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Different Styles of Aprons

Protect clothing from spills and stains and keep your employees looking crisp and uniform with restaurant aprons. Whether you're looking for the best chef apron or want to dress your staff in professionally color-coded attire, different styles of aprons provide a multitude of benefits for kitchens and restaurants everywhere.

Types of Aprons

Choosing the best aprons for your business will depend on their intended usage. An apron's length, coverage, and material determine how it should be used.
Woman standing in front of brown brick wall with blue outfit and black server apron with red tie

1. Server Aprons and Waist Aprons

Server and waist aprons do not provide upper body coverage. Their shorter length provides the most comfort for servers walking throughout your facility. Additionally, most include pockets so your waitstaff is able to have pens, guest checks, and beverage straws close at hand.

Who Should Buy Server Aprons: 

  • Front of the house servers
  • Bussers
  • Head waitresses or waiters 

How to Wash Server Aprons: It is recommended to machine wash server aprons and waist aprons with like colors in cold water, and then dry on a low-heat setting. Before the first use, it is suggested to wash in cold water to reduce fading and bleeding. If the color does bleed, wash it a few more times with items of like coloring to reduce any color transfer.

Chef with white 4-way apron wiping hands on top layer of apron

2. 4-Way Aprons

4-way waist aprons have 4 layers and are the perfect choice for staff that need to use their apron multiple times before they're able to wash it. If the outer layer becomes soiled, the wearer can simply switch it around to the next clean surface. These aprons will save laundering costs since your staff won't need to change aprons quite as often. 

Who Should Buy 4-Way Aprons:

  • Chefs
  • Back of house kitchen staff

How to Wash 4-Way Aprons:
It is recommended to machine wash 4-way aprons with like colors in cold water, and then dry on a low-heat setting. Before the first use, it is suggested to wash these aprons in cold water to reduce fading and bleeding. If the color does bleed, wash it a few more times with items of like coloring to reduce any color transfer.

Man standing in front of brown brick wall with blue bistro apron with black tie

3. Bistro Aprons

Just like waist aprons and 4-way aprons, bistro aprons do not provide upper body coverage. One major difference is these are long aprons and provide more coverage for pants. Additionally, most include pockets so your waitstaff is able to have pens, guest checks, and beverage straws close at hand.

Who Should Buy Bistro Aprons:

  • Front of the house staff. Their long length protects pants from stains making them great for completing messy jobs like wiping down tables

How to Wash Bistro Aprons: It is recommended to machine wash bistro aprons with like colors in cold water, and then dry on a low-heat setting. Before the first use, it is suggested to wash these aprons in cold water to reduce fading and bleeding. If the color does bleed, wash it a few more times with items of like coloring to reduce any color transfer.

Woman standing in front of brown brick wall with black bib apron

4. Bib Aprons

This traditional-style apron ties around the back of the waist and has a loose neck loop. Additionally, many full cover bib aprons feature pockets to let staff carry order pads, guest checks, thermometers, or other handy kitchen utensils with them as they're working.

Who Should Buy Bib Aprons:

  • Kitchen staff; bib aprons provide space for chefs and servers to wipe their hands and offer full body coverage that protects staff from spills and backsplash

How to Wash Bib Aprons:
It is recommended to machine wash bib aprons with like colors in cold water, and then dry on a low-heat setting. Before the first use, it is suggested to wash these aprons in cold water to reduce fading and bleeding. If the color does bleed, wash it a few more times with items of like coloring to reduce any color transfer.

Man removing dishes from table wearing a black and white pinstripe tuxedo apron

5. Tuxedo Aprons

This distinctive apron style is a more upscale version of the standard bib apron. It's perfect for pairing with a white button down shirt and bow tie for a crisp, clean look.

Who Should Buy Tuxedo Aprons: 

  • Front-of-the-house restaurant waiters and waitresses, since it helps enhance the image of your elegant dining area
  • Great for banquets and catered events

How to Wash Tuxedo Aprons: 
It is recommended to machine wash tuxedo aprons with like colors in cold water, and then dry on a low-heat setting. Before the first use, it is suggested to wash these aprons in cold water to reduce fading and bleeding. If the color does bleed, wash it a few more times with items of like coloring to reduce any color transfer.

Woman grabbing towels from janitor cart wearing a white cobbler apron

6. Cobbler Aprons

Also known as smock aprons, cobbler aprons offer both front and back coverage. The side ties are adjustable so you can make the apron more snug or loose. They're great for keeping employees shirts clean underneath, but they end around the waist or mid-thigh.

Who Should Buy Cobbler Aprons:

  • Bakeries
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Housekeeping

How to Wash Cobbler Aprons:
It is recommended to machine wash cobbler aprons with like colors in cold water, and then dry on a low-heat setting. Before the first use, it is suggested to wash these aprons in cold water to reduce fading and bleeding. If the color does bleed, wash it a few more times with items of like coloring to reduce any color transfer.

Chef moving rack of dishes in front of sink wearing a black dishwasher apron

7. Dishwasher Aprons

These waterproof aprons come in full-length designs that extend past the knees. This is particularly helpful for the dish room, as your staff is more prone to encounter large splashes. They are made of water-resistant materials and some are heat-resistant, fire retardant, and cut-resistant. These aprons will help protect clothing and skin when exposed to build-up on pots, equipment dirt and debris, grease, and chemicals.

Who Should Buy Dishwasher Aprons: 

  • Dishwasher aprons are specially-designed to help your dish washers stay dry as they clean high volumes of dishes in your restaurant, hotel, cafeteria, or assisted living community

How to Wash Dishwasher Aprons: 
Made of neoprene or vinyl materials, these aprons can easily be cleaned and maintained by simply wiping them off with a rag.

Chef holding a stainless steel pan wearing a disposable apron in a kitchen

8. Disposable Aprons

We offer disposable aprons with a full length design that ties around the back of the waist. The one piece-design easily fits around the neck.

Who Should Buy Disposable Aprons: 

  • Those working with raw meat and fish
  • Anyone slicing deli products
  • Those cleaning with harsh chemicals
  • Dishwashers
  • Bussers 

How to Wash Disposable Aprons: 
Made of water-resistant polyethylene or polypropylene, these plastic aprons can simply be thrown away when you're done using them. This also reduces the chances of cross-contamination when reusing aprons for different tasks.

Server tying a red apron around their waste

How to Tie an Apron

How should aprons be worn in the food service industry to make sure they stay tied correctly? The basic steps below illustrate how to put on an apron.

  1. Put on apron so that the front surface is covering the front of the body. Inspect where the apron falls and adjust accordingly.
  2. Take the waist drawstrings behind you and tie in a bow around your waist. If the strings are long, you can cross them behind your back and bring them around to the front to tie the bow.
  3. Pull the knot snug and tug on the apron to ensure it fits properly.

Types of Apron Fabrics

Chef in kitchen wearing a green cotton apron with brown leather accents

Poly-Cotton Aprons

Combines the wrinkle-resistance of polyester with the comfort of cotton.

Woman leaning on tan wall wearing a white denim apron

Neoprene Aprons

Heavy-duty and provides excellent chemical resistance compared to other fabrics.

Server picking up a white mug and plate wearing a blue poly-cotton apron

Denim Aprons

Provides greater strength than cotton while remaining comfortable and wrinkle-resistant.

Dishwasher carrying a rack of silverwear wearing a black neoprene apron

Cotton Aprons

Offers comfort and durability while remaining easy to clean.

Woman standing in front of window wearing a black polyester apron

Polyester Aprons

Wrinkle-resistanant with a professional appearance.

Employee carrying a stainless steel pan wearing a disposable plastic apron

Disposable Aprons

Convenient, one-time use that reduces the amount of linens to wash.

Chef moving rack of dishes in front of sink wearing a black vinyl apron

Vinyl Aprons

Stronger than disposable aprons and provides resistance to chemicals, oils, and greases.

Bartender shaking a cocktail wearing a green waxed canvas apron

Waxed Canvas Aprons

Water-resistant and wears beautifully over time, creating craze marks for an authentic look

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