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The restaurant and bar industry is always on the lookout for the latest Instagram-worthy features and trends to entice more customers to visit venues. As trends notoriously change very quickly, what was in fashion last year will be old news by the following. At Trent, we have the knowledge and experience to help our customers furnish and decorate their restaurant whilst staying abreast of current trends. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to; read on to find out what’s hot and what’s not in 2020…

Pick your paint carefully

With pale colours well and truly a thing of the past, 2020 is set to be the year of the rich blues and cool greens. Fresh tones will be the backdrop for restaurants and bars alike, the new wave of colours helping to attract more customers across the threshold. If you’re looking to give your restaurant a lick of paint, blues and greens complement wooden furniture very well, keeping the Scandinavian style in fashion. 

Eco-friendly is still in fashion

With such a heavy focus on environmental issues, it’s no surprise that the eco-friendly mindset has continued to influence what we consume and where we consume it. Recyclable materials like glass and wood have become a staple trend, as minimalism continues to grow. From up-cycled furniture to low-energy light bulbs, every element of what makes up a restaurant must be taken into account when adopting the eco-friendly style! We’re expecting to see stripped-back décor making more of a presence in a year or so.

Multi-functional furniture

In response to the ever-dwindling spaces restaurant owners have to play with, furniture design has evolved to accommodate, producing more compact yet functional pieces. Bar seating is an ever-popular choice for restaurants and cafés alike, with the compact tables and stools perfectly placed in the bay of a window saving space whilst maximising the seating potential. Long benches and cleverly-designed banquette tables are set to become more prominent in the restaurants of the future too, ultimately creating a much more communal and social space.

Out with the industrial look

White walls and exposed beams have been replaced with a return to more natural and earthy tones. Bright colours and different textures, from mix-matched crockery to modernist art donning the walls, will replace the charcoal grey of last year. Quirky lighting and neon signs will be popular, especially on the Instagram feeds of influencers, so consider making your décor photo friendly.

The urban jungle is here to stay

Just as trends disappear to never be seen again, some withstand the test of the time, and the urban jungle is no exception. The colour green is in every nook and cranny, from palm printed wallpaper to potted plants; the feeling of nature and the outdoors is certainly brought inside. With the rise of veganism and a return to more natural ways of consumption, we’re predicting that this trend, perhaps more of a lifestyle change, will be here to stay!

At Trent, we’re passionate about helping you make the most of your restaurant space. Whether you need help selecting the right furniture at the right price, or you’re just looking for some design and décor hints and tips, we are on hand whenever you need us. Why not check out our blog for a little inspiration, follow the link here. Get in touch with us our friendly customer service team on 0116 2864 911 for all your furniture needs.

A recent survey from HGEM has revealed the way diners judge a restaurant before and during their visit. A panel of mystery guests were asked about their latest dining experiences and the results provide some valuable insights for restauranteurs.

First Impressions Matter

75% of guests paid attention to the interior and design of the restaurant when they first entered and 72% said the atmosphere and ambience was important to them. This illustrates how important it is to ensure the décor and vibe of your restaurant is inviting to customers as soon as they enter it.

86% of customers said they always expect to be greeted on arrival and 83% expect to be shown to their seat. Some respondents even said they have left a restaurant after not being greeted quickly enough!

See our guide to making the right first impression in your restaurant for some top tips on this.

The top 10 important factors

HGEM asked what the 10 most important factors were when it comes to the restaurant experience, and consumers answered:

1. Quality of food

2. Overall customer service

3. The price of food

4. The cleanliness of the venue

5. The atmosphere and ambience of the venue

6. The range of food

7. The presentation of food

8. The speed of service

9. The price of drinks

10. The authenticity of the food

Unsurprisingly, food plays a key part in this top 10 list! However you may be surprised to see ambience and cleanliness rank as such important factors.

Cleanliness is crucial when it comes to any food environment, so ensuring your restaurant is cleaned before any customers arrive, and during the service period, is a given but it is also worth checking the state of your furniture, fixtures and even walls on a regular basis. We’ve got handy guides to keeping hospitality furniture clean as well as maintaining furniture so it can always look its best.

When it comes to ambience, great lighting, beautiful décor and high-quality furniture can transform your restaurant. Visit our blog for guides on decorating your restaurant space, or get in touch with Trent Furniture if you have questions about the best restaurant furniture for your space.

Modern minimalism and natural Scandinavian style have dominated design for the past few years, but experts have identified 2019 as the year colour is making a comeback in restaurant design.

How to use colour in a dining space

When dealing with colour in a hospitality space it’s important to remember that colour impacts much more than just the look of a location - people have psychological reactions to colours which can go as far as to affect whether or not they choose to eat at your restaurant.

Shades like blue and purple are less commonly found in eating establishments and food branding as they don’t evoke feelings of hunger and are not associated with natural foods. Using shades like this sparingly can add vibrant pops of colour but all blue walls may not be the best idea if you want to create a welcoming ambience to eat in

On the other hand, oranges and yellows promote feelings of the space being fresh and cheerful. Greens and browns are relaxing and associated with freshness, making them ideal shades to use in restaurants and cafes.

Bearing these colour tips in mind, here are two ways that colour is being utilised in the hospitality sector in 2019:

Deep hues set the atmosphere

Deep and luxurious hues like mustard, deep greens and pewters can add an expensive look to any dining space for a low cost. Pairing these colours with wooden panelling, bespoke lighting and plush leather-style furniture creates a truly luxe feel.

We recommend the Munich Retro Faux Leather Chair, Chesterfield Two Seater Sofa and Rimini Dining Chair in Brown Faux to achieve this look.

Examples of leather style contract furniture from Trent Furniture

Bright shades are back

Bright colours are also being adopted in more and more spaces. Klein blue, phonebooth reds and lemon yellows can lift a space and create a fun atmosphere. This trend is not surprising given Pantone’s energizing colour of the year for 2019; living coral. The shade was chosen as Pantone felt it symbolised ‘our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits’, and embodies ‘our desire for playful expression’.

Give your hospitality establishment a more playful feel by adding pops of colour in your furniture, artwork and accessories.

We recommend the quirky Bella Tall Stool, Bella Chair and the Retro French School Chair to get this look.

Examples of contract furniture with bright colour schemes from Trent Furniture


Love it or hate it, the trend of communal seating in restaurants that has emerged over the past few years looks like it’s here to stay. These large tables that can sit more than one party at once have grown in popularity and can be found in many chain and independent dining establishments. We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of communal dining to help you decide if it’s right for your restaurant.

The benefits of communal tables

The clearest upside for any restaurant owner is the increased number of seats and high turnaround – especially useful in a smaller space. Not only does it mean a higher number of seats, it also saves the additional space that would normally be found between tables. Add to this the logistical reason that you no longer need to pull tables together and move around the furniture to accommodate big groups and the communal table truly sounds like a winner!

There is also a social element to communal dining that can be more enjoyable for some diners. Restaurant Development and Design Magazine said that communal tables are “particularly appealing to millennials, who look for restaurant destinations that can accommodate their desire to socialise, graze and linger.” They can also provide a more pleasant dining experience for solo diners, who can either relax at a table which is clearly not designed for two or engage with other solo diners and parties around them.

The downsides of communal dining

Communal tables are not suitable for every type of dining establishment, and they are not always the best choice on a personal or practical level.

If your restaurant caters for families with smaller children, then communal dining can certainly work but the height of the table and safety of the seating should be considered. Other diners may also prefer not to be seated with families so it’s important to offer alternative seating options if you do opt to go communal. Other groups of customers such as couples on a date, those having work meetings or anyone who just isn’t a fan of eating in close quarters with strangers may also not appreciate a communal space.

If you do decide to try out the communal table trend, it’s definitely a good idea to continue to provide more private traditional seating alongside it for diners who feel more comfortable dining in privacy.

The furniture you choose helps to define the look and feel of your restaurant and having chairs and tables that don’t quite fit the style of your restaurant can leave some customers feeling confused. From the food served to the layout, consistency is key! At Trent, we’ve helped thousands of customers kit out their space, and in this post, we’ll be looking at the advantages of fold up and stacking chairs for your restaurant, helping our customers to make an informed choice.

Stacking chairs

At Trent, we stock and supply a wide range of stacking chairs in various colours and styles, offering you a wide choice. Our stacking chairs, alongside all our furniture, are tested by The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA). We constantly invest in this service to ensure we deliver high-quality products that are suitable for contract and commercial use. Check out our range here.


Easy to put away or bring out at a moment’s notice, stacking chairs are designed to be moved around your floor and can be stacked on top of each other to save space. Ideal for when times get busy, extra chairs can be added to a table to provide your customers with comfortable seating for their party.


Whilst many chairs have the potential to be used for one application, stacking chairs can be used outside and inside, and at any function. Their lightweight nature too, makes them easy for staff to move from place to place, especially at the end of the day when it comes to doing a deep-clean.


Designed to stand the test of time, and made from sturdy materials, stacking chairs can withstand being moved around and used multiple times. Manufactured from plastic, this style of the chair can be used outside without damage, helping to turn your restaurant’s patio or garden into a useable and profitable space.


With countless styles and colours on the market, it’s now even easier to find stacking chairs that complement the style or theme of your restaurant. If you can’t find a style of chair that exactly matches your restaurant, customising with cushions and blankets can help you achieve your desired style.

Folding chairs

Folding chairs come with many features to be taken advantage of in a restaurant setting. Much like stacking chairs, they can complement your existing furniture, or help you create a new atmosphere all together.

Easy to use

Made from lightweight materials such as aluminium, folding chairs are easily moved around the interior or exterior of your venue, giving you the ability to design your outside and inside space during exceptionally busy periods. 

Space Savers

Easily stored away, in a neater fashion than stacking chairs, a folding chair while in use can save you more floor space in comparison to more bulky restaurant seating. For large parties dining in your restaurant, using a folding chair will help provide more space around the table as a whole, making the dining experience more comfortable.


Very little care and maintenance are needed for fold-up chairs, however, it’s worth remembering that fold up chairs will rust if left outside in inclement weather, although the occasional splash of rain won’t do any harm. Keep the hinges of the chair well-oiled to ensure the fold up mechanism is easy to work.


Much like stacking chairs, the ability to customise your folding chair is endless. With such a wide choice of colours, styles and accessories on the market, finding chairs that suit your requirements is easy! At Trent, we have a wide range of tips and tricks available on our blog to help you create the perfect dining atmosphere, why not give our other articles a read!

With over 50 years’ experience, we’re the experts in all things commercial furniture. Whatever the look of your restaurant, we’re on hand to help you find the right product at the right price. Our friendly customer service team are on hand to answer your queries, give us a call on 0116 2864 911.



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