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Choosing Café Tables and Seating? Turn Confusing into Simple

Café and restaurant owners know that every square metre of floor space impacts on the bottom line.
So planning early what furniture to choose for a fitout can make a big difference.
There’s so many confusing options, but let’s keep it simple.

Here’s a few key pointers to have in mind when you’re making those decisions.

Size and Layout:

Mixing up forms of café or restaurant seating is a great strategy.
Having a sea of the same types of furniture is not only uninteresting, it’s a turn off! So create different zones or even different levels , use a mix of colours, combine communal and separate tables, partner booth seating with individual chairs… all of these options can make for a very inviting space.
Be sure to maximise space by choosing suitable sizes. For instance, a table for 2 in a café or coffee shop can be 500 or 600 diameter and for 4 people, 700 diameter. For full dining, you’d need to step up the size just a little to achieve a good comfort level.
Communal tables, if they work with the brand, are increasingly being used in casual dining scenarios and provide a double win.
They don’t only maximise the space, they also can be an opportunity for customers to create a level of energy and “busy-ness” in a café space.

Look and Style:

Do they work with the brand?
Regardless of cost, size, and all the other key things we’ve listed, your seating must represent your brand.
French bistro style tables and chairs won’t cut it when your cafe is supposed to be “urban chic”.
Customers are too savvy and are looking for a unified experience when they walk in: the food, the décor, the approach must present themselves as a united front.

Cost:

Always an issue.
Commercial quality tables and chairs are expensive but they’re built to last – or they should be!
Avoid heading to domestic furniture suppliers to make your purchase because chances are, you’ll be replacing those items in a very short space of time.
You get what you pay for in long term durability and relative comfort so don’t be swayed by cheaper domestic options.
Potentially legal issues can arise if there’s an accident and your furniture isn’t covered by a  commercial furniture warranty.
Shop around commercial furniture wholesalers of which there are many to get the best answer both in look, durability, warranty and cost.
Very often wholesalers are moving out stock, so you might be lucky in being in the right place at the right time.
Make sure you check out their specials.

Material and Durability:

Commercial tables and chairs come in a range of materials, finishes and colours.
Solid timber, resin, laminates including compact laminate, solid surface material like Staron or Corian and stainless steel are popular and practical table tops in the marketplace. Avoid glosses and 2 pac lacquers which might look great on day one but won’t last any distance looking good.
Many café operators don’t use tablecloths so if that’s the case, choose a top which will keep on looking great.
It’s important to consider durability and longevity, so consider how easy it needs to be for your staff to take care of these chosen tables and chairs.
Are the chairs fabric covered? Will they need a lot of cleaning? Are the table tops easily wipeable and sanitised?
Address maintenance issues like this up front.  They’ll be highly important once the business starts operating.

Keep the furniture simple and you will be on the road of having a café or restaurant fit out which looks complete and really works!

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