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The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts
Furniture matters. Whether you’re setting up a café from scratch or refurnishing/refurbishing an existing one, furniture is important for a number of reasons. First, it sets the tone. Are you modernist, trendy industrial chic, traditional, or eclectic? Your furniture will convey a message about what kind of café you are. 

Second, furniture plays a vital role in determining the “flow” of your customers and staff. And third, if your furniture is uncomfortable, your customers will not come back. So here are the very best 30 ideas from the experts to help you decide what kind of furniture to buy, and where to put it.

The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts – Tips 1 – 10:

Tip 1 - Know your customers.

If your café is in the heart of a traditional British market town, your customers will be more traditionally minded, which might mean tablecloths, cake stands, and furniture made from wood rather than metal. On the other hand, customers in an urban café might expect bare brickwork, reclaimed wood surfaces, metal chairs and concrete floors. Most cafés will cross over between different styles, but it’s important to think about the type of people your café attracts and to furnish accordingly.

Tip 2 - Look at your café through the eyes of your customers. 

Try to take a step back and imagine you are a customer. What are your first impressions? Imagine you have been away for a long time and are coming back to you café. Does it look a bit tatty and threadbare? The things that you have got used to, the flaws and problems that you might overlook, are the things that your customers will notice immediately. 

Tip 3 - Visit other cafés.

Take a notebook and make a note of what’s good, and what’s bad.  Observe how customers move through the café and how they make their way to their tables. Check out the big high street chains such as Starbucks and Costa. They may be anonymous corporate behemoths, but they are successful for a reason. 

Tip 4 - Think long and hard about “flow”. 

This means planning the way your customers move through the café, and therefore where to place furniture. Think of your customers as traffic. When they come into the café, do they have space to pause, look around and think about what they want to order? Is there an easy route for them to get from the serving counter to a table? If staff are moving around, can they do so freely? A useful blog post from problem-solving consultants Hyde and Rugg looks taking a user-centred approach to the use of space. If you are setting up from scratch, there are useful tips in this article on customer flow, lighting, counter size and so on. 

Tip 5 – It’s vital to ensure that your customers don’t feel crammed in. 

It might be tempting to squeeze more tables into your café to maximise revenue, but this might deter customers. Ensure that there is plenty of space between chairs for customers and staff to move around.

Tip 6 - Bear in mind that customers will be coming into your café for different reasons, and furnish it accordingly. 

Some will want a quick espresso or a cup of tea; if you have a long high counter, placing high stools alongside it will be an ideal space for these quick-fix customers. Poseur tables and high stools are also useful for this. Others might want to linger over food or a pot of tea and will want something cosier and more comfortable. Which brings us to...

Tip 7 - If you have space, think about installing a sofa or two. 

These can go up against a wall with a low coffee table, and perhaps chairs opposite. Tired shoppers will relish the chance to sink into a deep, comfortable sofa. A sofa with cleanable surfaces, such as Trent Furniture’s Manhattan sofa in leather or faux leather, is best, to make it easier to mop up the inevitable spillages and general grime that accumulate from heavy usage. 

Tip 8 - Your choice of furniture will depend on what you are serving. 

If you are a coffee-and-cake type of establishment, smaller tables will be fine. But if you are serving hot dishes, soups and suchlike, you will need larger tables. Customers do not want an experience akin to that of an aeroplane meal; they want space to eat, reach out, sit back, stretch their elbows.

Tip 9 - Wall-mounted tables can reduce clutter and increase floor space. 

They are widely available in a range of styles and finishes. Often used in a domestic context, they can also be useful in commercial environments. 

Tip 10 - A long space next to a window or alongside a wall can be turned into a shelf-table, with stools underneath. 

It should be solidly fixed – customers will need to feel absolutely confident that they can lean on it without fear of it collapsing or wobbling.

The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts – Tips 11 – 20:

Tip 11 - Speaking of which: make sure that your floor is level. 

There are few things more irritating than sitting at a wobbly table.  

Tip 12 - Cushions will add comfort and colour to a café interior. 

Scatter them at intervals along a bench-seat or banquette. Larger cushions can be placed up against a wall where there’s a bench or banquette. They can also be scattered across sofas.

Tip 13 - A rug or carpet can create a homely environment and reduce noise.

Modern cafés and restaurants can be exceedingly noisy places with their hard, reflective surfaces. If you have a large table, a rug placed under it will “centre” it in the room.

Tip 14 - Think about having a big communal table. 

Today’s younger customers are friendlier and more gregarious than previous generations. They’re often happy to sit at a large table surrounded by strangers rather than sitting at small tables on their own or as small groups. A communal table is also good for large groups of family or friends.

Tip 15 - Window seats are an effective use of space. 

Converting a deep, low window ledge into a seat with cushions adds space and makes a place seem warmer and homelier.

Tip 16 - Don’t arrange your chairs and tables in strict rows so that it looks like a chess tournament or a prison visiting room. 

A mix of table sizes and seating arrangements makes for a more “organic” and visually interesting environment. And there’s no reason not to rearrange things periodically. 

Tip 17 - If you want your furniture arrangement to be flexible, ensure that your furniture is light enough to be moved around. 

Tip 18 - If you need to clear a space regularly for functions or dancing, or even just for cleaning, think about buying stacking chairs, which are available in a range of designs and styles.

Tip 19 - If you have space, think about installing booths. 

These offer privacy and comfort. Customers will relish the intimacy and the chance to talk in private that they offer. They don’t have to be as large as restaurant booths; a rule of thumb is that the more expensive the menu, the more space the customer will expect. But booths take up no more space – and sometimes less – than a regular tables-and-chairs arrangement.

Tip 20 - If you have an outdoor space at the back of your café, think about making a feature of it. 

When the warmer months come around, you could turn it into a “secret garden” with quirky weatherproof furniture, plants in containers, perhaps space heaters, and fairy lights.

The 30 Best Café Furniture Ideas - Inspiration from the Experts – Tips 21 – 30:

Tip 21 - Remember that children are people too. 

Have a supply of high chairs handy, as well as booster cushions. And if you have space, include one or two deep supportive armchairs in your layout for breastfeeding.

Tip 22 - Remember that your furniture does not all have to match. 

An arrangement featuring a mix of styles and colours will give your café a more natural, homely atmosphere. However, colours should match or that complement each other. If you think that your colours might clash, get a second opinion.

Tip 23 - Small stools and low tables can fill up awkward corners and spaces. 

Trent Furniture’s Triangle Chester Stool is ideal for these situations. 

Tip 24 - Spend time on the Pinterest website. 

This is a rich – and free – store of inspiration and ideas from around the world.

Tip 25 - Remember that trends in furnishing and interior design come and go quickly. 

If your café interior is totally “on trend” now, the chances are that it will look old-fashioned within a few years. For instance, suspended filament light bulbs are now beginning to look a little dated. 

Tip 26 - Think carefully about customers with disabilities: can a wheelchair get through the spaces between tables? Are your menus and signs readable?

This list of suggestions for Disabled Access Day will give you some ideas. 

Tip 27 - Remember that an increasing number of British people are freelance workers. 

Often they work from home on laptops, but coming to a café offers a change of scene and a chance to drink and eat while catching up on work. So make sure there are spaces on tables for customers to set out their laptops and that there are plenty of sockets for recharging. It goes without saying that Wi-Fi is essential.

Tip 28 - Always buy commercial furniture. 

Unlike domestic furniture, this is built to withstand the frequent and heavy use it will undergo in a commercial environment.

Tip 29 - Does your café have pavement space at the front? Are you able to use it? 

Today’s outdoor furniture is attractive and durable, and with some choice chairs and tables outside, you could expand your capacity. Also, customers sitting outside your front door will act as a kind of living advert for your café.

Tip 30 - Remember to have fun. 

A café that is furnished and decorated with a sense of enjoyment will have individuality and charm. Customers like to see a human touch behind the things that they buy. So don’t be afraid to express yourself.

For the second year running we will be exhibiting at the Holiday Park Show taking place at the NEC in Birmingham. Following the success of last years show the organisers have expanded the floor plan significantly with more exhibitors and delegates likely to attend. Prysm events have described the show as one of Europes most comprehensive trade shows for the leisure, hospitality and tourism sectors and a must visit for holiday business owners.


Where to find us:

Showcasing some of our bestselling furniture for holiday parks as well as having some of our new arrivals on display you will find us at the heart of the show on stand 2544. If you are attending the show please pop by and say hello! Stop by for a chat anytime  with members from our friendly sales team or drop us an e-mail at to arrange a time slot if you prefer. The show is a great opportunity to find out more and view a small selection of our specialist contract furniture.


Getting to the NEC:

Getting to the NEC is easy with ample parking provided for visitors and excellent public transport links connecting the exhibition centre to all major cities. Public transport includes a train service connecting the NEC directly to Birmingham New Street Station in the city centre. Simply head for Birmingham International and the show is located a short walk from the airport station.


What to expect at the Holiday Show:

The show will run over two days as in previous years over the 8th and 9th November. Not only is the exhibition the perfect opportunity to meet new suppliers and discover some of the most innovative products and dervishes for the Holiday Park sector as you will also find industry leaders offering advice with keynote speakers and seminars. Grab a show guide on arrival and use the timetable to schedule you day to include expert talks that promise "an unparalleled depth of knowledge and inspirational case studies that will help to put your holiday Park on the map" (Holiday Park & Resort Innovation 2017) This combined with the advantage of hundreds of trade suppliers under one roof - surely that's reasons enough to visit or do you need more persuading?


What to expect from Trent Furniture at the Holiday Show:

We supply a vast range of Holiday Park Furniture requirements from cafe chairs and tables to restaurant furniture and sofas or stools for bars, lobbies and communal areas. So what her you are looking to refurb your on site restaurant or kit out accommodation with comfortable sofas we have a huge selection of furniture to choose from that is designed for the hospitality sector and contract use whilst also offering style and affordability. 


Some of our bestselling pieces from our banqueting furniture range will also be on display including a few of our stacking chairs which are ideal for furnishing entertainment venues or marquees. Take a look at our Chiavari chair for example which is the prefect wedding chair and proving hugely popular with business wieners that are venturing into the wedding venue market. The potential for Holiday parks, homes and hotels in this area is huge and choosing furniture when starting out is an important at decision and at Trent Furniture we understand how vital it is to get it right so we are happy to provide multiple quotes and samples if required so you can be sure you are investing in the right furniture!


Trade Shows are great opportunity for us to meet you face to face so whether you are an existing or new client please come and say hi if you are going to be at the show and see if we can help you with your furniture needs-If you aren't able to make it and would like to have a chat then our showroom in Leicester is open 5 days a week or you can simply give us a call on 0116 2864911.


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.

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