and often this results in them mixing styles and colors.” One of our programs, ‘Dress the Chef,’ enables customers to ‘design’ their own looks themselves and come up with creative ideas for their uniform programs by selecting from our wide variety of product offerings,” Roth explains.
“Prior to ‘Dress the Chef,’ we would have the marketing department create sketches. We wanted to provide the customer and/or prospect with an interactive tool that could be used on a web browser or tablet in any place at any time. The tools have been highly successful and used by hundreds of customers / prospects since its launch earlier this year,” he adds.
The company’s entire “Dress the Chef” collection can simply be found by clicking on its link or using a browser to bring it up on an iPad. “You can either look under each category — coats, pants, aprons – or use our search feature to search by keywords or colors,” notes Roth.
Once customers locate the product they want, they simply drag and drop the item onto the digital mannequin and the application will dress it automatically. “You can add up to three different models. Additionally, we have a feature where you can snap a picture (using your iPad ) or load a picture (from a computer) and put your newly-dressed digital mannequins into the setting they will actually be working in. This way a manager can quickly see how well the uniform choices complement the environment,” he says.
The true benefit of “Dress the Chef” is that it dramatically shortens the decision-making process for foodservice operators, according to Roth. “Time is a precious resource in this industry. The typical process is finding a product you like, ordering samples, waiting for the samples, finding more items and repeating this process until a decision is made,” he says. “This takes a few weeks, on average. ‘Dress the Chef’ allows foodservice operators to do all this at once, giving them back weeks of their time.”
Additional features include an export feature that generates a PDF or a JPEG inclusive of all the product details selected. A background can also be placed behind the uniform selections to see how it works with location’s décor as a whole.
‘Dress the Chef’ was officially launched last May, after a year of development, testing and careful preparation, Roth says.
Currently the company is getting out the word. “We’ve emailed our customers and distributors, including all our international partners, as well, who have had some phenomenal success with the application. Of course, we have our sales force who are talking to the industry every day and using this tool to shorten the sales process and build customer confidence,” he says.
“In the coming months, Chef Works is expanding its urban collection line, which has been extremely popular and shown consistent growth trends since its official launch late last year,” he says. “Our product development team is having fun with waxed fabrics, chambray, and canvas, among some other cutting-edge designs that we are confident will continue to change the face of the culinary and hospitality industry,” Roth says.
For more information, contact the company’s customer service department.