Choose furniture for your cafe as carefully as you choose your menu

Date Published 9th October 2015

Whether your cafe is in a busy city like Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney, a sleepy country town or a vibrant beach resort, there are a lot of things to think about when you’re fitting out or furnishing the place.   We’ve listed four areas that are worth considering very seriously: style, space, comfort and practicality.

  • Style.  The furniture you choose will contribute a great deal to the ambience of your business.  Old world European? Consider bentwood cafe chairs.  Business club? Would tub chairs work?  Casual or beachy? How about ottomans or wicker?  Slick and hip? Cafe tables by a famous designer?
  • Space.  Floor space needs to be used wisely to plan an inviting layout. Your establishment should look spacious but not empty, popular but not cramped.  Having an accurate sketch, along with measurements of walls, doorways and open spaces, will save a lot of time and heartache at the planning stage.
  • Comfort. Business consultants and marketing gurus talk a lot about the importance of repeat custom in business profitability.  What does this have to do with cafe furniture? Well, attractive decor and furniture might entice customers for the first time, but if they find your furniture uncomfortable they may not return.  Think about the customers you’re likely to be targeting: their age, shape, level of fitness.  (Unless your cafe is in a gym or fitness centre, you might want to avoid chairs that are ultra slim in style.) Do you need to think about high chairs for young children, or tables that are wheelchair accessible? If you’re considering stools for a breakfast bar, are they designed for use by people of normal height and weight, or are they only accessible by tall gymnasts?
  • Practicality.  Will you have tables outdoors?  If you’ll be serving alfresco, and your furniture needs to be taken indoors overnight, stackable chairs and tables are the most practical option.  If the outdoor floor surface is uneven or slightly sloping, consider tables with adjustable feet.  Choose hospitality furniture that’s designed for outdoor use: weatherproof, fade resistant, easy to clean and maybe with drainage holes in the chair seats.  Think about the weight of your furniture, and how easy it is for your staff to manoeuvre – remember that staff who have to spend a lot of time lugging heavy furniture about your establishment might find it hard to keep focused, smiling and attentive to your customers!

When you’re running a cafe you probably revise your menu regularly, discarding less popular dishes and experimenting with new recipes.  Adjusting and tweaking your menu will probably cost you a few dollars for printing (and blackboard chalk), but changing your furniture is another matter.  To avoid costly mistakes, it’s important to choose cafe furniture carefully.  If you’d like to talk to someone who knows about commercial furniture, or find out what’s on the menu at Nextrend Furniture, give us a call.