If you’re already or about to be a café or restaurant owner, then probably you’ll know that furniture and equipment are a huge part of the decision-making process.
The success of the fitout depends on some good choices to be made.
Read on for tips to make it all a bit easier.
1. Furniture choice and quality is very important.
Tables and Chairs are a vital part of the design and fitout.
They represent a big expense, that’s for sure, but if you buy with quality in mind, then they won’t show their age too quickly.
Make sure they’re robust and able to be cleaned and maintained constantly.
You don’t want to be scrapping a major spend within a year!
There are usually plenty of well priced items from commercial suppliers on offer, so shop around.
2. Used equipment can be worthwhile.
Choose carefully though.
Some equipment like tables, chairs, dishes, utensils are fine to buy second-hand if they are in excellent condition, but larger items such as cooktops, exhaust hoods, ovens, fridges, you should be more wary of.
If you go down that track, then make sure they are in excellent working order and have some back up.
It’s also useful to find out where they’ve been used before – not always possible, but worth some investigation.
3. Leasing can be a good option for restaurant equipment.
It can save you a lot of money at the outset when you are up for all sorts of expenses.
Look into the type of equipment with short life spans, like ice machines, small-scale fryers or coffee machines and consider them on leasing terms.
Larger items can also be leased but look into both buying and leasing before you sign anything.
Consider breakdowns and service charges before you sign up for anything.
4. Follow the “one third rule” and be prepared to refresh your restaurant fitout every few years.
The look of the premises is absolutely influenced by the design and the choices of furniture you make.
Of course, the menu and the service are the other two thirds of the equation, but put simply, fitout, food, service are one third each!
That means when you’re budgeting for fittings, allow for future refurbishments.
5. Keep the restaurant design flexible.
If the layout isn’t working as well as it should be, then change it!
Or if you need to cater for all types of group configurations, then the design and furniture have to accommodate instant change easily.
Any commercial fit out these days is best if it can be re-configured without any or too much expense.
Quick changes can make the world of difference if you discover that the original layout isn’t just quite right for your customer base or if you are suddenly bombarded with large numbers who want to sit together.
Tables that can be joined and individual seats work best because they can be individualized or grouped so easily and quickly.
Be sure to talk to your fitout team and equipment suppliers and work together to make sure all of your choices are going to be right in the space.