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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.

See how flexible opening hours can increase your revenue!

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A new hospitality and leisure report by Barclays has found that UK restaurants, bars and leisure clubs could make a further £6.75bn per year by adapting opening hours to changing consumer working patterns.

Britain's high street is suffering from weak consumer spending and fierce competition. There are simply so many options for consumers to choose from when going out. It seems that most leisure streets now have at least a couple of dining options.

Add to this the rise of food delivery services such as Deliveroo and Just Eat, if restaurants fail to adapt to trends and customer demands, they risk falling behind their competition.

The report states that restaurants, takeaway meal outlets and pubs, bars and clubs could make an extra 5.5 billion pounds in revenue each year by adjusting their opening hours.

How adjusting hours would help

The need for alternative hours for restaurants and dining options is fuelled by the 57 per cent of British workers who work extended hours, part-time or flexibly. With fewer working the traditional 9-5 working day, the times at which people want to dine out or visit the gym are changing.

Almost one in five late-night diners would choose to get a takeaway between 11pm and 5am, when most restaurants are closed. This number rises to 37 per cent amongst 18-24-year-olds. A third of this age-group also expect 24-hour services across the hospitality and leisure sector.

If businesses responded to these demands, restaurants would expect to take an extra £2.2bn in revenue per year, takeaways £2.1bn and pubs, bars and clubs £1.2bn.

The most common barrier for extending opening hours is increased overheads but it is worth operators trialling the system. A restaurant could stay open two hours later than usual for takeaway orders and see how their customers behave for a one-month period. If it proves popular and it makes logistical sense, extend the new operation for another couple of months.

With many customers willing to pay a premium for services at unusual hours, businesses that find ways to meet this growing demand could take advantage of a large opportunity. It’s all about meeting the demands of consumers and staying ahead of the competition.

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 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.

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.

How to create the perfect coffee shop - Your complete guide

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Coffee is well and truly in its Third Wave and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. More and more independent and chain coffee shops are popping up around the country, eager to cater to the conflicting desires of both comfortable cafés and fast-paced coffee bars. Not only has it become a social media phenomenon, but coffee is getting younger – the fastest growing age bracket of coffee drinkers is 13 to 18-year olds

So how do you make your coffee shop stand out from the crowd?

Having a Clear Concept for Coffee Shops

A large part of attracting customers to coffee shops is making sure that they know who you are and why you’re different from anyone else. Having a clear concept is important to any business, so make sure you know what kind of coffee shop you want to be before you even open your doors. 

Are you going to be traditional? Trendy? Shabby chic? Do you have a Unique Selling Point to mark you out from the crowd, such as being a dog-friendly café? Or do you take inspiration from a certain era or country, like the Art Deco period or French café culture? Are you going to be uniform in your design like a high street chain, or a bit more relaxed and casual?

Making it clear from the pavement what kind of environment and atmosphere you’re offering is important for pulling customers in. 

Coffee Shop Design and Inspiration 

Once you’ve got your concept, you need to make sure your design echoes your message. Think about colour schemes and materials: are you going to have wooden chairs, or fabric-covered ones? Light wood, light fabrics and elegant designs have all become popular in the recent shifts in interior design. Don’t worry about wear-and-tear on upholstered furniture – today’s fabrics are durable and easy to clean, while the foam padding used in chairs, like the ones in our Abbruzzo range, is non-sag. 

Shabby-chic has endured several years of popularity and is still up in one of the top-spots for café design with its emphasis on natural materials and painted surfaces. Of course, it is meant to look slightly worn down, so buying shabby-chic furniture will be an investment that will improve with age! Our Farmhouse Tulip Table in light oak is the perfect shabby-chic table for an afternoon coffee.

Art Deco has also started resurfacing in popularity, and Trent Furniture has several items available that would be ideal for creating that perfect 20s-inspired feel. With a wide range of fabrics to choose from, Trent’s Art Deco Colebrookedale Three Leg Stool can be customised to specific colour schemes in order to create a design that flows throughout your whole shop.

Know what furniture you need

Once you know who you want to come into your shop and how you want it to look, the next stage is finding the right furniture. Seating to suit duration of stay is important. Big tables with room for food as well as drinks will attract shoppers, families, and groups of friends looking for somewhere to sit for longer stops. We recommend our Madison two-seater sofa, which is perfect for catching up with old friends.

You could even have some stackable high chairs on hand if you’re happy for babies to be in your shop. Sofas with coffee tables additionally provide space for businesspeople and their laptops during lunch hours. Some cafés have banned Wi-Fi and laptops to promote socialisation, but that choice is entirely up to you.  

If your coffee shop is about quick service and short visits, you won’t be needing comfortable chairs and big tables. Poseur tables, such as Trent’s Black Pyramid Poseur Table, are perfect for fast-paced coffee bars, providing space to stand and chat or even just to add sugar before dashing back out the door.

Layout & Spacing for Coffee Shops

If you or your customers can’t walk freely between tables, it’s way too cramped. A good tip is to try to keep at least 45cm between tables to make sure there is enough space for easy movement.

Floorplans are of course important, but also being prepared to be flexible will definitely pay off if a large group comes in for lunch. A combination of small and large tables, such as our Art Deco Pedestal and Rectangular tables (both in silver), will make sure there is enough seating room for people who want food as well as drinks. 

Keeping sofas to the perimeter of the room will allow more space for tables and movement through the middle of your establishment, whilst also creating comfy, tucked-away corners for post-shopping coffee and cake. 
Not just a drink

The coffee industry has grown rapidly thanks to a combination of independent, specialist coffee shops and chain brands like Starbucks, Costa, and Caffé Nero. Coffee has become an experience, not only due to the popularity surge millennials have given it, but because of the demand for Instagram-worthy décor and innovative coffee.

This doesn’t mean you have to serve everything in mason jars, but there are still ways to make your coffee shop individual and interesting enough to keep customers coming back – and keep them posting about you on social media. Perhaps there’s a particular blend that you love, but no-one else seems to be selling it. 

It’s not just about coffee anymore either. Consumers expect a wide range of tea, with green tea becoming increasingly popular, as well as other herbal or fruit infusions. Milk alternatives are also expected as standard, such as oat milk or almond milk, whether the customer is lactose intolerant or not. 

If you’re serving food, handmade sandwiches, pastries and cakes will add authentic flavour, especially if you can bring something new to the table.

What Next for your Coffee Shop?

From our warehouse in Narborough, Trent deliver fantastic commercial furniture solutions. We work with hundreds of companies all over the UK to create a one-stop shop for all commercial needs. 

To learn more about the products and services we have on offer, please contact us via email on sales@pubfurniture.co.uk or call 0116 2985 681. 

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