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Whether it be a restaurant, bar, café, pub or hotel, if the sun is shining in the UK, customers want to be outside – simply because of the rarity!  

Tips for outside furniture 

If there is space available, operators should make use of it by encouraging customers to dine or drink outside. Through spring and summer, this is important for businesses to consider as it maximises the number of potential custom. 

Having the right outdoor commercial furniture to battle with the unpredictable elements of British weather is a key element of any venue’s furnishings. With outdoor furniture coming in a range of different materials, it can be difficult to know which is best for your business. To help, we’ve put together a guide of the pros of the main three materials: wood, metal, rattan and plastic.

Commercial metal furniture and seating

Perhaps the most popular outdoor furniture material is metal. Metal chairs and tables are a good option for resisting the heavy rain and longer lengths of sunshine. Stainless steel and aluminium outdoor furniture are also light enough to be easily rearranged by yourself or by customers. This means that they can be easily stored away through winter and won’t take long to set up.  

Wooden furniture for outdoors

Typically associated with pubs who have wooden benches and tables, wood is a versatile and rustically attractive choice. The drawback of wooden outdoor furniture is undoubtedly the high maintenance that is required to keep it looking in good condition. Decay and rot through very wet conditions are common, which is why we generally advise customers to steer away and use wood-effect outdoor furniture.  

Plastic furniture for commercial use

Made from durable and water-resistant Polypropylene material, these chairs are highly versatile for use in a range of different outdoor spaces. Because plastic chairs are available in so many different styles and colours, operators can be unique with their choice, too. 

The material was previously seen as a cheaper choice by customers but with more innovate designs and finishes, this problem is fading. If the budget is low, plastic seating might be the best option for value for money. 

Rattan furniture for business

Rattan is a strong, flexible type of vine used to create this seating and tabling. The furniture is stylish, lightweight and because of the weave used, extremely comfortable without the need for cushions.

Commercial outdoor furniture advice

Each has their own merits and as a business owner, you need to choose the correct fit for your unique needs. If you need advice on weighing up which would be best for your establishment, get in touch with our team 0116 2983 641 who will be able to provide assistance. 

All of our commercial outdoor furniture is available to browse here. With seasons changing, now is the right time for operators to think about updating their outdoor furniture.

We have been the restaurant owner’s commercial furniture supplier of choice for a number of years. We’ve furnished hundreds of restaurants all across the UK and even overseas. It’s fair to say that we have plenty of experience when it comes to furnishing a restaurant.

For those of you who are a first-time purchaser of restaurant furniture, there are some common mistakes that can happen in the buying process. At Trent Furniture, we’ve decided to share our knowledge and explain some ways to avoid these mistakes with some top tips. 

Spend time planning your restaurant 

Buying your restaurant furniture shouldn’t simply be a case of going to our website and placing an order of however many chairs and tables. You can never spend too much time planning your purchase. To ensure you get it right, you need to think about the space available, amount of furniture needed and how it will affect the flow of your restaurant. Other considerations include your budget, the durability of the furniture and if it will fit with your restaurant’s image. 

Space considerations for diners

Overcrowding a restaurant with furniture is a common problem. In a bid to get more covers, restaurant owners can be tempted to squeeze in an extra few tables and chairs where space is already at a premium. The result is a restaurant that appears cluttered with little space to manoeuvre. This sacrifices customer’s comfort and privacy for extra seats - not a strategy that we agree with.

There should be at least 45cm between chairs, ensuring tables have space and staff have enough room to work around the tables. The higher quality of the restaurant this space should increase. 

Getting the measurements right

Check your restaurant’s dimensions more than once. There’s nothing worse than setting up a table only to find that it doesn’t fit into the corner of the room how you’d hoped. 

Once you have measured you’ve done this, take note of the dimensions of the furniture you’re looking to purchase and draw a sketched floor plan for every idea you have so that you can assess the pros and cons of each layout design.

Considering you customers’ needs

It might well work with you, but what about your customers? After all, they’re the ones who will be using it. Stay true to your restaurant and the demographic you are looking to target. Is speed important to your customer base or are you a more fine-dining establishment? The comfort of your seating should align with how long you want customers to stay.

Buying 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 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.

Furnishing hundreds of pubs, cafés, bars and restaurants every year, it can all merge into one big project. As such, it can be nice to look back and see what has happened over the past year.

As usual, our furniture has been used in plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafés but we also see our furniture used for a whole host of other purposes.

Here are some of our favourite transformations through 2017...

The best wedding venue furniture 2017-18

Early on in 2017, we furnished a picturesque wedding venue with our fitting limewash Chiavari stacking chairs. The wedding venue dates back to the 14th century and is a barn found in Hertfordshire. The traditional wooden features of the venue worked perfectly with that of the carved chairs.

Take a look at the wedding venue furniture.

Football club furniture favourites 2017-18

Our furniture was found in numerous football clubs through last year but a particularly favourite transformation was at Eastleigh Football Club. In a bid to improve the hospitality services at the stadium, the club has been developing a new hospitality building on the North End of the stadium. Our Buckingham silver frame chairs were used in the glamorous bar and restaurant which will be open to players, supporters and sponsors.

Have a look at the football club’s development.

Indian restaurant furniture - the best choices for 2017-18

Our restaurant furniture has been used for both new and established restaurants across the country. Halfway through 2017, over 100 of our chairs and 25 of our tables were used to fully furnish a new Indian restaurant in Milton Keynes. Urban Dhaba was opened by the Mayor of Milton Keynes at an event that featured fire performers and Bollywood dancing. 

Get some inspiration for your restaurant.

Jazz bar furniture favorites 2017-18

Jazz bars are a particular favourite of ours at Trent Furniture and we were thrilled when the owner of a new café and jazz bar in Cardiff got in touch with us about ordering furniture. We’re pleased to have helped The Pomegranate fill the venue with stylish furniture to create a chic, modern décor. 

See the furniture chosen for the jazz bar.

Best street food venue furniture 2017-18

Street Feast converts disused spaces in London into unique eating and drinking environments. Street food is a growing trend and these transformed spaces are a sight to behold with smells from either cuisine imaginable filling the space. For one of their venues, furniture was needed for a special Martini Weekender event. 

Our loopback chairs and bentwood stools were propped against the main cocktail and aperitif bar at the event. Take a look here

UK commercial furniture supplier - Trent Furniture

Whatever your commercial space you are looking to furnish through 2018, Trent Furniture can help. We have a selection of tables, chairs, sofas, and stools that are available to browse.

The ECB (England Cricket Board) offers various funding to support Cricket Clubs in England and Wales. Whether you are looking to expand your club, improve current facilities or refurbish your clubhouse, there is a number of options with the ECB that can help facilitate the process. From their interest free loan scheme to the small grant scheme to Sport England Lottery funding and help with fundraising, your club could benefit from ECB support.

What is an ECB grant?

The EWCT Small Grant Scheme helps cricket clubs make small changes that contribute to their long-term sustainability.

This year, clubs can apply for the grant to be used to improve facilities linked to national programmes; this could mean increasing covers or redeveloping the clubhouse to provide a more family friendly environment.

The grant can be used towards the purchase of relevant materials as well as any expenses related to professional labour costs. The procurement of new furniture to increase covers in the clubhouse restaurant or new seating for the bar area to encourage family dining and match day attendance are all included under these themes so a small grant could be the help you need if you are looking to buy new furniture!

Am I eligible to apply for funding for our cricket club?

Yes any Cricket Club can submit an application by contacting their local Country Cricket Board, however priority will be given to affiliated Clubs that are that are actively engaged in the following national programmes

  • Get the Game On
  • Supporting All Stars Cricket  
  • Women’s Cricket
  • U19 Club T20

It is likely that you will be asked to provide quotations for the materials/works that you plan to purchase with the grant so you will need to contact suppliers to obtain formal quotes. Here at Trent Furniture we are more than happy to assist with this and we can provide multiple quotes if required to assist with your application.


How do I apply for an ECB grant?

First you should contact your local County Cricket Board (CCB) to request and application note. They will be able to provide instructions on how to apply and full guidance notes for completing your application.

Make sure you complete all stages thoroughly, obtain current and formal quotes from suppliers and submit your application before the deadline!

For more details and to visit the official ECB website click here

 

You’ve chosen the location, your menu is in development and fixtures and fittings are in place but what about the design of the dining area of your restaurant? Layout is fundamental in creating and running a successful restaurant. When you consider that on average, the dining space of a restaurant takes up two thirds of a restaurants total space it’s no wonder that planning of the area needs to be a priority. It’s near pointless having a top of the range kitchen and extraordinary menu if the interior and layout doesn’t work, doesn’t enable the venue to operate to its full potential and leaves customers dissatisfied.


1. Capacity

If you are asking yourself ‘Where do I begin in designing the layout of my restaurant?’ then the experts at Trent Furniture may have the answers you need! First things first, you need to calculate how many covers you can fit into the area. This will depend to some extent on the type and tone of the restaurant.  In a fast food restaurant setting, diners can be positioned much closer to one another, you can even introduce shared dining experiences and have seating within very close proximity to the next dining table. Less than 1 square metre per person would suffice. However, in a full service restaurant this would feel crowded and you need to allow more area per customer, anywhere between 1 and 1.5 Square Metres per diner is adequate and should enable you to work out a ball point maximum capacity for your restaurant. Depending on whether your restaurant offers fast food, buffet, full service dining or a fine dining experience will affect how much space you allow and ultimately what type of dining experience you want to create so consider this at the initial planning stages.

2.Size


Once you have figured out your maximum capacity, what next? When you know how many diners you can fit in, or at least have a good idea, you need to decide what size tables will work best. It is important to cater for various group sizes so a combination of square and rectangular tables is the ideal solution. Square tables are perfect for couples and rectangular for families or bigger groups. Then for large parties and events, the tables can be joined together to cater for more people if necessary. The combination of both square and rectangular tables in different sizes tables provides ultimate flexibility so you can adapt efficiently to meet the needs of your customers.

Answering the question of ‘What size tops will I need for my restaurant tables?’ is much more difficult because the answer is very much determined by the type of food you will be serving. Most restaurants combine square and rectangular shape tables to cater for different group sizes, but the final sizes will depend on the style of food, number of courses and accompaniments as well as any additional tableware that might be required. If you specialise in tapas, offer a seven course tasting menu or the menu focuses on little plates, extras and side dishes then you might need to allow for slightly more table surface per person! We recommend a minimum area of 45cm x 30cm but going up to anywhere in the region of 75cm x 40cm for each individual diner. See our table top size guidelines in the image below;

3.Positioning


When it comes to the positioning of your tables and chairs, generally, we suggest approximately 45cm from the back of one chair to another so that customers have room to get in and out from the tables without disturbing other guests. The last thing customers want is to be knocking elbows with the stranger on the table next to them, not only will the uncomfortable experience be likely to lead to a lower overall spend but it also leaves them with a negative impression of the venue, unlikely to recommend your restaurant to others or to return themselves in the future. As a guideline, aim for a minimum of just under half a metre distance between the backs of chairs which will give your customers plenty of room to access their seats.

Once you have your furniture in place, get a feel for the space by sitting in each seat and identifying any potential issues. It’s inevitable that there will be the ‘best seats in the house’ and some that are less impressive but by trying out the position of each chair in the restaurant at least you will be aware of where and able to improve on them. If there is a table within close proximity to the bathrooms or main entrance for example, consider using bench seating to minimise disruption from passing traffic or even utilise the area for a different purpose such as a lobby or storage. When trying out the seats, take account of what the customers view will be form their seat and for drawbacks such as draughts, kitchen noise and lighting. Often very small adjustments to the position of a table can make a huge difference and there will be a very simple solution!

4.Circulation Routes & Flow


The whole restaurant should have a natural flow, from the main entrance to the bar and the dining area right through to storage and the kitchen/food preparation area – you should carefully consider your circulation route both in terms of your customers and the staff. People must be able to move around with ease and the waiting staff need clear pathways and adequate room between tables to be able to maintain high quality service. Ultimately, the positioning and spacing between furniture is integral to an establishments success and has a major effect on how effectively your restaurant operates. Ensure there is space between seating for diners to move their chairs back from a table without obstructing the circulation route.

It can be difficult to get the right balance between an effective circulation routes whilst fitting in as many tables as possible to maximise capacity and accommodate the greatest number of customers but it really is something you should consider carefully when designing the layout of your restaurant. When designing these routes, always consider the seated customer as you do not want them constantly surrounded by people traffic. The key here is to keep circulation routes to a minimum-just enough to allow people to move around with ease and get in and out from the tables, ideally this means a minimum of 40-50cm between chairs which are placed back to back.

Do not position tables in the middle of main route from the dining area to the kitchen or toilets where they will obstruct the flow in the highest traffic areas, not only does it inconvenience waiting staff but it’s an unpleasant dining experience for your customer.

5.Partitions & Dividers


If you are designing your restaurant floor plan to include a waiting area then it should be within easy reach of the entrance but not in any way blocking the entrance or exit. Position furniture at low levels by using sofas and coffee tables or perhaps high bar stools and poseur tables which take up less space. By introducing different level seating to the apace it helps to isolate the waiting area as a different section to the other parts of the restaurant where customers are eating and drinking. A bar area is a good addition to a waiting area to increase a restaurants profitability so you could also consider positioning the bar area in between the entrance and main dining area to separate the two. The addition of a few bar stools strategically placed creates a welcoming ambiance and doubles up as a waiting area when people are waiting for their table.

It’s a great interior design technique to combine high and low level seating in a venue as it adds interest to the layout and help to distinguish different areas within the restaurant. The bar might have tall tables and bar stools, the entrance some tub chairs and low tables, whilst standard dining tables and chairs feature in the main dining section. If you decide to use this technique, make sure there is enough distance between sections that those sitting in low seating don’t feel like they are being looked down on by high tables. Try using the same model of chair in tall and standard height to create a coordinated look but still differentiate the more casual seating with more formal dining areas.

You might also want to section off areas in your restaurant layout to offer some variations in atmosphere, create some more intimate and private areas by using free standing benches which create the feel of a private booth area or high back dining chairs positioned in rows to create barriers and increase the feeling of privacy. Solid back dining chairs can be really effective at sectioning off large groups from the rest of your customers and tables placed at certain angles can restrict view.

NB: Don’t forget the incorporate these other areas when designing your restaurant layout;

  • Waiting Area
  • Bar
  • WC’s
  • Kitchen & Food Prep
  • Storage
  • Staff Area & Office

All will form an important part of the design process and need to be considered in the early stages of planning your restaurant layout and will influence how much and what furniture you can fit into the venue

When you have a good idea of how you plan to layout your restaurant you might be thinking ‘what type of furniture works best for my layout?’ If you need any advice on furniture style, recommendations or information on sizing and product specifications then please call our experienced sales team who will be happy to talk through options and answer any questions.
 

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