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Having an appealing entrance is vital for restaurants in attracting potential customers walking past. For restaurant on a busy street, the opportunities are huge. Potential customers are strolling right in front of your doors, just asking for you to give them a reason to come in.

So, how can your restaurant appeal to customers passing by so that they choose your restaurant over the one next door?

Outdoor seating

In the summertime when the sun is out, if there is space for outdoor seating, make the most of it. Not only does outdoor seating give customers the option of sitting in or outside, it can attract customers by making you look busier.

In general, people go where other people go. If one restaurant is busy and another is deserted, there has to be a reason, right? Most people will see this as a reason to go to the busier option as they don’t want to miss out. By having happy customers on show outside your restaurant, it only works in your favour.

Chalkboard

The chalkboard is an old marketing tool, but certainly one that works. They are particularly useful for inconspicuous restaurants sandwiched off the high street. The chalkboard can highlight offers, special dishes or funny quotes. Having the ability to change the sign means that you can continuously keep passers-by updated with real-time offers.

Get smells flowing

Using smells to attract custom is an old trick. Think about it, what is it that excites most about food and really gets there tummy rumbling? The smells! Before we even see or taste the food, it’s the smells that tell us how good it is.

Just think of a bakery when a fresh batch of bread comes out or a café when someone comes out with a warming coffee. The same can be done by a restaurant and their scents can stimulate passer-by’s appetite and get mouth’s watering.

By getting the right smells out into the street, the scent can be enough for outsiders to come in and diners to stay longer. Increasing people’s appetites is just what a restaurant needs to boost their business.

Make your windows inviting

Have you ever walked past a restaurant and felt inclined to have a deeper look, simply because it looks so appealing from outside? Especially for restaurants who are on a street with high footfall, the outer appearance is vital in attracting custom.

Once you’ve hooked them in with a beautiful exterior, clear up your window space and give them something to look at through the glass. Put effort into making the area that potential customers can see through the window inviting.

Restaurant furniture

Each restaurant will have different needs and requirements depending on the image they’re trying to present. Whatever space you are working with, it is nearly always possible to alter the ambiance of a space with careful manipulation of design elements.

Whatever interior your restaurant is looking to create, Trent Furniture can help. Call us now on 0116 2864 911.

When considering a retro design, there is a wide scope. There are many realms that retro can fall under so bars, restaurants and cafés have the ability to choose furnishings from a range of different eras whilst remaining on trend.

For those who house a retro interior, there are many options available and we are pleased to stock a range of tables and chairs that fall under the retro bracket. The latest addition to our retro furniture range is the retro French school chair.

What is the retro French school chair?

Inspired by iconic industrial designers, the unassuming contemporary retro French school chair has been refined and reproduced. The timeless style is one that is ideal for contract environments such as restaurants, bars and cafés.

Based on early 20th century designs, the chair exudes French elegance. The chair is made of durable plywood seat and comes in a colourful choice of tough steel metal frames.

When to use the retro French school chair

The retro French school chair is one of the few chairs that will not look out of place in any environment. The chair looks great on its own and but can also be used alongside other retro chair styles for a real rustic, industrial look.

The simple design and smooth lines of the chair work well in a modern minimalistic room whereas exposed brickwork, wood panelling and shabby chic interior details will be equally as effective at housing these chairs. They have heaps of charisma and most interiors are suitable.

Why choose retro furniture?

The vintage retro look is in demand at present. Designing a restaurant, bar or café with a retro theme gives it character and personality. Add a retro menu, artwork and lighting to your retro furniture and you’ll be on your way to completing the look.

Choosing the right retro furniture creates a nostalgic yet stylish atmosphere and is a possible differentiator from the competition.

Commercial retro furniture

At Trent Furniture, we have a range of retro chairs, each with their own individual style from the past. Bentwood and American diner to Xavier Pauchard Tolix inspired, you can browse our full range of retro chairs, including the retro French school chair here.

Having an interior that doesn’t match the dining type can leave customers confused as to what it is exactly you’re offering. Can you imagine visiting a Michelin starred restaurant whose design and aesthetics are better placed in a fast food chain?

The restaurant’s overall concept runs through everything from the food to the choice of seating. Each restaurant has different needs and in this post we’ll be looking at what chairs you would match with each type of dining.

Coloured metal stack chairs - Trent Furniture

What is the best type of chair for fast food businesses?

The main functions of furniture in a fast food environment are that they are robust, easy to clean and attractive. With customers only staying for a short amount of time, there is no need to go overboard when it comes to comfort.

You don’t want customers spending lots of time with you once they’ve finished if they are taking up a table that other paying customers could be using. Fast food is very much about quick turnover. A high volume of short visits means chairs and tables are constantly shuffled and used, so durability must be a key component.

Chairs of choice: retro French school chair and Bella chair range

Choosing the best chairs for cafés

Customers expect more or less the same experience when they go to a café. Order their food and drink and then either have it taken out or stay and sit for a few hours to be productive or socialise. For those who do stay, comfort is key and offering a variety of seating options lets customers choose their preference.

Chairs of choice: round Chester stools and Bentwood slatback side chairs.

How to buy the right casual dining chairs

Casual restaurants offer food at affordable prices and house an enjoyable relaxed atmosphere. Especially popular with millennials, these restaurants need a unique design to attract customers.

Chair designs must be contemporary and trendy. For chairs that can be upholstered, consider matching the colour or pattern with your interior or use it as an opportunity to do something different.

Chairs of choice: American diner chair and Washington side chair ranges.

Formal dining chairs buying help

Formal restaurants are reserved for those special occasions. They are much about the ambience and atmosphere as they are the food. Eating at a high-end restaurant is an experience and customers will not want to feel rushed, and will instead usually stay for at least a couple of hours.

It is important to choose chairs that look and feel high quality so that the restaurant is set apart from more casual environments. Thus, elegant, style and high-quality seating is needed for a formal restaurant.

Having comfortable, luxurious furniture also means that customers feel more inclined to stay for longer. As restaurants make most of their money on alcoholic beverages and desserts, this is welcome news.

Chairs of choice: Harrogate dining chairs and Abbruzzo dining chair ranges.

Restaurant furniture buying tips

brown leather metal frame chair

Each restaurant and bar will have different needs and requirements depending on the image they’re trying to present. Whatever space you are working with, it is nearly always possible to alter the ambience of a space with careful manipulation of design elements.

Whatever interior your restaurant is looking to create, Trent Furniture can help. Call us now on 0116 2864 911.

A new hospitality and leisure report by Barclays has found that UK restaurants, bars and leisure clubs could make a further £6.75bn per year by adapting opening hours to changing consumer working patterns.

Britain's high street is suffering from weak consumer spending and fierce competition. There are simply so many options for consumers to choose from when going out. It seems that most leisure streets now have at least a couple of dining options.

Add to this the rise of food delivery services such as Deliveroo and Just Eat, if restaurants fail to adapt to trends and customer demands, they risk falling behind their competition.

The report states that restaurants, takeaway meal outlets and pubs, bars and clubs could make an extra 5.5 billion pounds in revenue each year by adjusting their opening hours.

How adjusting hours would help

The need for alternative hours for restaurants and dining options is fuelled by the 57 per cent of British workers who work extended hours, part-time or flexibly. With fewer working the traditional 9-5 working day, the times at which people want to dine out or visit the gym are changing.

Almost one in five late-night diners would choose to get a takeaway between 11pm and 5am, when most restaurants are closed. This number rises to 37 per cent amongst 18-24-year-olds. A third of this age-group also expect 24-hour services across the hospitality and leisure sector.

If businesses responded to these demands, restaurants would expect to take an extra £2.2bn in revenue per year, takeaways £2.1bn and pubs, bars and clubs £1.2bn.

The most common barrier for extending opening hours is increased overheads but it is worth operators trialling the system. A restaurant could stay open two hours later than usual for takeaway orders and see how their customers behave for a one-month period. If it proves popular and it makes logistical sense, extend the new operation for another couple of months.

With many customers willing to pay a premium for services at unusual hours, businesses that find ways to meet this growing demand could take advantage of a large opportunity. It’s all about meeting the demands of consumers and staying ahead of the competition.

Restaurant furniture

Each restaurant and bar will have different needs and requirements depending on the image they’re trying to present. Whatever space you are working with, it is nearly always possible to alter the ambience of a space with careful manipulation of design elements.

Whatever interior your restaurant is looking to create, Trent Furniture can help. Call us now on 0116 2864 911.

Coffee is well and truly in its Third Wave and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. More and more independent and chain coffee shops are popping up around the country, eager to cater to the conflicting desires of both comfortable cafés and fast-paced coffee bars. Not only has it become a social media phenomenon, but coffee is getting younger – the fastest growing age bracket of coffee drinkers is 13 to 18-year olds

So how do you make your coffee shop stand out from the crowd?

Having a Clear Concept for Coffee Shops

A large part of attracting customers to coffee shops is making sure that they know who you are and why you’re different from anyone else. Having a clear concept is important to any business, so make sure you know what kind of coffee shop you want to be before you even open your doors. 

Are you going to be traditional? Trendy? Shabby chic? Do you have a Unique Selling Point to mark you out from the crowd, such as being a dog-friendly café? Or do you take inspiration from a certain era or country, like the Art Deco period or French café culture? Are you going to be uniform in your design like a high street chain, or a bit more relaxed and casual?

Making it clear from the pavement what kind of environment and atmosphere you’re offering is important for pulling customers in. 

Coffee Shop Design and Inspiration 

Once you’ve got your concept, you need to make sure your design echoes your message. Think about colour schemes and materials: are you going to have wooden chairs, or fabric-covered ones? Light wood, light fabrics and elegant designs have all become popular in the recent shifts in interior design. Don’t worry about wear-and-tear on upholstered furniture – today’s fabrics are durable and easy to clean, while the foam padding used in chairs, like the ones in our Abbruzzo range, is non-sag. 

Shabby-chic has endured several years of popularity and is still up in one of the top-spots for café design with its emphasis on natural materials and painted surfaces. Of course, it is meant to look slightly worn down, so buying shabby-chic furniture will be an investment that will improve with age! Our Farmhouse Tulip Table in light oak is the perfect shabby-chic table for an afternoon coffee.

Art Deco has also started resurfacing in popularity, and Trent Furniture has several items available that would be ideal for creating that perfect 20s-inspired feel. With a wide range of fabrics to choose from, Trent’s Art Deco Colebrookedale Three Leg Stool can be customised to specific colour schemes in order to create a design that flows throughout your whole shop.

Know what furniture you need

Once you know who you want to come into your shop and how you want it to look, the next stage is finding the right furniture. Seating to suit duration of stay is important. Big tables with room for food as well as drinks will attract shoppers, families, and groups of friends looking for somewhere to sit for longer stops. We recommend our Madison two-seater sofa, which is perfect for catching up with old friends.

You could even have some stackable high chairs on hand if you’re happy for babies to be in your shop. Sofas with coffee tables additionally provide space for businesspeople and their laptops during lunch hours. Some cafés have banned Wi-Fi and laptops to promote socialisation, but that choice is entirely up to you.  

If your coffee shop is about quick service and short visits, you won’t be needing comfortable chairs and big tables. Poseur tables, such as Trent’s Black Pyramid Poseur Table, are perfect for fast-paced coffee bars, providing space to stand and chat or even just to add sugar before dashing back out the door.

Layout & Spacing for Coffee Shops

If you or your customers can’t walk freely between tables, it’s way too cramped. A good tip is to try to keep at least 45cm between tables to make sure there is enough space for easy movement.

Floorplans are of course important, but also being prepared to be flexible will definitely pay off if a large group comes in for lunch. A combination of small and large tables, such as our Art Deco Pedestal and Rectangular tables (both in silver), will make sure there is enough seating room for people who want food as well as drinks. 

Keeping sofas to the perimeter of the room will allow more space for tables and movement through the middle of your establishment, whilst also creating comfy, tucked-away corners for post-shopping coffee and cake. 
Not just a drink

The coffee industry has grown rapidly thanks to a combination of independent, specialist coffee shops and chain brands like Starbucks, Costa, and Caffé Nero. Coffee has become an experience, not only due to the popularity surge millennials have given it, but because of the demand for Instagram-worthy décor and innovative coffee.

This doesn’t mean you have to serve everything in mason jars, but there are still ways to make your coffee shop individual and interesting enough to keep customers coming back – and keep them posting about you on social media. Perhaps there’s a particular blend that you love, but no-one else seems to be selling it. 

It’s not just about coffee anymore either. Consumers expect a wide range of tea, with green tea becoming increasingly popular, as well as other herbal or fruit infusions. Milk alternatives are also expected as standard, such as oat milk or almond milk, whether the customer is lactose intolerant or not. 

If you’re serving food, handmade sandwiches, pastries and cakes will add authentic flavour, especially if you can bring something new to the table.

What Next for your Coffee Shop?

From our warehouse in Narborough, Trent deliver fantastic commercial furniture solutions. We work with hundreds of companies all over the UK to create a one-stop shop for all commercial needs. 

To learn more about the products and services we have on offer, please contact us via email on sales@pubfurniture.co.uk or call 0116 2985 681. 

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