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Running a successful pub is both a science and an art. On the one hand, there's the admin associated with running any business - hiring employees, balancing the books and so on. On the other hand, the real secret of how to make a pub busy and successful lies in the atmosphere you create and customers' desire to stay for longer and come back sooner.

There are all kinds of different ways to achieve this, ranging from modern bar furniture to rustic pub furniture that gives your premises a traditional and homely feel. Of course it's not just about the decor, but your pub furniture creates the fabric of your venue, which you can then use to deliver services ranging from a good range of drinks, to home-cooked food, to entertainment like pub quizzes, jukeboxes and pool tables.

Pros and cons of running a pub

The pros and cons of running a pub can depend partly on how much freedom you have. If you're a bar manager for a large chain, you might not be able to make decisions that affect your business as freely as you'd like, but there are still ways to stamp your own personality on the way you interact with customers.

Friends meeting for a night out in a busy and popular pub

If you have much more management freedom, then you can really make the venue your own with your choice of pub furniture and decor, the types of entertainment you provide, and the selection of food and drinks on offer. Don't be afraid to try new things - you never know when you'll discover an untapped niche in the local market.

How to make a pub busy with benches

An often overlooked aspect of furnishing a public house is making sure you have enough pub and bar benches. Think of a traditional pub and they usually have bench seating running the whole way around the interior, providing a huge amount of extremely space-efficient seating for groups of different sizes.

Freestanding pub and bar benches create similarly space-saving seating but don't tie you down to having seating physically built on to the walls, so if you prefer to retain the ability to reconfigure your interiors for events or just to keep things looking fresh, they're a great option. A bench seat or sofa can also create a cosy extra seating area in a previously unused nook.

Cater for individuals

Groups might spend the most collectively but be aware if a large proportion of your clientele tends to visit your premises alone. Sitting alone at a large table surrounded by empty chairs can be quite daunting, but equally sitting alone at a table for one can feel very exposed as well.

Smaller tables with two or three chairs can be the Goldilocks option for lone customers while still catering for couples and small groups, and again consider benches and sofas as individuals can sit on these without feeling like there are empty seats all around them. For more ideas about how to maximise revenue from the space you have available, or to place an order, contact Trent Furniture on 0116 4736 834 or

A crowded bar in a busy pub

Valentine’s Day is the most booked day of the year for restaurants, according to research from the British Hospitality Association, so making the most of it can provide a huge boost for any restaurant. We’ve put together some ideas for promoting your restaurant and creating a romantic experience to remember.

Tweak your restaurant menu for Valentine’s Day

Creating a special Valentine's menu can entice people searching for a special place to choose you. Not only does it allow you to have a specially curated menu of top dishes on what is one of the busiest nights of the year, it lets people know your establishment is doing something special for the event. You can also use your menu as marketing collateral, sharing on your website and through social media to encourage bookings before the big day.

Take bookings to boost exclusivity

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, restaurants tend to get booked up in advance so even if you don’t usually take bookings, it can be reassuring for potential customers to know that their romantic meal is secured. It will also give you an idea of numbers and how you may want to arrange your restaurant furniture to cater for these guests. According to the BHA, the key time that a guest is likely to reserve a table for Valentine’s Day is 15-30 days ahead, so giving the option to book this early will help you secure these forward-thinking diners.

Create a romantic atmosphere

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, the atmosphere should be warm, inviting and of course romantic! Soft lighting and gentle music can set a great tone from the moment a couple walks in. Décor also plays a big part in creating the right ambience. Valentine's Day decoration ideas for restaurants could include adding tablecloths, flowers and candles, but the important thing is not to overdo it. Couples will want to be able to see and speak to each other across a table so keeping things simple is key – think a single candle or red rose in a vase rather than a full bouquet!

Move your restaurant furniture to maximise tables for two

Valentine’s Day is all about couples, so arranging your seating to have plenty of tables for two will allow you to comfortably seat more guests and take more bookings. Rethinking and reshuffling your floor plan beforehand will also be a lot easier and less disruptive to the romantic atmosphere than doing it on the night. However, it’s important not to try and fit too many tables in even with the high demand, otherwise customers can feel crammed in and will struggle to hear one another. Read more about this in our guide to the best restaurant furniture layout for Valentine's Day.

Hire a live band or musician

Nothing says romance like beautiful music! If your restaurant has the space for it, hiring a band or musician adds a huge boost to the atmosphere and offers something a little more special. You can also advertise that you will be featuring live music on the night on your website, social media and in promotional materials in the restaurant itself.

Couple outside a restaurant on Valentine's Day

Offer takeout meal options

Dining out on Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone – some couples like to stay home and avoid the business – so what better opportunity to offer a takeout package option. A slightly more refined alternative to pizza or a supermarket meal deal, takeout meals give customers restaurant-quality food and allow you to serve more people even if you are fully booked. Pre-ordering can be important here and again this can be advertised weeks in advance.

Get your restaurant furniture just right for Valentine’s Day

Having comfortable and aesthetically pleasing furniture is an essential part of creating the perfect atmosphere all year round. Trent Furniture offers a wide range of options including chairs, tables and more in a range of wooden and leather finishes. View our full range of restaurant furniture here.            

In this commercial furniture buying guide we'll take you through 4 key things to remember when buying bar tables.

Tables are a key investment for your bar or pub, so it’s vital to make sure every box is ticked when it comes to finding a table that will withstand heavy use while looking great for years to come. Trent Furniture has a great range of commercial bar furniture, so it’s easy to find the perfect bar table and matching chairs and stools.

When making your decision on which bar table to choose, don’t forget to think about the following:

  • Bar table height
  • Bar table shape
  • Bar table finish
  • Bar table durability.

We'll now take you through each of these points in turn, and explain in more detail why they are all worth bearing in mind when choosing your bar table.

Getting your bar table height right

Trent’s extensive range of bar tables, chairs and stools are all standardised so that any combination of chair and table or high stool and tall bar table will work together seamlessly. However, if you are buying bar tables to go with existing chairs, it’s essential to make sure that the table is the correct height so that your chairs will stack under it neatly and provide ample legroom for customers. Also, when buying bar stools, it’s vital to check that they are the correct height for your bar as well as for any poseur tables on your premises. Again, Trent Furniture’s tall bar stools are designed to work with the standard height of most UK bars. 

What's the best bar table shape for your needs?

Rectangular and square bar tables are a popular choice as they can easily be used on their own or pushed together to accommodate larger groups. However, round bar tables provide an eye-catching contrast to square shapes and small circular bar tables paired with stools are the perfect solution when it comes to maximising your space in nooks and crannies where you may otherwise struggle to accommodate drinkers. This is particularly true in traditional pub settings where irregular floorplans are common. Styles like Trent Furniture’s popular Wellington bar table are available in a choice of shapes, heights and three finishes with various chair and stool options, meaning you can choose the same stylish theme throughout your varying bar furniture needs.

Perfect the look with a quality bar table finish

Wooden bar tables are the most popular choice for bars and pubs as not only does wood look great, it’s easy to care for too. Most of Trent Furniture’s wooden bar tables are available in a light oak, warm walnut or dark oak finish and your choice will depend on whether you wish to create a bright modern atmosphere or a more cosy and traditional ambience for your guests. As well as being available in a great range of sizes and shapes, all Trent Furniture’s bar tables can be supplied in either a solid or veneer finish.

Durability - buy bar tables that really last

No matter what style of bar table you choose, its ability to withstand heavy use by people who may not treat your bar furniture as carefully as they would their own dining table, is a must. Contract strength is essential to withstand everyday kicks and spillages. Trent Furniture’s bar tables have solid hardwood or cast iron bases, designed to look fantastic as they endure year after year.

A large bar table in a pub with a group of friends seated around it

Find the perfect bar table for your space today

To find out more about Trent Furniture’s extensive range of bar tables and matching chairs and stools please fill in our contact form or call 0116 2985 816 or 0116 2989 855.

What is Retro?

The term retro tends to be banded around a lot, but what does it actually mean? Retro furniture refers to furniture which is of a past age, which has recently come back into style. Retro furniture was popular initially in the decades of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Currently, you will often find newly made furniture produced to have the retro look, since its boom in popularity. So retro is, in fact, the opposite of outdated; it’s modern and we are set to see more of it in restaurant design in the future.

Revival of Retro

The last couple of years have seen the return of retro style furniture, usually alluding to pop-culture, fashion, and graphic design. The most iconic of all retro furniture is the 50’s American Diner style. In the ’50s, furniture became much more slender and sleek, creating a more modern profile. Bold graphics and bright patterns became more popular, with Formica-topped tables and chrome bar stools.

The 50’s American Diner style usually includes the checked black and white floor, and the classic red leather booths and armchairs, compete with flashy lighting and 50’s style artwork on the walls. Create an ‘All American’ themed diner or restaurant with classic faux leather diner benches and chairs.

At Trent Furniture, we offer a choice of red and cream or black and white upholstery with classic decorative stitching and sleek metal frames. Designing a restaurant, bar or café with a retro theme gives it character and personality. The retro look appeals to older audiences, who enjoy the style in a nostalgic way, while also appealing to a younger audience because of the recent revival of the style.


The American Diner bench is arguably the most memorable and iconic of all 50’s American diner furniture. Our American Diner Bench, is a perfect example of this, with the deep red with cream stripes immediately creating that 50’s feel. The bench is also useful to seat extra customers as it can seat two people and can be used with another additional bench to create the classic American Diner booth seen within pop culture.

However, if a booth really isn’t your style, our American Diner Two Seater Chair is a great alternative, as it will still give that retro feel to any space.


There are a few different retro chair styles for the American Diner look. The classic American Diner combines chairs and tables throughout the main space of the diner, with a bar complete with tall chairs. Our American Diner Chair and our Tall American Diner Chair complete this look perfectly, or if you fancy including a classic stool to really amp up the look, you can with our Tall American Diner Stool.

Restaurants may want to go all out and revel in this funky retro style, but you can also celebrate this vintage style in a more subtle manner with just a few items of furniture as a nod to the 50’s diner style which customers will appreciate.

If you’d like to deck out your restaurant with 50’s American Diner furniture take a look at our American Diner Packages. We have a selection of chairs and tables in our American Diner Package, and chairs, tables, and two-seater chairs in our American Diner Restaurant Package.

Whatever design you decide for your restaurant, we cater to every style and taste. We have a wide variety of retro furniture beyond the 50’s American Diner style. Our other styles include Brentwood Furniture, French School Chairs, and Xavier Pauchard Tolix inspired furniture.

Our products are of high quality and are at an affordable price. All our furniture is designed for contract use and with UK fire resistant upholstery. To find out more about our retro furniture or any of our other ranges, get in touch today to speak to a member of our expert team.

Knowing how to open a cocktail bar is easier when you take a look at the best cocktail bars in your area as inspiration.

A cocktail bar lounge should be comfortable and inviting, and it's often smart to include some plush armchairs or luxurious leather bar chairs to give the best first impression.

Modern bar furniture works well with all kinds of cocktail bar themes. For example, brown leather stools can form part of a vintage cocktail bar furniture theme even when you buy them brand new.

That way, you get the look and feel of the best cocktail bars, but also the performance and low maintenance of bar furniture that is newly built to a high standard using robust materials and methods.


Seating at the bar

Like most bars, it's normal for good cocktail bars to offer several different types of seating and tables, including some taller tables around the immediate bar area itself.

For example, tall poseur tables offer a sense of height and ensure that there is somewhere for customers to sit where they are close to the bar to place their orders, but without taking up valuable space at the bar itself.

For smaller venues, offering tall cocktail bar stools and poseur tables like this allows you to make the most of the space where larger rectangular tables might feel crowded, as well as transitioning the height down from the bar area to your lounge area for a more aesthetically pleasing look.


Seating in outdoor areas

Many modern cocktail bars double as relaxed cafes and bistros during the daytime. Even if you don't plan to cater to this kind of customer, some outdoor seating could be a good idea in the summer or to clearly define a safe and legal smoking area.

Like the furniture inside your bar, there are several different options for outdoor seating, ranging from metal tables and chairs to composite wood that gives the appearance of timber with extremely hard-wearing, low-maintenance performance.

If you need to bring your outdoor furniture inside overnight for secure storage, consider stacking tables and stacking or folding chairs, all of which can be packed away in minutes at the end of the day with minimal storage space required.


More cocktail bar themes

Choose a cocktail bar theme before you start decorating your space and you can make sure that all of your interior design and bar furniture matches.

That might be a vintage cocktail bar theme as mentioned above, with luxurious paints or wallpaper, brown leather chairs and comfy Chesterfield sofas.

Or you could go more modern with a lighter, brighter colour scheme accented by zoned lighting so you can bring the light levels down later in the evening.

Bar furniture is designed to be versatile so whether you choose leather, wood, metal or furniture with bespoke upholstery options, there's something to suit all tastes when it comes to opening a new cocktail bar that's dressed for success.

Exterior of a cocktail bar showing indoor decor and furniture through the window

For more ideas or if you'd like to discuss a particular cocktail bar theme and the type of furniture you need for it, call Trent Furniture today or contact us via the website.


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