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Balancing the efficiency and aesthetics in your Pub, Bar or Restaurant, calls for custom solutions

Whenever I’m called in to consult on designing a great pub, bar or café area I’m always faced with the dilemma – ‘Efficiency or aesthetics?’ The two don’t naturally go together yet one without the other can also spell disaster. However, when you get the balance right – you’ll achieve your desired return on investment and achieve a fabulous looking venue too!

So often I’m asked by operators to ‘get as many tables and chairs in as possible ‘cos it’s all about bums on seats!’ and as much as I understand the maths involved in ‘costs per cover’ I also feel that lines and lines of cafe type seating wouldn’t be appropriate for many pubs, bars or even certain types of cafe.

The opposite can also be true when lots of generous sized pub tables are beautifully arranged which either a) can’t be used in a modular way to create seating for larger parties or b) use up vast amounts of floor space and whatever way you arrange the chairs, can never really seat more than two people. It’s the same argument that’s often used when speaking about introducing pub sofas – this furniture is a great idea to bring an awkward area to life that might otherwise have been previously unusable.

So how do we balance this conundrum? Efficiency or aesthetics – which is most important?

Well in the first instance, my gut would say aesthetics. Customers will respond positively if when walking into your newly refurbished premises they can say ‘Wow, this looks really lovely!’ Once you’ve hooked so many of them that you’re turning them away, you can build in lots of efficiency!

We have seen a real move towards introducing more comfort in terms of furniture into pubs, bars and restaurants over the past 2 or 3 years with soft seating sections almost expected by customers when they visit. However, space is often a factor which, due to the complexities and eccentricities of British construction (pubs quite often date from 16th Century) means that accommodating a standard size pub sofas can mean forfeiting covers. – It’s that balance again. Over the years we have developed a modular approach to the way our restaurant tables can be used in order to size up or down depending on demand. Recently we have applied this same thinking to an exciting new sofa system which we have added to the Pub Stuff furniture range.

The new Pub Stuff Matrix Sofa system can give you the best of both worlds with modular pieces which will extend to fit the space available including a small section just 555mm which will fit in the tightest of spaces in your pub, cafe or bar area. And the aesthetics are great too with faux leather finishes in both Pub Stuff's Nevada Caramel and Nevada Truffle.

The Matrix sofa system will manage customers’ expectations of seeing a soft seating area and the explosion in a desire for the coffee shop experience; it’s also flexible to fit small or complex spaces. The modular system means that efficiencies can be maintained.

The corner sections can also be used as ‘end’ pieces providing an alternative shape. Or how about using 4 corner sections back to back for a circular seat - this is a configuration that is now frequently seen in reception areas of hotels. This versatile approach to custom configurations means that sections can be added and added to fit changing demands.

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