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December is a key month for restaurants. There are waves of families and friends to contend with, Christmas dinners to cook and New Year’s Eve plans to be made. There’s certainly a lot that requires consideration. One area that sometimes goes under the radar because of all that surrounds it is the office Christmas party. 

Christmas business parties

The majority of businesses will throw a Christmas party. It’s part of our culture. Given the amount of workers at each company and the number of businesses in your vicinity the market is large and shouldn’t be sniffed at by restaurants.

Now, hopefully you’ve not left it this late to begin planning your 2017 Christmas party venue. There are companies that leave their booking until November/December time, but most will have something in the books, or at least have an idea of what they will be doing by late summer time. 

Marketing tips for attracting office Christmas parties:

• A Christmas page should be added to the website that will detail all necessary information (menus, capacities, prices etc.). This will also give you a page to link and direct customers to. 

• If you have a database of customers, email them a newsletter detailing your Christmas plans and early bird offers that you’re offering for office parties. Give them an incentive to book with you early. 

• Christmas party menus and offers should be promoted through social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

• Drop some fliers and leaflets around some of the businesses nearby you, perhaps offering them a ‘neighbour’s discount’.

Making the Christmas party a special event

When an office is organising the party, it’s probable that one of the workers will have recommended your restaurant as the host venue. It’s very unlikely that EVERY member of a company will have been to your restaurant before, so not only is it a chance to strengthen relationships with regulars, but the Christmas office party gives you a big opportunity win over plenty of new customers too.

Don’t think your job is done once the bookings have been made. Make the dining experience a special one to make sure all the colleagues are happy and you’ll have gained yourself a selection of new endorsers.

Restaurant furniture in keeping with the season

To impress your guests, you want to make sure your furniture and décor is in keeping with the season. One thing’s for sure, you don’t want a mismatch of furniture at the table like you’d expect to find in dining rooms across the table on Christmas Day. 

To ensure you’ve got enough room for everyone and no furniture that’s looking worn and old, browse our restaurant furniture range. 

Whatever went wrong with the plate? We’re sure we’re not the only ones that have ordered the perfect dish in a restaurant for it to arrive extravagantly in a seemingly random tableware dish. The most recent experience of this was a ‘plate’ of nachos arriving at my table in a kitchen sink. Yes, a kitchen sink. 

New ways that restaurants are serving food

If you have absolutely no idea what we’re talking about, head over to @WeWantPlates Twitter page and you’ll see a host of new ways restaurants are serving food. From fish tanks to walking boots, it seems that nothing is safe from being filled with food.

When was it decided that plates weren’t good enough?

And is there anything even wrong with serving food out of bizarre objects anyway?
The bewilderment and excitement that the presentation brings to the table certainly gets phones out for a picture, but do they add to the dining experience or do they leave customers longing for the golden-years of the classic plate? 

What does the eating out public think?

To see exactly what Brits think of the ever-growing phase, YouGov showed over 2,000 members of the public a selection of unconventional eating vessels and asked them if they considered it acceptable for restaurants, cafés and pubs to serve on.

Ultimately, the report found that the public is ‘distinctly unimpressed’ with the gimmick. The least acceptable way of serving food was in a shoe (nine per cent found it to be acceptable) and in close second was dog bowls (10 per cent). 

It is clear that the majority are out of favour with the new presentation techniques, but there were some which weren’t seen as so unappealing: over half of the respondents were happy with plant pots, wooden boards and slates. 

Depending on who the market is for your restaurant, it may be something to pursue or steer away from. We certainly wouldn’t recommend a fine dining restaurant to embark on a mission to collect slippers to serve their food from but for a casual dining establishment, it’s potentially something that guests may find will add to their eating experience. 

The results show that younger Britons are generally more likely to want food served in or on unconventional items than their elders.

From serving food to restaurant furniture

Whatever it is you choose to serve your food on, it will look beautiful laid on top of our restaurant furniture.

Trent Furniture has supplied restaurants from around the UK with furnishings. Whatever interior your establishment is looking to create, we can help. Browse our restaurant furniture online. 

We all treasure our local pub. It is a place where we socialise with family and friends, form new friendships and create memories in a community space just a stone’s throw away from the comfort of our own home. 

The local pub is a staple British tradition...

The local pub is a staple British tradition but it has recently been revealed just how much we love them. A new poll has revealed that a quarter of people in the UK feel happiest when enjoying time in their local pub.  

Why do people go to the pub?

So, what is It that makes the pub such a special place, and why do Brits feel happier there than a visit to the park or a shopping trip? Well, the research shows that there are plenty of reasons why. The most common response though was being able to catch up with friends and in close second was the pub’s atmosphere. 

Other reasons include making a trip to the pub because it serves their favourite beer (40 per cent) and one in five visits because they are on first name terms with the landlords or bar staff.  

Creating a local pub atmosphere

If you are looking to create the ultimate pub atmosphere that your surrounding residents can’t keep away from, we think there are five main points:

• Dog and child-friendly
• Background music
• Local drinks 
• The right furniture
• A landlord full of character

Buying the right pub furniture

We can’t help with the others, but we can’t certainly help you with the pub furniture.

Trent Furniture has been supplying pubs with furniture for many decades. During that time, there have been many changes to the industry. Where it was always once traditional farmhouse pub chairs and tables, there is now a demand for contemporary designs. Whether you are looking for a traditional or modern looking pub, browse our pub furniture range here, on our website.

Most of our wooden pub chairs are available in a variety of woods so it is easy to choose a finish to complement the character of your pub's interior. 

Restaurants, pubs and cafes know all too well that they need to make the most out of each meal time. Traditionally it would be dinner time that would see the busiest action in these establishments, with swarms of customers filling up the seats. However, it seems that the younger generation has a different idea.

The market has always been there for breakfast, but the number of people opting to eat out for breakfast and brunch is growing; especially in the younger generations. Younger adults are driving the trend for eating out for breakfast.

Just like all the other American trends that have come across the pond, dining out for breakfast and brunch is here to stay. Findings from Lamb Weston’s The Future of Breakfast: An Inside report 2017 found that nearly half (48 per cent) of 18-24 year olds eat breakfast out once or twice a month or more. This is followed by 41 per cent of 25-34 year olds. 

The saying goes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it seems that more and more are living up to it. The report shows that 58 per cent now see breakfast as the most important meal of the day.

More than just a morning thing

When you first think of breakfast, it’s natural to associate it with morning time. Although it’s a staple functional meal to start the day, findings from the report show that breakfast is now viewed as a sociable, indulgent occasion. 32 per cent of consumers eat after 11am on Saturday and 39 per cent on Sundays. This shows the need for establishments to not restrict their breakfast/brunch menu to specific times. 

Consumers don’t only want the meal to be flexible, most are influenced by indulgence (66 per cent in 18-24 year olds) and sociability.

Breakfast furniture of choice

Your furniture choices should reflect the menu and theme of your restaurant or café. Whether you serve Americanised, continental, British style breakfasts, your furniture should match with the menu.
If you are in need of some new furniture for your café or restaurant, get in touch with us on or browse our collection – we have a range of different styles to fit with every theme.

The British have been drinking in pubs and bars for around 2,000 years, ever since the Romans introduced the taberna, or tavern, to these shores. It’s also from the Romans that we get the word “table”, or “tabula” in Latin, which means, among other things, “plank”. 

And that’s exactly what a table would have been in the earliest pubs and inns: a simple wooden plank or board, supported by trestles or perhaps blocks of stone, and later barrels, on which food and drink would be placed. Over the centuries, the bar or pub table has evolved into a multifaceted creature: it has grown legs, it now comes in various heights and materials, and is highly mobile.

bar table with spirits and glasses

So, if you run a bar or a pub and are thinking about tables, this last point is perhaps the first thing you should bear in mind: how flexible do you want your layout to be? On the one hand, customers are generally resistant to change; they might have a favourite seat or corner in your bar, so if they arrive one day to find that it’s been moved, they will not be happy. On the other hand, you might want to change your furniture layout to cater for different events or even for different times of day (lunchtime and evening, for instance). The answer might be to have a kind of “skeleton” layout of seats and tables in settled positions, with the rest of the space given over to more flexible furniture. 

Styles and finishes of bar tables

Which brings us to the question of styles. If yours is a contemporary-looking bar, then it would be best to continue this theme with your tables and chairs, using the bright, clean-looking chrome and metal finishes and laminates now widely available. But often it’s better to mix things up, with perhaps a more traditional-looking sofa and a low table in the corner or against the wall where drinkers can sit and linger; regular-height tables and chairs in another part of the space; and the rest of the room given over to high “poseur” tables and high stools. These higher tables are ideal for small groups who might just be popping in for a quick drink. Another factor to bear in mind is that if space is limited, tables with rounded rather than square edges make it easier for customers to move around without banging their legs or catching their clothes or bag straps on table corners.

bar table with half empty beers

Once you’ve thought about the big picture, it’s time to get down to specifics. It’s best to go through the different types of table in order of height, beginning with the lowest. Prices for these tables from Trent Furniture range from around £50 for a small coffee table (excluding VAT) to around £96 (exc. VAT) for an Art Deco poseur table in silver finish.

Starting low - bar table height guide

Low tables are generally referred to as “coffee tables”, although they are of course fully capable of supporting all kinds of drinks. Although their use in bars is not widespread, they are sometimes used along with a sofa or chairs in a corner or against a wall; if seating is low, then a table will clearly need to be low, too. Coffee tables are more often made or finished in wood, such as Trent Furniture’s Shaker coffee table (in various finishes) or Farmhouse square coffee table (in dark oak or light oak finishes). These will generally measure around 45-48cm in height.

A more contemporary look comes with the Pyramid coffee table, so called because it has a pyramid-shaped base (which is wide, to ensure stability). These are almost always contemporary in design, materials and finish: chrome, powder-coated metal, laminates, light wood veneers. Trent Furniture’s Pyramid coffee tables are square or rectangular, with the base made from steel and the tops in either wood veneer or laminate. 

The next stage of bar tables

It’s likely, though, that your bar will mostly use tables of a regular “dining” height of around 68-70cm. Trent Furniture’s Art Deco pedestal table will accommodate a small group of customers. It weighs around 20kg, making it extremely sturdy and stable, but not so heavy that it can’t be moved around as required. 

bar table with drinks on in an outdoor setting

The difference between a bar and a pub is not clear-cut, and therefore it’s not easy to say what constitutes “bar furniture” as opposed to “pub furniture”. Often they will cross over. But it’s true that bars tend to be furnished and decorated in a somewhat less traditional style than pubs. So tables such as Trent Furniture’s Pyramid tables or Pedestal Tables would be a good choice for a bar, rather than the more traditional-looking ornate cast-iron tables and seating.

Pyramid tables would work well alongside Trent Furniture’s Small Dakota bar stool, or one of its simple wooden stools with either wooden tops or button (ie, cushioned) tops. Alternatively, simple designs such as the Bistro Table or the Frame Table offer an unobtrusively stylish option. A clever way of using wall space is to put a banquette or bench seat up against the wall, with chairs facing it, and tables in between. 

High society bar tables

Then we come to the high furniture. This is the kind of furniture that’s found almost exclusively in bars. If your bar has a counter where people sit, then high bar stools are essential. There’s something very American about sitting on a high stool at the bar, catching the bartender’s eye when your drink needs refreshing, and perhaps catching the eye of a fellow drinker. For a stylish, contemporary look, Trent Furniture’s Tall Zeta chrome bar stool (seat height 80cm), with its elegant curves, or the Monza bar stool (seat height 75cm) with metal frame and pressed plywood seat, are ideal. 

Groups of customers may want to cluster around a high “poseur” table, and there are numerous stools that would fit this set-up. The Tall Dakota bar stool (from £38.90) is solid and unobtrusively stylish, with a chunky design and a cushioned leather top. This would look good with one of Trent’s Pyramid poseur tables, either in black or chrome. A more decorative, but still modern design the Shaker poseur table, which comes in the same range of wood finishes.

People come to bars for different reasons: sometimes for a quick drink and a chat before moving on, sometimes for a date, sometimes to meet up with a group of friends for the whole evening. If space is sufficient, a well-furnished bar will be able to cater for all these needs: poseur chairs and tables for the first, smaller tables with more comfortable chairs for the second, larger tables with comfortable chairs or perhaps even sofas and low coffee tables for the third. Trent Furniture has many more options than the ones listed here. But the key to furnishing a bar is that it’s more than a question of simply going out and buying a job-lot of functional chairs and tables. By putting thought and care into it, you’ll end up with a proper bar – and customers who keep returning

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