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How a restaurant can make front of house stand out and attract customers

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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.

Introducing the retro French school chair

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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.

Tips for hotel lobby design

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The hotel lobby is perhaps the most important room in a hotel. Of course, the actual guest rooms need to be up to standard, but as a public space, the lobby is where guests will make their first impressions and is at the heart of the hotel’s functions.

The hotel lobby has evolved from just acting as the area for guests to check in and out. It should now be a multi-functional space for relaxing and socialising and more than just a pit-stop. For the best first impression, the lobby needs to be clean and tidy but it needs to do more than just this to create a lasting impression of guests.

Here are some tips for designing a welcoming and functional hotel lobby:

Comfortable seating

Choice of seating is always important, but in a hotel lobby, comfort is paramount. Tired travellers will want to seek some sort of refuge as soon as they come to check in and guests should be encouraged to use the lobby space for relaxing with a book or socialising over a quick coffee before they head out.

Who are your usual guests?

Families, couples, young groups, retirees or business travellers? Who is it that your hotel is trying to attract and who is your main customer group at present? Each demographic has different wants and needs, so the features in your lobby will vary depending on your target market. For example, if your hotel is described as family friendly, there should be puzzles, colouring books and the like in a kid’s corner.

Add an information hub

Seeing as your guests are likely to be new to the area, it is important for hotels to have a place to go to access local information. Having an information hub with leaflets of attractions, bus timetables, a map and events calendar, helps guests quickly settle in. The hub can also include information about the hotel such as restaurant timings, laundry and reception details.

Amenities hotel lobbies should have:

  • Access to water or hot drinks: guests should always be able to access free water. Having a water dispenser available means guests can keep refreshed while they wait for other members of their party or taxi driver to arrive. Depending on the standard of hotel, you may have teas and coffees within easy reach too.
  • WiFi and charging points: It’s now expected that a hotel has an open WiFi network for guests to connect to. Charging points are necessary near seating so that guests can top up their battery before leaving the hotel.
  • Enough seating: If you want guests to feel comfortable relaxing in the hotel lobby, having enough hotel seating is essential. Seating in the lobby makes the hotel appear busier and friendlier to those passing by.

Hotel furniture

If the furniture in your hotel’s reception, bedrooms or eating area looks like it needs a refresh, Trent Furniture’s hotel furnishings include every type of décor you are trying to achieve. Browse our full selection here.

Why domestic furniture isn’t enough in a commercial environment

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Whether you are opening a new restaurant, bar, café or club, or renovating your space, the choice of furniture is an important decision to make.

Through your furniture search, you might have come across commercial and domestic furniture and wonder what exactly the difference is. There’s no questioning that you want your establishment to look as good as possible, but with potentially tight budgets, some buyers have the tendency to go for the cheaper options of domestic furniture when in the long run this isn’t the best decision.

Before you make your decision, here are the reasons why commercial grade furniture is needed over domestic furniture:

What is commercial furniture?

Put simply, commercial (or contract) furniture is fit for the job. Commercial furniture goes beyond the appearance and consideration is given to what the item will be used for on a daily basis. As such, they are put through extensive testing for safety, flammability, strength and durability, stability, and fabric and foam performance.

Why is it necessary for commercial environments to use contract furniture?

Fire safety

It is a legal requirement that furniture used in a commercial environment meets strict UK fire regulations. Whilst domestic furniture must only meet a couple of fire standards, commercial requirements are much more stringent.

Contract furniture is manufactured to a high standard and uses material that withstands tough conditions, helping them to pass fire safety standards such as CRIB5. A certificate must be produced by an establishment when requested by a fire safety officer. If your establishment is found to be using furniture that doesn’t adhere to these regulations, penalties could be enforced.

At Trent Furniture, all of our chairs are made using fire retardant high-density foam and upholstery fabrics are all CRIB5 so you can be confident knowing your chairs meet UK requirements.

Durability

Even the most expensive piece of domestic furniture isn’t built to withstand the amount of use in a commercial environment. In a restaurant or bar, the furniture is likely to be used non-stop throughout the day, week after week. This means that durability and longevity and vital in the buying process.

Naturally, customers don’t treat furniture the same as they would their own; they might drag chairs and mark tables. Domestic furniture simply isn’t made for this type of use. This is why those who persist with domestic furniture have to attend to more furniture breakages and repairs.

Money saving

You may be thinking that contract furniture is expensive and any savings that can be made when refurnishing your establishment are welcomed. However, whilst the initial investment for contract furniture is more expensive, the view is that it is just that: an investment.

The furniture is more suited to commercial environments and as such has a longer lifespan than domestic grade alternatives. This means that there is no need to budget for new furniture or repairs in the years that follow. In the long term, commercial furniture offers better value.

Commercial furniture supplier

Trent Furniture is a commercial furniture supplier for restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, clubs and much more. We stock a wide range of affordable quality contract chairs, tables and furniture packages. At Trent Furniture we have both the experience and range to offer you the very best selection of furniture for your individual needs.

How to buy the best chairs for your restaurant

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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.

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