Broadly speaking, to the layman, furniture is just furniture. There to be sat on, to eat things from or somewhere to rest a cup or glass. However, for businesses there is a world of difference between items which are manufactured for domestic use and those put to work in a commercial environment.
For cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and businesses of all sizes in the hospitality industry choosing the right contract furniture is a critical decision. Therefore, in order to help you make the right choice, we have put together a list of the primary differences between domestic and commercial furniture – what you need know and what factors to beware of.
High Usage Furniture Needs High Performance
Even the very best domestic furniture is not designed for the kind of constant use that chairs, sofas and tables, etc. are exposed to in a high traffic, commercial environment. In many instances domestic furniture is designed for occasional rather than the kind of continuous employment that can be expected in a business.
Commercial furniture on the other hand, is manufactured with durability in the face of regular use (& sometimes abuse) very much in mind. Utilising high quality materials and construction, contract furniture is designed to endure the demands of daily service, whilst still looking good and fulfilling its function.
As a consequence of this sturdy construction, commercial furnishings also last much longer than their domestic counterparts – retaining their attractive appearance and comfort long after an ordinary chair or sofa has gone to the great recycling centre in the sky. Needless to say, in terms of value for money this longevity also represents a great return on your initial investment.
However, this kind of robust performance doesn’t mean you have to settle for a drab, utilitarian look. Modern commercial furniture, with its almost limitless design possibilities and wide range of attractive materials, can give your business exactly the kind of exciting chic look you desire without having to compromise on resilience and stability.
Safety Testing for Commercial Furniture
Due to the fact that retail furniture for home use is expected to be only used occasionally the legal fire safety tests items must pass are of a lower standard than commercial furniture. Domestic fabrics and upholstery are bound by only BS EN 597-1: 2015 and BS EN 597-2: 2015, relating to their resistance to a smouldering cigarette and burning match respectively.
As commercial furniture is used in public areas the fabrics and upholstery used are tested to a higher fire retardant standard, namely CRIB5 – a much more stringent trial which tests the material’s resistance to a burning wooden crib.
Needless to say, the higher standards of fire safety demanded of commercial fabrics and upholstery provide a much greater level of reassurance to businesses – especially those such as restaurants and cafes where naked flames, in the form of candles, may be employed.
In addition, to the extra fire safety testing many items of commercial furniture are also extensively tested and certified under SATRA, the independent research and testing organisation and FIRA (Furniture Industry Research Association) schemes.
Domestic vs. Commercial Furniture: Continuity of Availability
A no less concerning factor for businesses is the continued availability of furniture stock lines. For example, what happens if you want you want to add matching furnishings to your restaurant, cafe or hotel some time after your initial purchase?
For domestic furniture this could prove an insurmountable obstacle. Retail outlets frequently change their stock, with new lines, products and variants quickly replacing existing items. Such is the nature of the domestic furniture retail business – Sales seem to be the norm with a constant turnover of new styles and options being demanded by the general public. However, for the business customer this presents a real problem. Very often, a particular range of domestic furniture is only available for a very limited time (and sometimes in limited amounts) – leading to a frustrating inability to obtain the same type of furniture as originally purchased at a later date.
However, commercial furniture suppliers tend to hold stock for much longer periods of time, ensuring that business customers will feel reasonably confident that they can get hold of additional matching items, such as chairs, tables and stools, as and when they may be required.
Short Delivery Times
In a related vein, commercial furniture is often available in bulk at much shorter notice than is normally the case with domestic retailers, who can take weeks to fulfil a single order – especially if they construct the furniture to order, as is common practice to avoid the additional warehousing costs required to store large amounts of stock – A critical factor that could spell disaster if your new establishment is opening in a few days.
Contract furniture suppliers on the other hand are often able to fulfil your business needs much quicker. Since the majority of Warner Contract Furniture’s range is UK stocked we are able to furnish entire businesses within just 3 or 4 days, as standard. In some cases this has been accomplished in as little as 18 hours!
Such impressive turnaround times can be a real asset in nearly all businesses, where lost time very much equates to lost revenue.
How Much Does Commercial Furniture Cost?
So having established that commercial furniture is not only more durable, better constructed and more rigorously tested for safety you’re likely to be expecting to pay lot more per unit than for ordinary, household furniture? Well, the good news is that you’ll find contract furniture prices are actually quite affordable for businesses- especially with Warner Contracts Ltd.
With a diverse product range which has been carefully selected by our expert commercial furniture specialists, an efficient order process, fast delivery and great customer service, you’ll find that we offer amazing value for money and some of the best price deals available in the UK.
What Are the Positives and Negatives of Wood Restaurant Tables?
Once you’ve taken a look at our restaurant furniture buying guide and have a general idea of the direction in which you’d like to head with your restaurant furniture aesthetic, it’s time to get serious with your decisions. One of the most common starting points when purchasing restaurant furniture is to focus first on the restaurant tables; your decision on which material will be used for your restaurant tables could inform your whole restaurant scheme, from other furniture pieces to wall colours, and even to menu design.
One of the most exciting parts of furnishing and designing the look of your cafe is creating a powerful new identity for your business that speaks to your target customers and makes them feel at home.
Buying restaurant furniture can be one of the most complex elements to beginning your journey of owning your own restaurant. Whether you’re opening a brand new establishment or are undertaking a much-needed refurbishment, it can be overwhelming trying to understand just what furniture you should get and how much of it. Warner Contract Furniture aim to simplify the process a little for you; we’ve put together a restaurant furniture buying guide to cover some of the most common concerns that we hear when people come to us for their restaurant furniture.
What Type of Restaurant Chairs?
It may seem that the style of restaurant furniture that you need simply comes down to personal preference, but that’s not entirely true. Aside from furniture trends and personal taste, there are some tried-and-tested truths to picking your restaurant furniture that can help your restaurant to succeed.
Establishing the ambience that you want to create in your restaurant is the most important step to making decisions about your restaurant furniture. Are you hoping to achieve a tranquil, high-dining experience? Or, would you like to target clientele looking for a high-energy, buzzing environment? If high-dining is your desire, upholstered restaurant chairs will muffle sounds and relax your diners. For a dynamic feel, metal chairs will cause noise and chatter to bounce around the space and offer a trendy feel that will enhance a bustling feel.
How Many Tables and Chairs?
Once again, a decision must be made about the style of restaurant you want to have. If your aim is to create a fast-dining, quick-turnover experience for your establishment, there are tricks to do so. Studies have shown that anchored tables that are placed in the centre of the room encourage faster eating, leading you to a quicker turnover of diners and possibly more profit. However, if you’re instead designing your restaurant with the view to encourage long time-spans, where people relax and order that extra bottle of wine, then you need to allow good amounts of space around your table and therefore sacrifice on seat numbers a little. Another study notes that people who were dining in closely-spaced tables were less satisfied and spent less money per minute.
With these points in mind, calculate the usable square-footage of your establishment (including alcoves but excluding space in front of the bar and around service stations). The general rule is to allow up to 20 square feet per customer for fine-dining, standard dining requires approx 15 sqft p/p but as little as 11 square feet in a fast-food restaurant. Use your square footage calculations combined with your decisions about customer turnover and ambience to find a number within this range that suits your needs.
Now that our restaurant furniture buying guide has walked you through choosing what style of furniture you want, and then how much of it you need, it should make your complex decisions much more manageable. Once these points are understood, you can turn your attention instead to personalising your space more, choosing from Warner Contract Furniture’s range of aesthetic options for your restaurant furniture. If you’re still stumped about what to choose, never hesitate to give our expert team a call on 0161 408 2390 for some extra tips and tricks to add to the ones included in our restaurant furniture buying guide.
The ever-discernible British public are regularly picking their favourite restaurants based on not the food, but the feel. Decor has always been of the utmost importance, but restaurant design trends are only getting exponentially more important as our society increases its obsession with the visual – the Instagrammable.
The choice to open a bistro restaurant is becoming increasingly popular, as their quaint feel and cosy atmosphere draws in more and more customers. However, the very things that make them so special (namely the smaller size) is the very thing that can cause difficulties when it comes to picking your dining furniture. Furniture for a bistro restaurant needs to imbue the space with an open, yet cosy feel; it must give the room light and space, whilst giving plenty of room around it for manoeuvrability. As a bistro restaurant is so notoriously difficult to furnish, Warner Contract Furniture have put together a little buyer’s guide for furniture for your bistro.
In November we re-released the Drum range of high and low bar stools. We needed to source a new supplier for this line of commercial furniture due to our former supplier discontinuing the range. Manufactured from a heavy duty, contract quality steel frame and available in 750mm and 450mm heights these stools are suitable for an array of commercial applications.
We have supplied Drum Stools to cafes and bars all over the UK – as well as Black and Red finishes we are now stocking in Yellow and Gun Metal Grey Colours with a bespoke powder coating service also available where we can match to the RAL colour of your choice such as your company logo etc.
We have many more new and exciting product lines to introduce early 2017 please keep checking our website to view these updates.
Comments Off on The Quattro Table Base Range by Warner Contract Furniture
Warner Contracts Ltd. have just updated the website and our product range now includes Quattro Table Bases. A high quality, stylish, contract table that is available in three heights (Coffee, Dining & Poseur). Quattro tables have pyramid shaped bases which provide exceptional stability and support; they are also available in three different sizes to accommodate different sized table tops. Manufactured from high quality cast iron, with a steel column and finished in a hard wearing black powder coating, the Quattro range not only looks the park but is made to last in your commercial interior. Please view our Table Base section for more details.
The Quattro is extremely popular throughout the leisure and hospitality industry and has been used in Cafes, Bars, Pubs, Restaurants and Hotels. If think it might be suitable for your commercial refurbishment project please get in touch with our sales team to request a free quotation.
Which Table Tops Can Be Used With the Quattro
The Quattro Table Base Range is so versatile it can be used in conjunction with just about any table top including Laminate, MFC, Solid Hardwood or even Werzalit all of which can be found in our table tops section. If you are unsure which table tops to choose please contact us and we will be happy to advise.
2015 saw the arrival of the Trieste Vintage Retro Chair that was designed for use in bars and restaurants. This chair proved so popular with the UK hospitality market we have been working hard to develop some pieces of industrial styled furniture to compliment this top seller.
By June 2016 prototypes had arrived, been fine tuned and sent back to the factory for the first production run. The initial shipment finally arrived early August and has generated a strong interest already.
The expanded Trieste range now includes a Dining Table, a Coffee Table and also a High Stool in additoin to the Dining Chair released last year. Please view the images below to take a sneak preview at the new range. All goods are now in stock and selling fast so please contact one of our sales representatives to request a quotation. They are priced competitively but we are also happy to provide discounts for bulk orders.
Delivery takes just 3 – 5 working days as standard with a chargable express service available for cutomers that require their furniture within 24 hours.
Comments Off on New Product Releases 2016
Its been a busy year for Warner Contracts Ltd. so much so that we havnt had time to add any of our new products to the website. However work is underway and the new designs for Autumn 2016 have just started making an appearance online.
First inline is the newly designed Relish Side Chair and Bar Stool range which are finished in copper and certainly look the part. To complement these pieces we have also brought out the Factory High Stool in Copper, Gun Metal Grey and Silver finishes.
There is a long list of new pieces of commercial furniture waiting to be added to the site so watch this space and we will keep you updated along the way!