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Finding ways to maintain social distancing in the hospitality industry is a challenge facing business owners across the country and indeed across the world. As restaurants and bars start to think about what reopening might look like and plan for the future, they are considering how social distancing measures will change the way they operate.

With talk of reduced capacity, minimum distances between tables, contactless ordering and face masks for staff, it is true that things will be different but that doesn’t mean to say that it isn’t possible to both implement the new rules and get customers through the doors and resume trading.

It is still difficult to know exactly what will be required within the government guidelines but there are some simple steps that can be taken as you start to plan for trading again under the new social distancing guidance expected from the government;

1. Increase Outdoor Capacity

With the likeness of reduced capacity forming part of the new guidelines, creating additional capacity outdoors could mean more customers at your venue. Offering outdoor dining and seating in a garden or patio helps to ensure you can maintain the recommended social distance between customers. With being outside thought to have less risk, it’s possible that outdoor areas could reopen before indoors so make sure you have a system in pace for table service in your outdoor area. This will help to avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing.

2. Reconfigure your furniture layout

Be clever with your table spacing. More space required between tables is an inevitable requirement of the new guidelines so consider your current layout and think about how this can be achieved. Smaller tables can help to increase the distance and keep customers further apart.

When positioning your tables think about staff and customer movement around the bar or restaurant as well. Clear walkways and room for staff to approach tables and to avoid bottlenecks will need to be planned and implemented.

3. Take Table Bookings

Taking table bookings will help to reduce potential queues and minimise proximity and contact between customers and staff so have a system in place for customers to book in advance so that they can be seated quickly and efficiently on arrival and ensure you don’t exceed recommended capacity.

4. Minimise Contact

Taking orders via an app, contactless card payments and scheduling shift patterns so that staff are working within the same teams every shift are all steps that can be taken to minimise contact. Having an app or mobile friendly version of your menu avoids the need for traditional menus to be circulating between customers so that they can view it on their own phones or tablets instead. If you don’t already, consider getting set up to accept contactless card payments or apple pay so that exchanging of cards and cash is reduced.

5. Ramp up your cleaning schedule

Although the government hasn’t yet issued the formal guidance, its possible that staff may be required to wear masks or gloves when serving customers so its worth preparing for if this is the case. Set up additional cleaning stations stocked with essential antibacterial products and cleaning equipment so that tables, chairs and surrounding areas can be sanitised efficiently in between customers. Set up sanitising locations with hand sanitiser and gloves around your bar or restaurant, as well as at entrances.

At this point it is still uncertain exactly what will be required of businesses so these are just suggestions that might help you to adapt to the new guidelines and its certainly worth starting to prepare for the reopening of your restaurant or bar.

If you are looking for new furniture to help assist with reopening under the governments social distancing guidelines, at Trent Furniture we have a huge range of tables and chairs in stock for fast delivery. If you would like to speak to us about an order please call the sales team on 0116 286 4911.

When the hospitality sector starts to open back up, businesses will need to be ready to operate in a 'COVID-secure' way complete with a social distancing furniture layout. 

This poses new challenges to the industry, as making the best use of the space you have available can take more than just moving your current tables and chairs two metres apart. 

You might want to invest in furniture that uses the space more efficiently, as you need to be confident that customers will remain far enough apart not only when they first arrive, but throughout their stay. 

Here are a few examples of sensible social distancing furniture for hospitality businesses to help you make your premises COVID-secure. 

Outdoor furniture 

The virus that causes COVID-19 disperses much more easily in the open air, reducing the risk of transmission, so outdoor furniture has a natural advantage to keep customers safe. 

Although it's not yet known for certain how long this coronavirus can survive on different surfaces, it appears to last 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel, and less - perhaps 2-8 hours - on aluminium. 

Monaco Stacking Chair

While you'll need to clean furniture regularly as part of your COVID-19 precautions, you could consider options like our Monaco stacking chair and Rossa stacking table, both made out of aluminium, to reduce the risk of any virus cells surviving on surfaces for very long. 

Plastic and stainless steel furniture are also sensible options, as although the virus appears to survive for longer on those than it does on aluminium, they still perform better than some other materials. 

Diner furniture 

American Diner furniture has been around since long before the current coronavirus outbreak, but it is a naturally good fit as part of a social distancing furniture layout. 

Diner benches and two-seater chairs can be used to define seating areas, and customers are less likely to try to move them around. 

The materials used - stainless steel frames and faux leather upholstery - are also very easy to keep clean and will withstand regular cleaning with disinfectant. 

You could consider separating booths with partitions or clear Perspex screens - these provide a physical barrier to prevent the virus from passing to the neighbouring table and can work well alongside other social distancing measures. 

Stacking chairs and tables 

On a practical note, stacking chairs and tables give you the flexibility you might need in the coming months when it comes to reconfiguring your interior layout at short notice. 

Stacking chairs can be cleared away to create more social distance between groups of customers, and brought out in the future as conditions start to improve further. 


Red diner chair

Zebrano stacking chairs are stylish, contemporary and ergonomic, while Roma stacking chairs can be stored up to 10 high, making excellent use of your storage space. 

Finally, our square stacking tables and rectangular stacking tables are available in a range of wood effects, but are made of melamine, which can be kept clean by wiping it regularly with sanitiser spray as part of your new COVID-secure cleaning and hygiene regime.


The British public love the great outdoors, so in preparation for the months to come, it's well worth adding some new outdoor bar stools to your pub furniture.

With outdoor stools on hand, you're ready to add to your seating during sunny spells or when you expect a rise in custom due to major sports events or live entertainment.

Outdoor garden bar stools make best use of exterior areas that might otherwise go to waste, ranging from pavement-side terraces at the front of your premises, to secluded beer gardens at the rear.

Any exterior space can be made profitable, and even if you cannot serve food or drink to your outdoor areas for licensing reasons, you can still create a sheltered smoking area with just a few outdoor stools.

Why choose outdoor bar stools?

Outdoor stools are designed to cope with the weather conditions they might face - so even if you plan to bring them indoors overnight, you don't need to panic in the event of a sudden summertime downpour.

Outdoor aluminium bar stool For example, we have tall aluminium bar stools with a seat height of around 80cm, perfect for positioning alongside outdoor poseur tables, and constructed from durable pressed aluminium with fully welded joints and good all-round water resistance.

It's important for outdoor bar furniture to be rigid and sturdy, and on our Monaco Tall Aluminium Bar Stool this is achieved subtly, with two strengthening bars at the rear and a reinforced front footrest for even more strength.

Where to use outdoor garden stools

As mentioned above, outdoor stools are ideal for smoking areas, informal terrace areas for dining, enclosed beer gardens and other exterior locations.

In secure locations like fully enclosed beer gardens, outdoor bar stools can be left out overnight during relatively calm conditions, although you might want to take them indoors if bad weather is forecast.

Thanks to the use of lightweight but durable materials like aluminium, this is even easier - just carry your stools inside one at a time or take several in one trip using a chair trolley to avoid much of the lifting completely.

Arrange to view our outdoor stools

If you would like to arrange to view our outdoor bar stools, please let us know and we can schedule a visit to our showroom (currently by appointment only during social distancing measures).

We have plenty of outdoor stools in stock and ready to deliver, and we welcome all enquiries including via telephone and email, if you have any questions you'd like answered.

You are also welcome to place an order with a delayed delivery date, for example if you are not yet ready to reopen following a temporary closure, or if refurbishment work has not yet reached the stage of adding furniture.

Just let us know and we can hold the relevant stock for you, so that your outdoor garden bar stools are ready for you whenever you want to take delivery of them.

Refurbishing your pub can seem like a big decision but it needn’t cost the earth and can have a huge impact on turnover and increase profits. Even when faced with difficult times in the past, evidence suggests that landlords who continue to invest will reap the rewards.

When it comes to refurbishing your pub, time needs to be spent planning and preparing so that you can give it your full attention, source the right suppliers or contractors and adequately budget for the project.

When starting a refurb, bear in mind that you may have to close the pub for a period of time, particularly where major renovations are involved so factor this into your budget and try to consider your customers needs. Choosing the right time to complete a refurbishment project is vital for minimum disruption to the operations of your business.

When planning a full renovation, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you would like to achieve so that you can allocate funds appropriately and make allowances for unexpected expenses. However, refurbishing your pub doesn’t have to mean undertaking major building works, extending rooms or changing the bar- you can transform your pub with less costly steps and sometimes a lick of paint or new furniture is all that is needed!

Now more than ever, pubs are competing not only with one another but with so many other hospitality businesses. With cafes and restaurants targeting the same customers, finding ways to stand out from the crowd can be the difference between success and failure! The décor and ambience in your pub plays a big role and needs to appeal to customers. The great news is that it really doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it is possible to transform your pub on a budget.


Having a pre-determined budget will help you to allocate funds most effectively, whatever the scale of the project, this is the first port of call when planning your refurbishment.

There are a number of things you can do on a budget to transform your pub interior and exterior but focusing on what your customers can actually see is a good place to start. A lot of money can be easily consumed through general infrastructure, electrical works and building repairs so if these are in working order they may be best left for another time.

Instead, consider allocating budget to aspects of a refurb that will have a dramatic and immediate effect, impress your customers by changing the things they actually see and directly impact revenue.

Another thing to think about when budgeting is how involved you are in the decision making process. There are lots of great companies out there to assist with your refurbishment but outsourcing this will eat into your budget quite significantly. By being directly involved in making decisions, choosing local tradesmen and sourcing your own suppliers you can make big changes for less and make your money go further in a refurbishment.


Re-decorating your pub is a simple solution that can make a huge difference to trade. Redecorating your pub can completely revitalise the interior or exterior building. If the paintwork is looking a little shabby and dull, then a fresh coat of paint can create a more appealing atmosphere whilst a complete change of colour can give it a whole new look.

It’s an affordable yet effective way of creating a more inviting ambience. The décor of your pub can determine whether new customers are likely to visit again and shows regulars customers that you care. With the choice of so many different venues, its never been more important to creating a welcoming and appealing environment.

Likewise, the exterior building and curb appeal of your pub suggests to customers what they will find inside. If the paint or brickwork is run down and dull then its likely to be overlooked by passing traffic. The building should stand out, be well maintained and reflect your pubs character and décor.


One the easiest, quickest and most effective ways to give your pub a new lease of life is with new furniture.

If your existing furniture is tired, worn and dated then investing in new tables and chairs can have a major impact. The furniture can be the first thing that customers notice then they enter a pub and it if it is in poor condition then its unlikely to have a good first impression.

Not only is the look of your furniture important in creating the right ambience but for improving the overall customer experience. Comfort matters and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Whether you upgrade to more comfortable chairs, add some bar stools with backrests or replace your table tops, small changes can make for a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

If you are looking for pub furniture at affordable prices then Trent Furniture have a wide range of styles, finishes and sizes. From traditional pub stools to more contemporary dining chairs and in full wood frame or padded seat and fully upholstered. With 1000’s of items in stock for fast delivery there are no lengthy lead times delaying your refurbishment.

In addition to tables and chairs, Trent Furniture can supply matching fabrics by the metre so that you can purchase contract quality material to reupholster any fixed and bench seating and match it with your new furniture.

New furniture can also be a way of reconfiguring the interior layout without any physical structural changes! By positioning furniture in particular ways and through this use of different styles and heights you can effectively create different areas. Low level coffee tables and sofas can be used to make a lounge area for watching sports or casual drinks. You can define the area around the bar with high poseur tables and bar stools. Using furniture effectively to form distinct areas for different purposes and moods can totally transform the interior of your pub.

If you are thinking about investing in new furniture then our top tip is to ensure you purchase furniture which has been specifically designed for contract use and the hospitality industry. Furniture designed for domestic use might seem good value for money but it won’t withstand a busy commercial environment. At Trent Furniture we only stock the most durable pub furniture that not only must it look great but is of the highest quality.

Outdoor Facilities

Refurbishing your outdoor space can be as simple as creating an outdoor seating area or covered dining space.

Improving outdoor catering facilities will not only increase the number of food covers you can manage which is a great way to bring in extra business but it can also give you the edge over the competition. Year round outdoor cooking equipment and sheltered areas for dining outdoors are becoming increasingly popular with customers who are looking for innovative and different dining experiences.

Your outdoor space or pub garden can be improved with super simple steps such as having a well-maintained patio or grassy area, stylish outdoor furniture and visually appealing items such as plants and shrubs.

‘Curb Appeal’ or the street aspect of your pub is equally important.  A building that is well maintained, bright and clean from a distance will attract customers. Repainting rendered brickwork, cleaning windows and updating dilapidated signage can all help when refurbishing your pub on a budget.

In addition, your outdoor furniture should be stylish and inviting with adequate seating available. If existing furniture hasn’t been well maintained then it might be worthwhile investing in something new. Choosing furniture that is easily moved, stackable for storage and wipe clean is best for longevity and long term maintenance to keep your outdoor facilities looking fresh and inviting.

Whatever your refurbishment plans, the most important consideration is what will have the biggest impact for your pub and profits. But the great news is a refurb doesn’t have to cost the earth and can be achieved on a budget! Simple solutions such as repainting a building or purchasing new furniture can make a huge difference to trade.

Our top tips for a pub refurbishment on a budget:

  • Work out timescales and budget in advance
  • Be involved in every step of decision making
  • Focus on the things your customers see
  • Paint interior and exterior for a quick impact
  • Update signage
  • Invest in new furniture
  • Add outdoor catering facilities

If you are thinking about a refurbishment and looking for new Furniture then please do not hesitate to call the Trent Furniture team for a quote or advice on 0116 286 4911.

We all want to be the best hosts we can be when friends come over for dinner, or when we host a party. Carrying the event into the evening, or even kicking it off, it always feels like there is something missing without a home bar.

Make your home as good as any of the bars out there, or even better with your own personalisation, and make hosting the event or even the cosy night in far more entertaining with your perfect home bar.

Set the Theme

What’s crucial is matching your new home bar to the style and aesthetic that your home already has. The key to the best home bars is that they seamlessly fit into the design and feel of the home, or if you really want to go completely out there, make sure to have one particular style for your home bar.


Wooden furniture represents the most traditional or classic home bar furniture. But there are many different wood finishes for you to incorporate this style into your home bar. Choosing wooden chairs and stools in a dark oak finish for example, creates a warm, rich and luxurious environment. A darker finish of wood also adds that historic touch to your home bar.

Whereas, if you would rather modernise this classic style, choose a light oak or walnut finish for your wooden home bar furniture. These finishes are more likely to fit into the style of your home, and can give a more Scandinavian style to your home bar furniture.


If you prefer a more modern touch to your home bar, then choose metallic furniture. Metallic furniture always gives that modern edge to any set-up. To soften the look, pair it with leather.

Leather is renowned for its durability, but also for how comfortable it is. You can even opt for leather tub chairs, which are incredibly comfortable. You can sit back and relax in your leather tub chair after a long day, nursing your drink at your own bar in your own home. What could be better?


As you have complete creative control over how your home bar looks, why not go for the style you’ve always dreamed of? Vintage furniture is extremely popular at the moment, and no more than American Diner furniture. Bring 50’s America to your home with American Diner chairs, stools and tables which will add an amazing twist to the furniture in your home.

Whatever style you choose, everyone will want to be served a drink at your perfect home bar.

With over 50 years’ experience, we’re the experts in all things commercial furniture. Whatever the look of your home bar, whether you’d like to buy a stacking chair, or a tub chair, a stool or a table, we’re on hand to help you find the right product at the right price. Our friendly customer service team are on hand to answer your queries, so get in touch or give us a call on 0116 2864 911.

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