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!
So you are planning the refurbishment of your business and are looking for some new table tops to brighten up your commercial interior. With such a wide variety of table tops available for commercial use in the UK, it can be quite a daunting task to find the right tops for your business. For this reason we have decided to write a post to help you understand the pro’s and con’s of each type to help you decide which table tops will be most suitable for your bar, restaurant, pub or café. We have listed each type of table top below with a description detailing all you need to know and how suitable they are for each type of commercial interior.
Types of Table Top
Laminate Table Tops
Many years ago laminate table tops were considered to be an inferior product when compared to their solid wooden counterparts. This was because in the early stages of this materials development, there were not many laminate decors available and the ones that you could buy used to crack or bubble and a new table top would look very used and worn fairly quickly. Decades have gone by since this was the case and with much improved manufacturing techniques laminate table tops not only look the part these days, but now there longevity far exceeds that of a solid wooden table top in the same commercial environment. Modern laminate tables are very hard wearing, resilient to scratching and heat resistant to 180° F which makes them perfect for commercial use where food is being served such as cafes, pubs and restaurants. They are also very easy to clean and easy to maintain.
The industry standard thickness for a laminate top is 25mm or 1” however 40mm and 50mm thicknesses are not uncommon and can be manufactured for bespoke orders. The thicker tops usually have a BDE (Built Down Edge) instead of being the same thickness all the way through. This not only keeps the cost down but it also has the benefit of concealing the table base attachment when looking at the table from the side. The core material of a laminate table top is MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) that has one of many laminate decors bonded to the top side and a balancing laminate (usually white or grey) bonded to the underside. The purpose of the balancing laminate is to keep the top flat and prevent it from bowing. Some manufacturers self-edge the table tops (use the same material on the edges as the top) this has its drawbacks because self-edges are prone to chipping and peeling. Warner Contracts only use matching ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) edges, which look like the same material as the top but are actually made from a shock absorbent plastic which prevents chipping and peeling.
As a general rule laminate table tops tend to modernise an interior; however there are literally thousands of decors to choose from, some of which have a distressed appearance and textured finish which could potentially be used to maintain a traditional room setting. Our preferred laminate supplier is Egger due to their expansive range of quality laminate decors which suit a broad range of commercial interiors. Decors can also be sourced from a number of other companies such as Formica, Polyrey, Woodlam, Abet and Oberflex.
Warner Contracts stock a good range of laminate table top sizes and shapes, we can also produce bespoke sizes when required. All of our table bases can be used to support laminate tops even if you have not purchased them from us. You don’t need to drill pilot holes to attach them, just use 1” self tapping screws and drive them in using a power drill.
MFC Table Tops
MFC (Melamine Faced Chipboard) has been broadly used in the production of commercial and domestic furniture for many years. It was first introduced in the 1950’s as a material to make kitchen work surfaces and cupboards out of. These days the use of MFC is even more widespread and now it is also used as a commercial table top material in the corporate, education, leisure and hospitality industries.
The principle behind MFC is very similar to that of laminates, however the core material is chipboard rather than MDF, as this helps to reduce the cost. And instead of having a high pressure laminate bonded to the top a thin layer of melamine is applied which seals the surface and provides protection against wear and tear. The melamine is applied to the top and bottom of the table which means there is no need for a balancing laminate and both sides of the table top look the same.
As with laminate table tops Warner Contracts only use ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) edging as this helps to prevent chipping and peeling. We currently stock MFC Table Tops in four colours and in a variety of sizes with bespoke options also available. All of the MFC tops we supply are 25mm thick and can be used with any of our table bases.
MFC Table Tops provide many of the same properties as laminates, they are easy to clean, hard wearing and heat resistant to 140° F.
Solid Hardwood Table Tops
One of the most traditional materials used to manufacture table tops is solid hardwood. It’s virtually impossible to replicate the warmth and character of this natural material with any man made substance, further to this each top has its individual wood grain and therefore is 100% unique. Hardwood Tops are a perfect way to maintain a traditional commercial interior such as in a country pub or restaurant.
Although not quite as durable as laminates, when finished with an AC (Acid Catalyst) lacquer Hardwood Tops will withstand everyday use in commercial environments such as pubs and restaurants. They are also relatively easy to clean however certain industrial cleaning agents need to be avoided so the lacquer is not discoloured.
Warner Contracts stock a variety of 25mm thick solid wooden tops in Walnut, Oak, Wenge and Natural Wood Stains. Due to the woodgrain it is important to drill pilot holes before screwing the table base into the top, if holes are not drilled you run the risk of splitting the top.
Due to the costs involved in manufacturing these tops, they are considered somewhat of a premium product and as such are towards the top of the price range.
Ash Veneer Table Tops
If you like the look of solid hardwood tops but find that they are outside of your price range then one possibility might be Ash Veneer Table Tops. These are manufactured with an MDF core and a very thin layer of real wood veneer bonded to the surface. The tops are then stained and lacquered in the same contract standard AC (Acid Catalyst) lacquer as real hardwood tops are. Ash Veneer Tops are 25mm thick and the MDF edges are stained to match the top. One of the main drawbacks of these tops is that you can see the MDF on the edges, this isn’t so much of a problem on the darker walnut tables but it is clearly visible on the lighter natural colour tables.
In theory due to the hard wearing lacquer that is used in the finishing process ash veneer tables are equally as hard wearing as the solid hardwood tops. That said over time when the finish has deteriorated solid tops can be sanded down back to raw wood, re-stained and re-lacquered to bring them back to new again. This process cannot be carried out on ash veneer table tops because they only have a thin layer of real wood on the surface.
Any of our contract table bases can be used to support ash veneer table tops, you do not need to drill pilot holes. You can attach the base using 1” self-tapping wood screws once the top has been aligned the right place.
These tops are ideal for indoor use in cafes, canteens, eaterys and some hotels and because of their low cost they can be afforded by many businesses. Their appearance is similar to solid hardwood tops and therefore can be used in both traditional and contemporary commercial interiors.
Werzalit Table Tops
If you like the look of laminate table tops but want to use them outside then Werzalit Table Tops might be the way to go. These are manufactured from a resin composite material that is moulded into various shapes and sizes. One advantage of this kind of table top is that there is no cutting involved in the manufacturing process, each top is moulded as one piece and therefore there are no edges that will let water in or peel.
Werzalit Table Tops are available from UK stock in a wide range of colours, with an even broader array of options available to order with a relatively short lead time (usually 2 – 3 weeks). They are manufactured in Germany and have been on the UK commercial furniture market for many years.
Similar to laminate table tops, Werzalit tops are heat and scratch resistant but they are also weatherproof and UV resistant. One drawback of these tops is that they are not designed for joining 2 or more tops together (to make a larger table when required), this is because they have a bevel edge instead of a straight edge.
Werzalit Table Tops can be used indoors or outdoors and are ideal for cafes, bars, restaurants, break out areas and canteens amongst other uses. There are other companies that manufacture similar resin composite tops such as SM France and Topalit, Warner Contracts can also source from them so please feel free to get in touch if you would like a quotation.
Teak Table Tops
Teak is a beautiful hardwood that grows in the tropics, it has been used as a material to manufacture table tops and other furniture for many years. Teak is a oil rich wood which means that it is naturally weather resistant, making it a perfect material for outdoor furniture production. It is however advisable to oil teak furniture quarterly to help maintain the rich colour of the wood and to prevent it from cracking. This is especially applicable if the furniture is exposed to direct sunlight.
Due to environmental concerns regarding the sustainability of teak hardwood it is important to only buy FSC rated teak products, such as the ones listed on our website. It is also worth considering some other more sustainable alternatives such as acacia and robinia wood to take the pressure off global teak farming. These alternatives are often cheaper and share the vast majority of the properties found in teak and aesthetically they are also very similar. Warner Contracts also stock these products too, please view our table top category.
Marble and Granite Table Tops
Often considered as the ultimate in quality, granite and marble table tops certainly portray a premium image. They will also last indefinitely in a busy commercial environment because they are practically impossible to damage through normal use.
These tops are manufactured with a layer of plywood bonded to the underside to allow pretty much any table base we supply to be screwed into them. Stone table tops are extremely heavy and will require at least two people to move each table. This may be a concern if you constantly have to reposition your tables to accommodate different size groups of customers.
Price is also an important factor to consider as marble and granite table tops are right at the top of the price range. That said once you purchase these tops you should never have to replace them for maintenance purposes. Warner Contracts do not stock these products however we have supplied many businesses with them over the years, if you would like quotation please get in touch with sales.
Warner Contracts Ltd. have been busy recently launching a brand new range of Rattan Furniture Sets ready for Summer 2015. The range has now been selected with stock arriving each week, many of the products are already on our website and more will be added in the near future.
Our outdoor rattan furniture has many uses and applications; we supply these to hotels for use in their gardens and grounds. Health Spas are another big market for us and also our rattan dining sets have been popular with restaurants, bars and cafes with outdoor serving areas.
The new range consists of rattan sofas and corner sofas, sofa and chair sets, dining sets, bar sets, rattan daybeds and sun loungers. Each set is available in a choice of colours and many items include soft padded seat cushions for additional comfort. Please see some examples of our new range below.
Please note; each set is sold complete. We can’t split sets down and supply individual items. If you are buying more than one set it’s always worth giving our sales team a call as we are often able to discount bulk orders and save you some money.