Taco Bell Used Streetwear Influence for New Employee Apparel
Taco Bell just dropped a pretty sylish pair of Crocs (which sounds like an oxymoron, I know), and now is giving its employees a new chance to look cool at work.
The fast food chain just announced this week that it will partner with Brooklyn artist Ricardo Gonzalez, known as It's a Living, for special edition uniforms.
This kind of thing is becoming more common, especially in the fast food world, where companies not only are giving employees options for different "outfits" within the realm of the uniform, but also creating special edition shirts that coincide with specific events or times of year. We saw it most recently with Chipotle's Pride Month uniform T-shirts for employees.
The Taco Bell T-shirts are black, and feature a very retro neon decoration on the back that says "Family is everything." The look also includes purple and black hats. It's probably not food-safe, but it would go great with the Crocs slides that Taco Bell just released, too.
Also, the apparel comes in special boxes that have a very luxury-product vibe to them, complete with both the designer and Taco Bell's logos.
"We're making sure they have a uniform they're excited about," chief people and transportation officer for Taco Bell Kelly McCulloch said to Restaurant Business. "It's our way of tipping our hat to the team member. We see you. We know you're working hard. We want you to feel good when working for us."
It's sort of a play on the idea of a company store, where employees can get special branded gear only for employees to show their pride. This takes it a step further and allows them to feel that sense of cool and individual expression while they're on the job, and treats the workers like, you know, people – people who want to express themselves while still adhering to a branded look.
The T-shirts will be shipped to Taco Bell locations, and can be kept in their uniform rotations for as long as they want, meaning if the employees want to wear them for this month only, they can. But, if they want to wear them for their whole time at Taco Bell, they can do that, too.
"I am energized and excited about partnering with yet another inspiring artist at the intersection of culture and style," said Taylor Montgomery, Taco Bell's chief marketing officer, US, in a press release. "A community can often be found in the most unlikely places, and that's what this collab is all about – recognizing the incredible community in our restaurants responsible for making the Taco Bell experience a unique one."
This underscores how important it is to make uniforms and worker apparel that is not only functional, but stylish, too. For one, the worker should feel good in it and feel a sense of pride. But, from the customer perspective, it creates a cool aesthetic for the business, in this case Taco Bell, and the person might have a greater impression of it based on the look of the employees alone. It's important to stay current.
Streetwear inspirations are all the rage right now. Tie in some packaging for an "unboxing" experience, and blur the line between street clothes and work clothes, and you have a successful apparel promotion that can live in two different worlds.