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The 12 ways of furnishing and decorating a pub, café or restaurant at Christmas – and beyond

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We all know that Christmas has 12 days, but no one is sure exactly why; the reason is lost in the mists of history. For most western Christians, Christmas is the biggest celebration in the religious calendar, and the number 12 has special importance, appearing many times in the Bible: the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 disciples, and so on. So it seems likely that Christmas’s 12 days are simply an expression of its importance as a festival.

In most Christian calendars, the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day, December 25, and end on January 5, the Feast of the Epiphany (when the divine nature of Jesus was revealed to the Three Wise Men).

In some traditions, a gift is given on each day of the 12 days of Christmas (hence the popular carol). So, in the spirit of this tradition, here are 12 furniture and interiors ideas for owners of restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés, for Christmas – and beyond.

1: Be generous

Over the Christmas period, small inexpensive gestures can go a long way, creating goodwill among your customers. So: if you run a café or restaurant, have a row of candy canes hanging somewhere on your counter and offer them free to children on their way out (but check with the parents first: some might not appreciate giving their children a sugary treat). Have a big basket of Christmas crackers on your counter and offer to pull one with selected customers. Perhaps, too, you could team up with the charity of your choice and donate a percentage of all sales of, say, a particular type of coffee – and afterwards, let your customers know how much you have raised.

2: Rein it in

Let’s face it: Christmas can be overdone. Too many decorations, too much tinsel and suchlike – it can all become overwhelming, cluttered and naff. So don’t go overboard. Tinsel is tacky. Concentrate on the colours of Christmas – red and green – and introduce these through table linen, napkins, plants and flowers, candles. Glass containers filled with coloured baubles and pine cones are attractive and tasteful. Christmas lights, if they are done well, can look properly Christmassy.

3: Set out your stall

If you have space outside the front of your café, you could set up a stall selling Christmas treats – cups of hot mulled wine, mince pies and coffee. All that’s needed is a trestle table or two and some festive-coloured paper tablecloths, perhaps with fairy lights draped around it (see below). You could also offer free samples of items such as your brownies or cakes. It’s a good way of attracting passing shoppers and getting them to linger and take note of your establishment.

4: Sofa, so good

Beyond Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead and how you can improve your interior. Do you have a large wall that seems somewhat empty or a space that’s not properly used? A sofa could be the answer. Increasingly, pubs, bars and cafés are using sofas – and armchairs – to create a homely, comfortable environment. Placing one against a wall, along with a low table, is a good use of space and will encourage customers to linger for longer. Leather and faux-leather are good materials as they are easier to clean when the inevitable spillages occur.

5: Case studies

Another way to encourage customers to stay longer is to install a bookcase and fill it with books for them to browse. Secondhand books are not expensive. You could even turn a bookshelf into a mini-libary. Cuts in public spending over the past few years have led to the closure of many public libraries. In reponse, micro-libraries have been springing up across the country, many of them located in small spaces such as old telephone boxes. They operate purely on trust: anyone is free to take a book away, as long as they return it, or replace it with another. So by encouraging your customers to borrow books, you are also encouraging them to come back to your pub or café.

6: High concept

The space alongside a window can sometimes be wasted in bars and cafés. A high shelf with a line of stools could help to fill it. The shelf of course needs to be stable and well secured so that customers feel that they can lean on it with confidence. High “poseur” stools give customers somewhere to perch. It doesn’t have to be super-comfortable; spaces such as these are best for people who are popping in for a quick drink or snack.

7: Space: the final frontier

New Year is a good time to take stock of your establishment and perhaps make some changes. Take a critical look at the way your furniture is arranged. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and walk around. Do you find that you have to swerve to avoid bumping into tables and chairs? Is there a clear route to the toilets? Would you be better off with round tables rather than square ones? Would new pub or café furniture brighten the place up? Can you remember what it’s like to come home from holiday and suddenly you see your house with all its faults, almost as if for the first time? Try to repeat this with your pub/café/restaurant interior. It’s easy, for instance, to overlook scuffed and tatty walls. A lick of paint and some fresh new furniture will make a world of difference.

8: Great outdoors

At this time of year it may be hard to imagine those balmy days of spring and summer, but perhaps now is a good time to start thinking about your outside area (if you have one). Today’s outdoor furniture is durable, weatherproof and often stackable. And with many of Trent Furniture’s outdoor furniture currently being offered at a reduced price (such as the Monaco natural wicker stacking chair), now is a good time to invest so that you will be ready for the warmer months.

9: Take the lead

If you run a pub, is it dog-friendly? If not, have you thought about making it one? Britain has around 8.5 million dog owners. By making it known that you welcome dogs – through signage, advertising and social media – you could tap into this market. It doesn’t take much to keep dogs – and their owners – happy: place bowls of water around the place and make the dog owners (and their dogs) feel welcome – say hello to the dogs, pat them, offer them dog treats. Pub companies such as London’s Three Cheers make a point of publicising their dog-friendly pubs. You might need to think about your furniture: dogs will scratch and bite table and chair legs, so perhaps you’d be best with cast iron furniture – Trent Furniture has a wide range.

10:Sign up for a chalkboard

Chalkboards are a fun way of attracting the attention of passers-by to your pub or café. An amusing slogan, a joke or a clever phrase, changed frequently, will get people to stop, and perhaps take pictures. For inspiration and ideas, check online or scroll through these examples from The Poke.

11: Home comforts

There was a time when most pubs were austere places. The choice of drinks was limited to beer and spirits. The furniture was usually hard and unforgiving. The customers were mostly men. These days pubs are warmer, softer places; women and even children are welcome, wine, soft drinks and coffee are served. Customers are more demanding: they want their home comforts, softer furniture, cushions, perhaps even rugs. So when you’re having a New Year rethink of your interior, consider buying a batch of cushions – they add colour as well as comfort. A throw or rug will go well with a sofa (see above) or an armchair. Your customers will thank you for it.

12: Keeping the spirit of Christmas alive

Once Christmas is over, the world can seem bleak and cheerless. But while the decorations and lights may have to come down (should it happen on the 5th or 6th of January? Opinions differ), these days it’s common to have fairy lights twinkling all year round in pubs, cafés and restaurants. Today’s LED lights are reliable and the light from them is crisp and bright. Trail them around your counter area, along shelves or across walls to add year-round sparkle and brightness. And when the weather warms up, they can add a magical sparkle to an outside area, a garden or a terrace.

Hotel Furniture Buying – All the Things You Need to Know Before you Buy

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Hotel furniture is a broad area to cover. There is plenty to think about and so many rooms that need different types of furniture to fill. To help, we’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know when buying furniture for a hotel.

Hotel furniture - buying basics:

What types of hotel furniture do you need?

Buying hotel furniture for the rooms, reception, restaurant and additional areas can be a daunting task. It’s important to plan the process in advance so that you know what’s needed and how much furniture will fit into each space. Find out how to get it right with hotel furniture. 

hotle lobby furniture

Hotel furniture options

Hotel furniture is broad and can range from the bedroom to the bar, therefore there is a breadth of colour options available. Learn how your furniture choices affect the colours.

Chairs and sofas

Any hospitality business needs to have a suitable amount of seating to provide comfort, but hotel seating perhaps comes with the highest level of expectation. Here are seating options for all around your hotel. 

Catering for all generations

When buying hotel furniture, it’s worth having something for guests of all ages. Here’s why you should use versatile furniture in your hotel that caters to all generations.

exotic hotel

Customer bases:

Appealing to upmarket customers

Buying hotel furniture for upmarket rooms doesn't have to be difficult (or costly). This article provides advice on the furniture to use if you’re looking to add a sense of luxury.

Appealing to customers on a budget

Appealing to budget customers doesn’t mean sacrificing a welcoming environment. The right hotel furniture at the right price can be appealing without having to pass the high costs on to your customers. 

Making your hotel dog-friendly

Letting pets into your hotel can be daunting, but is it worth missing out on a large market that wants to bring their dog on holiday with them? If you’re considering making the change, here are some furniture tips for dog-friendly hotels.

outdoors hotel pool and furniture

Hotel design:

Channelling your hotel’s British heritage

While trends come and go, hotel furniture that conveys Britain's heritage is consistently the way to make tourists happy. Here are some design tips for creating a hotel filled with British heritage.

What is the future of hotel furniture?

We’ve spoken about the developing trends shaping the hotel furniture market but what does the future hold? 

Buying hotel furniture for small rooms

Small rooms shouldn’t compensate comfort. There is a range of layouts and furniture options that can add to a compact room.

wodden traditional hotel furniture

No boundaries – the modern hotel layout

Hotel furniture has to serve several purposes and new research indicates that the boundaries are more blurred than ever before. The millennial generation, in particular, look for less clearly defined spaces in the hotel environment. Discover what customer’s look for in hotel furniture.  

Using sofas throughout hotel

Hotel owners want to accommodate as many paying customers as possible, and one of the single best items you can invest in is a sofa because of its versatility. Here are sofas best uses in a hotel.  

Putting furniture near plug sockets

Historically, hotels have tended to hide plug sockets behind desks and panelling but it’s becoming more important for hotels to position their seating near electrical outlets.

Getting customers to enjoy the view

You don’t need to be surrounded by breath-taking views for this one – you’ll be surprised what visitors from further afield consider to be an interesting view. Having comfortable furniture positioned by a window will give visitors a chance to stop, take a break and watch the world pass by. Here are recommendations for furniture fit for the job.

Seasonal hotel tips:

Getting ready for Christmas

There is a sense of festivities and celebration when travelers getaway around the Christmas period. Learn how hotel furniture can get your hotel in the Christmas spirit.

Hotel furniture for Valentine’s Day

Being whisked away for a weekend break is a great romantic gesture. Here are tips for lush and luxurious hotel furniture that add a stylish sparkle to romantic getaways for Valentine's Day.

The birth of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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The birth of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

It all started in America, where Thanksgiving Day is a huge national holiday. Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday – the fourth Thursday in November - and over the years, the next day, Friday, became the day when millions of Americans go shopping. It became so busy, in fact, that in the 1960s the traffic congestion and sheer numbers of shoppers led to the day after Thanksgiving being described, pejoratively, as “Black Friday”.

The name stuck, though these days Black Friday is seen as a good thing, and it has since become America’s busiest shopping day of the year, the day when stores open all night and shoppers go mad – and sometimes fight and brawl - for bargains.

Then, just over a decade ago, when online commerce was becoming the enormous business that it is today, a group of online retailers in the US decided to extend the Thanksgiving/shopping weekend and introduced Cyber Monday. As well as being a big day for discounts at online stores such as Amazon, this is a day that offers smaller retailers with an online presence the chance to compete with the big stores.

Each year since 2005 has seen a substantial rise in US online retail receipts on Cyber Monday. And both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have spread across the world, with retailers in the UK now offering substantial discounts. (Unfortunately some of the more unpleasant side-effects, such as fighting on Black Friday, have come to the UK too.)

A Brief History of Online Shopping 

But let’s rewind for a moment and look at the history of online shopping. These days, online shopping is part of everyday life; all kinds of goods and services, from Hula Hoops to holidays, are just a few clicks away. Although shoppers had been ordering items online for several decades from the 1970s onwards, the first real e-commerce transaction – ordered and paid for online, with full encryption – took place in 1994. Dan Cohn, then a 21-year-old entrepreneur in New Hampshire, sold a copy of Sting’s album Ten Summoner’s Tales for $12.48, plus shipping costs, which was bought and paid for with a credit card by a friend.

What followed was an explosion of online transactions, with internet giants such as Amazon growing fat on the boom, and with customers secure in the knowledge that with digital encryption their transactions are secure.

And where America leads, others follow. In the past 20 years the UK has become the third largest e-commerce market in the world.

More than 92 per cent of the UK’s population is connected to the internet, and in 2015, 77 per cent of them made an online purchase – the highest proportion of online shoppers in Europe. Selling online gives even the smallest online retailer access to this vast market. Twenty years ago, someone who makes, for instance, handmade jewellery, would have had to set up a stall or a shop, or persuade stores to stock their products. Now, geography is no impediment; anyone can sell almost anything from almost anywhere. Alongside the growth in e-commerce there has been a boom in logistics companies fulfilling orders speedily and efficiently. 

What Do We Buy Online?

So, what kind of things do we now buy on the internet? The most popular items are electronics, video games, computers and phones. Fashion and clothing are also popular. The furniture business was initially slow to adopt e-commerce but it is now catching up. 
What drives consumers online?

Chiefly, of course, it’s the convenience of being able to buy from a computer. Consumers are attracted by sites that offer plenty of information and a comprehensive visual display of the products – in other words, good images. Online reviews are also an important factor – a survey a couple of years ago found that 77 per cent of British consumers consult online reviews before purchasing. Additionally, many customers will research products online before visiting a showroom, and these so-called “bricks-and-clicks” operators have become an important part of the furniture industry. 

The Price Must Be Right

The main driver of online shopping is price. Online shoppers have become canny. They are able to compare prices very quickly and will often wait for prices to go down. Which brings us to Cyber Monday, the day of discounting which this year falls on November 27. More than a quarter of UK consumers will buy something on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday offers a chance for consumers – whether individuals or businesses – to grab the bargains that they might have missed on Black Friday, and also to avoid the crowds of jostling Black Friday shoppers.

Cyber Furniture

A growing proportion of items bought on Cyber Monday are furniture purchases, the majority of which will be domestic. But contract furniture suppliers are also capitalising on the growth in sales over the discounting period and offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday reductions.

Among them is Trent Furniture. This long-established firm, based in the East Midlands, sells attractive, hard-wearing furniture for pubs, cafés, restaurants, banqueting, and so on. Although Trent Furniture has a warehouse and showroom near Leicester, it is a “bricks-and-clicks” retailer with a substantial online presence. Potential online buyers can browse in an attractive, easy-to-navigate environment. Strong and clear images with informative text on the website ensure that buyers know exactly what they are getting. 

For this year’s Cyber Monday, for one day only, Trent Furniture is offering 5 per cent off all purchases – a substantial saving in these days of tight margins and squeezed revenues. This 5 per cent discount also applies to Trent Furniture’s packages, which offer a co-ordinated collection of matching furniture. Trent Furniture has control over all aspects of the furniture manufacturing process, which means that it can ensure that its packages of matching furniture really do co-ordinate. Delivery is normally within 10-14 days on stocked items.
As mentioned earlier, a powerful driver for online purchases is customer reviews. 

Trent Furniture’s Google reviews make very good reading – out of 188 Google reviews, the average rating for Trent Furniture is 4.9 out of 5 stars. Whatever the purchase - from conference chairs to sofas for a church’s lounge area - the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. 

These reductions apply only during Cyber Monday, November 27 2017. But of course it’s worth remembering that throughout the rest of the year, Trent Furniture continues to offer high-quality furniture at very competitive prices.

Creative ways to Save Space in your Event Venue using Stacking Chairs

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As leading commercial furniture specialists, we work with a range of different establishments. Because of this, Trent Furniture understands the demands of running a business where space is an issue. The flexible nature of the hospitality sector means that the purpose of your venue can often drastically change overnight – one event or function might require a large open space, while another might have to seat dozens of people. 

restaurant furniture - wooden stacking chairs around tables

For those big occasions when you need extra seating, stacking chairs can provide an excellent cost-effective solution. The flexibility of stackable units ensures that storage is as easy and hassle-free as possible through efficient space-saving designs. When not in use, stacking chairs can be stored away out of sight in even the most modest storerooms and cupboards thanks to their compact interlocking mechanism.

We’ve put together a short guide on how to use stacking chairs as an effective space-saving solution for a range of hospitality businesses, from cafes and bars to restaurants and clubs. 

The Benefits of Stacking Chairs for Restaurants

Did you know that Brits eat out on average 1.5 times per week? That means that the industry demands millions of seats every single day, making compact and lightweight units essential. 

stacking chairs in UK cafe

As no establishment wants to miss out on potential customers, it’s vital to have additional flexible seating available. Whether you simply want to expand your current dining area or simply provide spare seating for larger groups, purchasing some stacking chairs for your restaurant is certainly a good idea.

Units such as the Lyron Stacking Chair perfectly blend comfort and aesthetics through a sleek and ergonomic design. The timeless dark oak finish blends in with both traditional and modern décor, making the Lyron a great solution for a range of different eateries. 

Cafe Outside Expansion Using Stacking Chairs

Are you extra busy when the sun is shining? During the summer months, many cafes experience a surge in business as passers-by pop in while enjoying the weather. Stacking chairs provide an excellent opportunity to expand outside, which not only increases the capacity but delivers a much more pleasant way to unwind with a refreshing drink. 

restaurant stacking chairs outside for eating

Stacking chairs have evolved to a point where they can effortlessly combine aesthetics and practicality. The Monaco Wood Effect Stacking Chair is an excellent example of how outdoor furniture can be both compact and stylish in just one cost-effective package. 

Space Saving in Bars with Stacking Chairs and Seating

Bustling bars and clubs often face one major issue on a Saturday night – a lack of available seating for customers. Nothing sours an atmosphere more than a lack of available space to relax and bars without adequate seating could potentially be losing thousands in revenue. 

black and white vintage stacking chairs in cafe setting

In such a fast-paced industry, flexibility is a must. The ability to suddenly increase or decrease the capacity of a bar is vital to achieving the right layout for a lively and relaxing vibe. 

For modern bars seeking a more contemporary edge, the Crossback Stacking Chair provides sleek looks alongside its space-saving measures. With a distinctive and stainproof design, the Crossback Chair is more than capable of providing additional seating without compromising on style. 

Pubs and Beer Garden Stacking Chair Solutions

Pubs can often be faced with busy periods throughout the year, from birthday parties to public holidays and sports matches. 

Pub landlords must also consider the importance of outdoor use. Beer gardens often operate on a seasonal basis, meaning that it’s essential to have some furniture ready for patrons when the summer rolls around. Ideal for outdoor use, the Monaco Aluminium Stacking Chair offers a water-resistant finish for easy maintenance. 

Wedding Venue Seating

Every year, weddings bring thousands of people to venues all across the UK. These huge events transform usually quiet spaces into busy functions which must cater for a wide variety of people. With many couples opting to invite over 100 guests, the issue of seating is one that frequently arises. 

Thankfully, stacking chairs are able to provide a cost-effective way to seat large numbers of people without breaking the bank. A collection of Ascot Stacking Chairs can easily equip any location with the ability to host a wedding while still providing a high-quality finish perfect for the big day.

Hotel Conferences and Event Seats

Hotels often serve as meeting points for networking events, conferences and conventions across the UK.  As huge numbers descend upon the venue, hotels must be prepared to rapidly expand their function room facilities in order to cope with the demand. Thankfully, stacking chairs once again provide an ideal solution. Perfect for storing seating before large events, chairs can be stacked up to ten units high to ensure that plenty can be stored in preparation for busier periods. 

Equipping rooms with adequate seating can also pose significant challenges as layout changes mean that furniture must be moved rapidly. Stacking chairs can also be combined with other stacking units such as tables to quickly and effectively furnish guest rooms with compact and attractive furniture. 

Sports Clubs and Bar Stacking Chairs

As well as providing leisure facilities, many sports clubs must also cater for presentation evenings and award ceremonies. In addition to this, events such as children’s birthday parties should offer some seating for tired partygoers and for the supervising parents to step out for some rest. 

The Islington Stacking Chair provides a perfect solution for any leisure facility in need of seating for a club or an event. Featuring soft plastic feet, the Islington Stacking Chair ensures that the wooden floors of gyms and leisure centres stay protected and scratch-free.

What's Next?

So, there we have it – Trent Furniture’s guide on how to maximise your venue’s space with our wide variety of stacking chairs. We’ve seen that many of the challenges faced by small restaurants, hotels and other hospitality sector businesses can be tackled by using stacking chairs as an effective space-saving solution. With the ability to condense your furniture into a highly compact stacked solution, many businesses can now afford to expand their offerings during their busiest periods. 

Trent Furniture is a leading supplier of high-quality contract and commercial furniture. With a long and established company history, we pride ourselves on supplying quality solutions to pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants all over the UK.

To learn more about Trent Furniture and what we do, please feel free to contact a member of our team on 0116 2982 711 or email us at sales@pubfurnitureuk.co.uk.

The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts

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The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts
Furniture matters. Whether you’re setting up a café from scratch or refurnishing/refurbishing an existing one, furniture is important for a number of reasons. First, it sets the tone. Are you modernist, trendy industrial chic, traditional, or eclectic? Your furniture will convey a message about what kind of café you are. 

Second, furniture plays a vital role in determining the “flow” of your customers and staff. And third, if your furniture is uncomfortable, your customers will not come back. So here are the very best 30 ideas from the experts to help you decide what kind of furniture to buy, and where to put it.

The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts – Tips 1 – 10:

Tip 1 - Know your customers.

If your café is in the heart of a traditional British market town, your customers will be more traditionally minded, which might mean tablecloths, cake stands, and furniture made from wood rather than metal. On the other hand, customers in an urban café might expect bare brickwork, reclaimed wood surfaces, metal chairs and concrete floors. Most cafés will cross over between different styles, but it’s important to think about the type of people your café attracts and to furnish accordingly.

Tip 2 - Look at your café through the eyes of your customers. 

Try to take a step back and imagine you are a customer. What are your first impressions? Imagine you have been away for a long time and are coming back to you café. Does it look a bit tatty and threadbare? The things that you have got used to, the flaws and problems that you might overlook, are the things that your customers will notice immediately. 

Tip 3 - Visit other cafés.

Take a notebook and make a note of what’s good, and what’s bad.  Observe how customers move through the café and how they make their way to their tables. Check out the big high street chains such as Starbucks and Costa. They may be anonymous corporate behemoths, but they are successful for a reason. 

Tip 4 - Think long and hard about “flow”. 

This means planning the way your customers move through the café, and therefore where to place furniture. Think of your customers as traffic. When they come into the café, do they have space to pause, look around and think about what they want to order? Is there an easy route for them to get from the serving counter to a table? If staff are moving around, can they do so freely? A useful blog post from problem-solving consultants Hyde and Rugg looks taking a user-centred approach to the use of space. If you are setting up from scratch, there are useful tips in this article on customer flow, lighting, counter size and so on. 

Tip 5 – It’s vital to ensure that your customers don’t feel crammed in. 

It might be tempting to squeeze more tables into your café to maximise revenue, but this might deter customers. Ensure that there is plenty of space between chairs for customers and staff to move around.

Tip 6 - Bear in mind that customers will be coming into your café for different reasons, and furnish it accordingly. 

Some will want a quick espresso or a cup of tea; if you have a long high counter, placing high stools alongside it will be an ideal space for these quick-fix customers. Poseur tables and high stools are also useful for this. Others might want to linger over food or a pot of tea and will want something cosier and more comfortable. Which brings us to...

Tip 7 - If you have space, think about installing a sofa or two. 

These can go up against a wall with a low coffee table, and perhaps chairs opposite. Tired shoppers will relish the chance to sink into a deep, comfortable sofa. A sofa with cleanable surfaces, such as Trent Furniture’s Manhattan sofa in leather or faux leather, is best, to make it easier to mop up the inevitable spillages and general grime that accumulate from heavy usage. 

Tip 8 - Your choice of furniture will depend on what you are serving. 

If you are a coffee-and-cake type of establishment, smaller tables will be fine. But if you are serving hot dishes, soups and suchlike, you will need larger tables. Customers do not want an experience akin to that of an aeroplane meal; they want space to eat, reach out, sit back, stretch their elbows.

Tip 9 - Wall-mounted tables can reduce clutter and increase floor space. 

They are widely available in a range of styles and finishes. Often used in a domestic context, they can also be useful in commercial environments. 

Tip 10 - A long space next to a window or alongside a wall can be turned into a shelf-table, with stools underneath. 

It should be solidly fixed – customers will need to feel absolutely confident that they can lean on it without fear of it collapsing or wobbling.

The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts – Tips 11 – 20:

Tip 11 - Speaking of which: make sure that your floor is level. 

There are few things more irritating than sitting at a wobbly table.  

Tip 12 - Cushions will add comfort and colour to a café interior. 

Scatter them at intervals along a bench-seat or banquette. Larger cushions can be placed up against a wall where there’s a bench or banquette. They can also be scattered across sofas.

Tip 13 - A rug or carpet can create a homely environment and reduce noise.

Modern cafés and restaurants can be exceedingly noisy places with their hard, reflective surfaces. If you have a large table, a rug placed under it will “centre” it in the room.

Tip 14 - Think about having a big communal table. 

Today’s younger customers are friendlier and more gregarious than previous generations. They’re often happy to sit at a large table surrounded by strangers rather than sitting at small tables on their own or as small groups. A communal table is also good for large groups of family or friends.

Tip 15 - Window seats are an effective use of space. 

Converting a deep, low window ledge into a seat with cushions adds space and makes a place seem warmer and homelier.

Tip 16 - Don’t arrange your chairs and tables in strict rows so that it looks like a chess tournament or a prison visiting room. 

A mix of table sizes and seating arrangements makes for a more “organic” and visually interesting environment. And there’s no reason not to rearrange things periodically. 

Tip 17 - If you want your furniture arrangement to be flexible, ensure that your furniture is light enough to be moved around. 

Tip 18 - If you need to clear a space regularly for functions or dancing, or even just for cleaning, think about buying stacking chairs, which are available in a range of designs and styles.

Tip 19 - If you have space, think about installing booths. 

These offer privacy and comfort. Customers will relish the intimacy and the chance to talk in private that they offer. They don’t have to be as large as restaurant booths; a rule of thumb is that the more expensive the menu, the more space the customer will expect. But booths take up no more space – and sometimes less – than a regular tables-and-chairs arrangement.

Tip 20 - If you have an outdoor space at the back of your café, think about making a feature of it. 

When the warmer months come around, you could turn it into a “secret garden” with quirky weatherproof furniture, plants in containers, perhaps space heaters, and fairy lights.

The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts – Tips 21 – 30:

Tip 21 - Remember that children are people too. 

Have a supply of high chairs handy, as well as booster cushions. And if you have space, include one or two deep supportive armchairs in your layout for breastfeeding.

Tip 22 - Remember that your furniture does not all have to match. 

An arrangement featuring a mix of styles and colours will give your café a more natural, homely atmosphere. However, colours should match or that complement each other. If you think that your colours might clash, get a second opinion.

Tip 23 - Small stools and low tables can fill up awkward corners and spaces. 

Trent Furniture’s Triangle Chester Stool is ideal for these situations. 

Tip 24 - Spend time on the Pinterest website. 

This is a rich – and free – store of inspiration and ideas from around the world.

Tip 25 - Remember that trends in furnishing and interior design come and go quickly. 

If your café interior is totally “on trend” now, the chances are that it will look old-fashioned within a few years. For instance, suspended filament light bulbs are now beginning to look a little dated. 

Tip 26 - Think carefully about customers with disabilities: can a wheelchair get through the spaces between tables? Are your menus and signs readable?

This list of suggestions for Disabled Access Day will give you some ideas. 

Tip 27 - Remember that an increasing number of British people are freelance workers. 

Often they work from home on laptops, but coming to a café offers a change of scene and a chance to drink and eat while catching up on work. So make sure there are spaces on tables for customers to set out their laptops and that there are plenty of sockets for recharging. It goes without saying that Wi-Fi is essential.

Tip 28 - Always buy commercial furniture. 

Unlike domestic furniture, this is built to withstand the frequent and heavy use it will undergo in a commercial environment.

Tip 29 - Does your café have pavement space at the front? Are you able to use it? 

Today’s outdoor furniture is attractive and durable, and with some choice chairs and tables outside, you could expand your capacity. Also, customers sitting outside your front door will act as a kind of living advert for your café.

Tip 30 - Remember to have fun. 

A café that is furnished and decorated with a sense of enjoyment will have individuality and charm. Customers like to see a human touch behind the things that they buy. So don’t be afraid to express yourself.

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