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How to add accommodation to your pub’s offerings

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For UK pubs, providing accommodation is an opportunity to boost incomings with an additional revenue stream. Food and drink are what one would commonly expect to find in a pub - and now it seems that the third revenue stream taking over the industry is accommodation. 

Pubs are no longer seen as a lower-end option for overnight stays for foreign tourists and British holiday-makers. So much so that 56 per cent of pubs have said that accommodation has added to their incomings.

What’s important to guests? 

Cleanliness

Slips in quality are most noticeable in the accommodation industry. For a good reputation, cleanliness is paramount. Bedrooms, bathrooms and communal areas need to be regularly inspected. 

Noise

As you’d expect, noise can be an issue in a pub. For rooms that are in close proximity to the main bar area, ensure that they are well-insulated to minimise any noise so that your guests can get a good night’s sleep. Once the pub has closed, make staff aware of their noise levels during tidying and locking-up.

Breakfast

Whether it is cooked or continental, put as much effort into offering a good breakfast as you would into any other menu in your pub. Offering breakfast may mean additional staff and perhaps an earlier start for your chefs. However, breakfast is a service that may be expected by guests to be included in the price, or at the very least available in the morning. Breakfast is the last opportunity to provide a lasting impression on guests. 

Challenges 

  • Whilst food and drink are services that stop when the pub closes, accommodation requires a 24/7 service meaning more responsibility.
  • It’s likely that there will already be established accommodation in the area.
  • Financial outlay for the development. 
  • The possibility of an increase in staffing to help achieve the high level of service needed.

Make it unique

Larger hotel chains are often accused of having no personality in their rooms, this is a reason that many go to independent accommodation providers such as pubs. Avoid generic hotel room standards in favour of a theme. In the same way that your bar and restaurant do, bring your taste upstairs and decorate to stand out from the crowd. Personal touches can also make a guest’s stay that bit more enjoyable. 

Pub owners shouldn’t look for savings on quality. Instead, invest in furnishings that add to the aura of quality and Britishness. Trent Furniture’s hotel furnishings have furniture for every type of décor you are trying to achieve. Browse our full selection on this website.

 

How to open a successful café

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The café and coffee shop craze is in full force in the UK. We’re sure you’re aware of just how many cafés there are on the high street now. It seems that every other shop you walk past is advertising luxury coffees, teas and smoothies.

It’s not just the major players though. Although there are over 5,000 major coffee shops (Café Nero, Costa, Pret A Manger, Starbucks and Greggs) in the UK, independent cafés seem to be a common feature; perhaps not as commonly on the high street, but certainly on the outskirts and back streets of town centres. So, how does one reap success from an independent café and attract customers?

Be different

Being different from the generic café competition pays off. A café called Run For Your Bun opened as a pop up in London in January. The concept was that customers get lunch in exchange for doing a workout in the café. This idea generated plenty of PR just for having something different about it.

With so many cafés available for customers to go to, it’s important to be unique or have a speciality. Your uniqueness could come from your décor, a special drink recipe or a strong theme. 

Attractive cafe front

The large majority of customers make their decisions based on the store front - what else can they go on when there are plenty of cafés to choose from? Unless they have been to every café in the area, they won’t have built up an opinion of their favourites. 

To pick up ‘floaters’ that are undecided on which café to go to, you need to have a welcoming exterior.

High-quality coffee

The UK as a whole has become a nation of coffee connoisseurs in recent years. Well-made coffee is now a necessity for most and lukewarm instant coffee is far from acceptable. 

Coffee is one of the main reasons that most go to a café. It’s the driver of everything - customers won’t come back if they’re not satisfied. Variety and quality is a must. So, a bartender has to be capable of serving good coffee. 

A cafe is more than coffee

Of course,high-qualityy coffee is important but you shouldn’t rely on coffee alone to make up your income. Push for alternate sales to accompany coffee such as muffins, cakes and pastries and perhaps diversify into hot and cold food options if you have the space available.

Loyalty cards for cafes

Possibly the cheapest customer gaining technique is the loyalty card. So long as they’re attractive and actually reward the customer, they really do work. Tick off more than just one stamp on their first visit to give an extra incentive to return. 

Attractive cafe layouts that promote conversation

In the modern world, much of our day is taken up with technology and virtual interaction. People still seek the normality of a café to enjoy the sociable atmosphere, whether it’s catching up with friends or having an interaction with the baristas. 

Sofa areas with large coffee tables are a necessary asset for a café looking to increase the number of group visitors.

For all areas of your café’s furniture: tables, chairs, stools and sofas, Trent Furniture can help. Explore our café furniture range to find the right fit for your café. Call us on 0116 2989 335 for more information. 

Top 6 restaurant designs around the world

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An attractive interior design can have as much of an impact on a bar/restaurant’s success as good food and drinks can. We’ve made a list of some of our favourite restaurant and bar designs in the world, some of which have even won industry awards for their design.

Joben Bistro, Romania

Located in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the Joben Bistro is a pub far away from a conventional design. Inspired by Jules Verne’s’ fictional stories, the pub is filled with fantasy and sci-fi décor.

Designed by 6th Sense interiors, Joben Bistro is divided into three rooms, each filled with particularities; including the main bar area that boasts concrete walls and many eccentric installations. 

Playfulness is encompassed throughout by a careful choice of lighting, décor and objects. This, combined with the elegance of the brass and copper, draws attention to the detailed installations. 

Le Pain Frances, Sweden

Le Pain Frances is found along Gothenburg’s classy boulevard, Kungsportsavenyen. For such a high-profile location, the owners wanted to create something out of the ordinary. 

It was agreed that the design would give Gothenburg a taste of France by featuring contemporary and mid-century decoration that illustrates French Belle Èpoque. The magical distortion of proportion and scale, combined with the elegant use of colour and texture make this a luxurious four-storey restaurant.

The interior, designed by Stylt Trampoli, bursts with glamour and sophistication whilst keeping a degree of cosiness as well.

Mikkeller & Friends, Denmark

Contrasting from the previous two features, Mikkeller & Friends beer bar presents a sophisticated space with minimalist blond wood furniture, golden lamps and restrained arrangements.

The bar, which was designed by Rum4 and Studio-K, is located in a Copenhagen cellar. The interior is instilled with a light and airy atmosphere by using a single turquoise colour that spreads along the floor and selected furnishings. With a refreshing theme and wide range of beers, the bar accommodates enthusiasts of beer and design. 

Tasting Room, Israel

The Tasting Room is a wine bar and archive for local and imported wines. The bar is located in the cellar of a restored building in Tel Aviv. The modern wine cellar was designed by Studio OPA and the bar won best Middle East & Africa bar in 2015.

Iron drawers, a handmade concrete bar and cracked oak give the stored wine space to age gracefully. The cellar makes good use of the limited space available: hand cut cork casing circles the cellar, allowing a snug fit for wine glasses to be hung.

Truth Café, South Africa

The Truth Café’s interior design uses steampunk as a conceptual reference. The designers, Haldane Martin Interiors, proposed the steampunk idea in relation to coffee roasters and espresso machines displaying elements of steam powered technology. 

The stripped wooden flooring, metal grinders, mesh and lighting that hang to enhance the space create an exciting and industrial feeling. All features of the café’s interior serve to complement each other, crafting a grand and intimate atmosphere.

Electric Café, France

Electric, a Paris penthouse venue, offers panoramic views of the city. Designer Mathieu Lehanneur and architect Ana Moussinet conceived the interior which features a canopy of sound and light: lighting projectors and speakers hang from the branches of chunky black trees.

The multipurpose venue provides sofas and trunk-shaped stools by day, forming lounge seating areas, posing as a restaurant and bar. By night, these are stored away to open up a ballroom with a rippled DJ booth. Mathieu and Ana have designed a space which can be freely customised.

Trent Furniture supply bars and restaurants from around the world with furnishings. Whatever interior your establishment is looking to create, Trent Furniture can help. Call us now on 0116 286 4911 for help in finding the right furniture to fit with your theme. 

The Only Furniture Guide you need for Buying Commercial Furniture Online

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As the number of internet users reaches 50% of the world’s population, more people than ever are using the web for shopping. For the first time ever, most people are using the web for doing their shopping and billions of people (90% of buyers) are using the web for research when making a furniture purchase.

With so many people buying commercial furniture online and so many commercial furniture retailers and manufacturers, it can be confusing to find genuine retailers that you can trust. Thankfully, with over 55 years of trading, we have proved that we are the number one choice for commercial and contract furniture.

To help you find out what to look for when buying furniture online, we have put together a little list of things to consider to make sure you get the best deals and service.

Check the Furniture Website

Make sure that that website that you are on is as helpful to you as possible. A trustworthy website will have all its products displayed clearly and with the correct prices easily visible with helpful descriptions of products.

Popular products like our Round Shaker Table have product dimensions and weight displayed to help you plan for a project and we clearly display all of our available finishes. We believe that to give our customers the best service we must make the process as stress-free and helpful as possible.

With our new website, we have also made sure that when customers choose to make a purchase with us that we are as safe and secure as possible. If you look in the address bar at the top-left hand side of your screen you will see a green locked padlock and the word ‘Secure’.

This means that your payment is encrypted and completely secure, guaranteeing there will be no nasty surprises. This service is a must-have for any payment made on the internet so check every retailer.

Comparing Furniture Store Reviews

Reviews are a fantastic way of viewing the experience other customers are having when they choose to purchase through an online retailer. A review can give a great indication to you in what to expect in everything from the product itself to the delivery service.

Currently, we have 134 Google reviews for all of our products and services with an average score of 4.8 stars out of 5. With over 120 reviews rated at five stars, you know that our customers are getting fantastic furniture products with a first-class service.

Google reviews are completely independent to Trent Furniture so you know that you are reading authentic reviews left by real customers who make real purchases. Feel free to read some of our reviews to see what our customers are saying about our products.

Guarantees for Commercial Furniture

Pub and restaurant furniture are used on a regular basis day in, day out. We understand that commercial furniture needs to be robust enough to be moved regularly and stand the test of time.
Some retailers will be quick to sell their furniture but after the demands of your industry, regularly things go wrong and it can be difficult or impossible to get the issue resolved months down the line.

At Trent Furniture, we make sure that only the highest quality of materials is used in our products and they are assembled by expert craftsmen to ensure the durability of each item.

To prove we have faith in our products and for peace of mind for our customers, we offer a 12-month guarantee on all of our commercial furniture items.

Only at Trent Furniture will you receive the high-quality that you expect from hospitality industry furniture.

Online Furniture Delivery

Delivery is an incredibly important part of the online buying process. A good website will clearly outline all of its delivery information including estimated delivery time and costs. 

In the hospitality industry, getting things on time and in perfect condition can mean the difference between success and disaster. Trent Furniture has decades of experience and we have experienced it all to bring you a better delivery service.

Delivery is approximately 10-14 working days for stocked items. However, if the order is more urgent we will endeavour to help you meet your requirements. Our delivery charges are clearly labelled in the shopping basket price breakdown and depend on the delivery postcode. 

We use our own drivers to ensure our customers get the best delivery service possible and they’ll even give our customers a ring beforehand to let them know that their delivery is close.

Variety of Commercial Styles and Options

While looking through the web for online commercial furniture, the most helpful websites will be the ones that have a large selection of furniture pieces and will also have a wide variety of products. 

We have built up a reputation for supplying such a large variety of different products in hundreds of finishes. We pride ourselves on being able to offer large varieties of commercial seating and furniture on our website.

You can choose from a range of trends by going to the industry type section of our website to find all our great furniture related to the style you want.

We also have a physical location that you can visit so you can see some of our products and our team can give you expert advice on the best restaurant and pub furniture that will suit your establishment.

A Final Thought on Online Furniture Buying

While buying commercial furniture online can save you time, money and a lot of hassle, it is important to be wary of websites that can look too good to be true and any potential scams.

Finding a professional website that you can trust is the first step to upgrading or finding your perfect furniture.

Doing your research to find the best products at the best price is something you cannot rush and don’t hesitate to get in contact with any retailer for advice. Read the reviews, compare prices and invest in something that you won’t regret months and years down the line.

 

Five tips for buying the right restaurant furniture for you

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The British love affair with food and restaurants shows no sign of abating. TV shows such as Masterchef draw audiences of millions, while our appetite for eating out has shown renewed growth: a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics shows that UK households now spend around £45 per week on restaurants and hotels. Much of this goes on the casual dining sector. In the year ending June 2016, casual dining outlets did £5.07 billion in sales, an increase of nearly 35% on the figure for June 2010. 

New restaurants – both independent and chains – continue to open, giving consumers an unprecedented choice of cuisines and dining styles, from Mexican fast food chains such as Chipotle to “slow food” restaurants such as Pizzicotto in London.

Friends enjoying dinner

It was not always thus. In the decades from the turn of the 19th century until the 1960s, British people rarely ate out. And if they did, it would mostly have been at a chain such as Lyons, whose tea rooms and Corner Houses were a mainstay of the British high street from the Victorian era until they began to fall out of favour in the 1960s and 70s. These offered table service (served by smartly uniformed waitresses famously known as “Nippies”) or self-service teas, snacks and simple meals at reasonable prices.

But what was interesting about Lyons was that, while it was by no means an upmarket brand, the company nevertheless served its customers in stylish and well-designed surroundings. Furniture was simple but elegant, many window displays at the Corner Houses were designed by an artist, Kay Lipton, while interiors – often in the Art Deco style - were designed by the noted architect and designer Oliver Percy Bernard. Lyons was a company that appreciated the importance of style and design. In today’s jargon, it was offering more than simply food; it was selling an “experience”, and good design was an integral part of it.

If you run a restaurant or are planning to open one, you will no doubt have an appreciation of the importance of offering your customers a good, all-round experience. And furniture will be a vital part of this. So here are five tips for buying the right restaurant furniture.

Lyons tea rooms and Corner Houses

Are they sitting comfortably?

The fast-food industry has a repertoire of tricks to discourage customers from lingering. Research has shown that fast, loud music increases diners’ chewing rate from 3.83 bites per minute to 4.4 bites per minute. Ensuring that chairs are not too comfortable also encourages diners to move on, freeing up space for the next sitting. But, clever as these techniques are, they are more suitable for the fast-moving high-turnover world of fast-food chains rather than the independent sector. For independent local restaurants, the aim is to build customer loyalty and ensure that people will come back, rather than giving them a sore back. With this in mind, comfort should be uppermost in your criteria for restaurant chairs; before you even think about appearances, bear in mind that your customers will need to feel well supported and stable. The Parson chair is an increasingly popular design, offering good back support along with comfortable upholstery. Alternatively, chairs with arms are a more expansive option; they may take up more space, but customers will appreciate the chance to stretch out. Other chair options include bistro chairs with wicker or woven seagrass seating, or wooden spindleback chairs. 

Form and function

While comfort is paramount, your chairs – and tables – should also be pleasing to the eye. And they should fit in with the theme or design scheme of your restaurant. If yours is the kind of place that offers formal fine dining, your furniture should offer uncomplicated elegance, as well as comfort – your customers will want to linger over their meals without going numb. Simple white or creamy-white upholstered chairs can be matched by tables draped with white linen tablecloths and napkins, creating a calm, quiet environment.

A more contemporary look can be achieved with clean modern designs, with lots of metal and chrome, though care must be taken here to ensure that comfort is preserved. With furniture design there is often a trade-off between style and comfort; a beautiful chair is not always one that’s easy to sit on. (Swiss designer Stefan Zwicky, for instance, came up with a version of Le Corbusier’s classic LC2 armchair that was made of solid concrete: impressive to look at, less so to sit upon.)

Le Corbusier’s classic LC2 armchair that was made of solid concrete

Banking on the banquette

Banquettes, benches and booths are an increasingly popular option for restaurants. Customers like them because they are comfortable and offer greater privacy. Families dining with children often prefer booths, as it keeps parents closer to their children so that they can be on hand to help with ordering, cutting food, etc. For the restaurant, booths and banquettes can be a more efficient use of space; generally, a booth will seat more customers than the equivalent space using tables and chairs – though most restaurants using booths will offer them alongside traditional tables and chairs. For themed restaurants, such as American-style diners, benches can be upholstered in brightly-coloured vinyl or faux leather. 

Banquettes, benches and booths are an increasingly popular

Colour sets the mood

Colour psychology is an area of growing importance, as retailers and designers come to appreciate the role of colour in establishing the “mood” of a brand or a retail outlet such as a restaurant. There are colours that are calming and there are colours that are stimulating. The colours used in a busy, bustling Mexican restaurant are likely to be reds and yellows, while a calmer, more upmarket establishment might use white, neutral shades of blue and green, or perhaps some black, which signifies power and prestige. Your decorative scheme will be vital in setting the mood, and upholstery, furniture and linen will be part of this. Restaurateurs might be reluctant to go to the expense of buying upholstered furniture as they will have understandable concerns about wear and tear and cleaning. But today’s fabrics are more durable than ever, and also easier to clean. With this in mind, your options become wider; fabrics and finishes can be chosen to match your colour scheme. If tables are to be left uncovered, ensure that they are sympathetic to your scheme; dark stained wood will not go well with otherwise light and airy decor. 

Be flexible

So, you’ve established your theme and your colour scheme. But the story isn’t over yet. Back in the days of Lyons tea room and Corner Houses, mealtimes were rigid: breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner. Today’s consumers, however, are much less set in their ways. Eating out is no longer such a big deal; it’s something people might do on the spur of the moment, with family or friends. People might want burgers at 11am or Eggs Benedict at 7pm. And they might dine alone or with a large group. So your furniture, like your kitchen, needs to be flexible. Imagine you have six people turning up unexpectedly. Unless you have a free both (see above), to seat them quickly and smoothly, you might need to shunt some tables and chairs together. So, when planning your seating layout and buying furniture, bear in mind that they might need to be moved around; you’ll need a mix of larger and smaller tables. And finally, be sure to leave enough space for customer privacy and for your staff to move freely between tables. A rule of thumb is that each customer will require an absolute minimum of one square metre of space – though this figure is for fast-food outlets; a full-service restaurant will allocate at least 1.5 square metres per customer, while for fine dining it should be around 2 square metres. In today’s restaurant business, the customer is king; if they feel they are being squashed and squeezed, they will go elsewhere.

Restaurant interior

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