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Cafe furniture WOW factor

How can the 'Wow' factor be achieved for your cafe furniture?

What’s the priority when it comes to adding furnituure to your cafe or coffee shop. Maximising efficiency in your cafe, pub or bar or do you prefer to get the aesthetics just right?

It’s surprisingly difficult to harmonise these two distinctive elements of furniture design but at the same time, it’s also a design disaster waiting to happen if you neglect one in favour of the other.

It’s all about getting the balance right; only by paying close attention to both sides will you achieve the wow factor for any venue.

At Pub Stuff, we frequently come across two scenarios: the manager who wants to “get as many dining tables and dining chairs in as possible” into a space to capitalise on potential revenue streams and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, the operator who wants to install generously sized pub dining tables that take up huge amounts of room but reduce the flexibility of the space.

While neither approach is wrong per se, focusing on one at the expense of the other will result in the space being unbalanced – and that is a lost opportunity for getting a great design that ensures your customers feel comfortable and welcomed without feeling hemmed in or competing for available space.

‘Customer’ is the key word for any approach to good design.  If your customers aren’t happy or don’t feel comfortable, they will vote with their feet.

When a customer walks into newly refurbished premises, whether it is a cafe, coffee shop, pub, bar or restaurant, that provides comfort and is pleasing to the eye, they will respond positively. It’s at that point that the offer has to entice them to stay.  If it attracts more customers, you can look to factor in more efficiency – perhaps gradually reducing dining table size or changing your large three-seater leather sofa for more comfy fabric tub chairs suitable for use with dining tables.

Zoning is another crucial aspect of successful design in a bar, club or pub, cafe or coffee shop. Instead of tackling a single large space, it’s best to break it down into bite-sized pieces and decide how each section could be used in terms of furniture and design.

Think about how the area in front of the bar can be maximised – a few high wooden poseur tables and tall bar stools with a couple of leather chesterfield wing chairs in front of the fire would be a superb addition.

However, be careful not to pack in high lines of bar stools or bar chairs at the bar area as they tend to be monopolised, which can off-putting to some customers who don’t want to feel as if they have to struggle to get to the bar.

Instead, distribute the tall bar stools widely and provide a few more gaps between them to create a sense of openness and accessibility. It’s a subtle approach, won’t alienate existing customers and will encourage new ones.

But what can be done for that unloved space – that area at the back of the room that has no windows? How can you ensure that this space is also an enticing area for customers? Comfort is key here – that forgotten ugly duckling can soon be transformed into a swan with the addition of a couple of leather Chesterfield sofas, a large or small coffee tables, the daily papers and little bit of feature wallpaper.  A couple of clever tricks and this former unloved spot could soon be the best seat in the house.

You can use these techniques can be used to ensure your bar or clubs, coffee shops or restaurants are full, too.

Those two and three seater sofas and tub chairs at the front of a coffee shop or cafe serve two purposes: first is the obvious “wow” factor. This furniture looks comfortable, inviting, and cosy. Second, they tend to fill up first because they are light and airy spaces in front of windows where customers can indulge in some people watching.

Poseur (high) tables in front of your coffee shop or bar windows are also good because your customers can see out and just as importantly – if not more so – passers by can see that the coffee shop is full of customers – so it must be a good place to go.

People attract people – it’s the same whether you are going to a bar, restaurant, club or cafe – and good design is central to making sure they are attracted to your venue.

Pub Stuff Ltd is a leading supplier of new furniture to the pub, bar, coffee shop, cafe, hotel and hospitality industry


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