Furnishing your restaurant may seem like an overwhelming task. How do you go about making sure you buy enough seating for your entire venue—chairs and sofas for both the dining area and waiting areas? How do you know if the furniture you choose will not only fit the style of your space but also be durable? Here are some tips for finding the best commercial furniture for your restaurant.
Have an idea of what you want When starting the search for commercial furniture, try to go into it with an idea in mind. There will be a lot of choices, and sometimes too many choices make the final decision quite difficult. Also, keep in mind the overall theme of your restaurant and what you want it to say to patrons. Mixing and matching furniture can provide a fun and quirky atmosphere, while tall-backed chairs and white linens provide an elegant appeal. If you can go into shopping with a certain look you are trying to achieve, it might be able to help you weed out choices.
Choose comfort and appeal before style Don’t let this header fool you; style is important when it comes to the overall design of your restaurant. But don’t choose style over comfort. To keep sales high, you need people to spend time in their seats. If they aren’t comfortable, then they won’t stay for long, which won’t give you the opportunity to prolong their stay.
Furniture that provides a comfortable atmosphere will allow patrons to relax and also give the opportunity for repeat customers. Furniture that isn’t comfortable will make patrons want to eat faster so they can leave sooner, and you don’t want that kind of experience for your customers.
Furniture maintenance Purchasing furniture for your restaurant is an investment in itself, so you want to be sure that whatever you purchase will be able to last. It’s imperative that restaurant owners aren’t blinded by big retailers who have furniture that looks as though they could be a good fit for their space.
Commercial-grade tables, chairs, and booths are the only way to go. For one, regular furniture isn’t made to withstand the wear and tear of restaurant usage. In addition, the finishes on commercial-grade furniture are made to last through continued cleaning as well as scrapes and other wear. What many restaurant owners don’t know is that commercial-grade furniture is tested differently than regular furniture. Your average furniture isn’t tested for commercial use, which is important if someone gets hurt due to the furniture—you will be liable since non-commercial-grade products are not covered.
Do your research The best way to find furniture is through research. The great thing about the internet is that everything is at your fingertips. So, use those search engines to your advantage and look up commercial furniture sellers in your area. Whether you decide to go with a large manufacturer or a smaller and more local business, it’s up to you. You know what your business requires and ultimately what would best serve your needs. Contact various shops and even visit warehouses or storefronts to see their selections in person.
Network Sometimes the best way to find deals on commercial furniture is from other competitors. While you aren’t trading industry secrets, you could become friendly with local restaurants and find out where they purchased their restaurant furniture. If you’re in a highly competitive location, you may or may not get results; it depends on who you are able to network and communicate with. However, most professionals wouldn’t have a problem discussing places they looked at when purchasing furniture or the place they ultimately purchased from.
And most importantly, don’t forget budget Throwing caution to the wind isn’t always the best idea, especially when a budget is important to your bottom line. Look at your finances and decide what you can afford to pay for furniture including tables, chairs, booths, fabrics, and serving stations. If you have a little wiggle room, figure out just how far your wallet can stretch without going overboard. It’s okay to splurge on some important items like spill/stain-resistant fabric, which can prolong the life of your furniture. But don’t go big on things that won’t pay off in the end.
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