A FAST-growing catering firm has adopted a new look for its workforce after the boss called in her mother and friends for the final seal of approval.
Tania Dixon has seen her specialist contract catering firm, Ginger Snap, expand rapidly since she founded the enterprise in her parents’ Perthshire kitchen in 2006.
Now she needs up to 40 staff at a time to prepare and serves food for exclusive functions, including the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s VIP event.
She turned to corporate couture specialist NKD Clothing in Edinburgh to revamp her staff image selecting the finished look after a viewing for the toughest possible – friends and family.
Tania, who started the business with a £1000 grant from Business Gateway and is now set to turnover £300,000, said: “It was such an important decision I wanted to get it absolutely right.
“So I asked if my mum and a couple of friends could come along and look through the various designs. I’m so glad I did that, because their input and opinions made a difference.
“The friends who were involved also help out with events so actually wear the uniforms as well. Having my mum there also made sure it felt like a real family affair.”
Scottish PR success for NKD Clothing
NKD Clothing is one of the country’s leading designers of bespoke and stylish staff uniforms and work wear. It recently added Fraser Suites to an already impressive client list which includes five star visitor attractions, boutique hotels, restaurants and bars across the UK.
Zander Bruce, Project Manager with NKD Clothing, said: “We always encourage clients to get involve their people in the process, like getting staff to try on the uniforms and even take them home to wash.
“However, this is probably the first time we’ve had a client bring along their mum and best friends. That’s the kind of thing you would associate with a bride choosing a wedding dress, so it shows exactly how important these uniforms are to Tania and Ginger Snap.”
The new outfits are a clean, classic uniform in navy with a double pinstripe blouse or shirt, a bespoke apron with the Ginger Snap logo embroidered on the buckle and a specifically designed pocket which is big enough for business cards but too small for any other items.
Tania, 27, who lives in Edinburgh’s New Town, is delighted with the contemporary new look, which replaced slightly dated uniforms she inherited from a previous catering business set up by her parents. Her 40 part-time waitressing staff say the new uniforms are more comfortable.
One waitress, Louisa Laing, 21, an Edinburgh University student, added: “We’ve switched from trousers to a skirt and we definitely look much smarter and as a result we all feel much more like a unit.”
Building an excellent reputation
Ginger Snap is still based in Tania’s family home near Auchterarder though she moved from her parents’ house into a purpose-built commercial kitchen in a converted stable after 18 months.
The former Kilgraston School and Newcastle University student is closely involved in all food preparation and is building an enviable reputation with dishes including mini fish and chips served in hand-produced newspaper cones and mini Eggs Benedict canapés.
She said: “We always get plenty of praise and comments about our signature dishes, with people asking where we buy the fish and chip cones, when in fact we painstakingly make each one by hand ourselves.
“It’s fantastic that we are now getting lots of feedback about the uniforms as well. The girls are much more comfortable wearing them, that means they are much happier and we get lots of compliments about how cheery our staff are.”
Zander at NKD Clothing said the design team was also pleased with the final outcome.
He added: “It’s always fun to work with clients who are open to exploring ideas and are deeply invested in what their staff will be wearing and how it promotes their brand.”
NKD Clothing, which employs nine people, has built an impressive reputation by offering individuality, attention to detail and use of the best fabrics for businesses which are committed to success through superior quality.
Already fast-tracked by Scottish Enterprise as a potential high-growth company, NKD Clothing is also now being marketed around the world by the influential Globalscot network.