Archive for the Tips & Advice Category
As the year starts to wane, here at Warner Contract Furniture we’ve once again been gazing into the depths of our crystal ball to discover what are going to be the top trends for commercial interior design in 2018. Whether you are planning to open a new hospitality business or looking to refresh your current layout with a few ‘on trend’ tweaks then we have the hot ticket information on what are going to be the important themes next year.
Home sweet home
Interior design is very much centred on a return to ‘home and hearth’ with a big shift toward cosy warmth when it comes to colours, furniture and overall style choices. Cold, clinical design choices are very much on the way out with people looking for a more welcoming and comfortable approach. Home-style charm is going to be an important element for any commercial interior design in 2018 – with ostentatious displays of wealth or finery being frowned on. Frugality could be the buzzword here, with less very much meaning more to contemporary designs. While simple elegance is always in vogue there is a big focus on creating welcoming spaces which look to embrace your customers with warmth, feeling and perhaps a little eccentricity rather than the slick, polished or standoffish interior designs seen in previous years.
Reuse, recycle and reduce
In keeping with the overall 2018 feel of domestic homeliness recycled materials are well favoured for all types of furniture and assortments in your business. Reclaimed wood, metals and natural textures are likely to go well with an overall design that is both welcoming and eco-friendly. Just as flamboyant gestures around wealth and opulence are on the way out, the trend for 2018 is moving firmly toward a more frugal approach where materials have been up-cycled or repurposed from their original function. This may well also help with bringing a sense of charming eccentricity to your hospitality spaces.
With 2018 interior design trends leaning heavily toward Mother Nature it should be no surprise that there’s a big move toward more greenery in all areas. From the simple and humble pot plant to expansive, lush foliage there’s a whole world of opportunity for using both plant and plant-images in your style choices. Branching out with some fun planters is likely to generate the “au naturel” atmosphere – not to mention some extra O2 – to your interior design choices.
Matching the overarching theme of warmth and cosiness for2018 textiles are heading down the plush and plump route – emphasising comfort and homely relaxation. Big, puffy sofas and armchairs which you can simply melt into are making a comeback for areas where patrons will be welcomed or simply enjoy a drink and a chat with friends. If your tastes are more toward more rigid furniture then why not try enhancing the comfort factor with the addition of some extra upholstery or even a few, well-stuffed cushions.
The feel of textures for 2018 is leaning toward natural fibres, although plush, velvety finishes are also likely to compliment your other choices if you are looking to combine both elegance and warmth.
With all that we’ve said with regard to cosy homeliness and the trend in 2018 toward plush comfort and warmth, you might well be wondering what place harder materials, such as ceramics, glass and metal, have to play in your commercial interior design. Don’t panic: as long as you keep to the theme of warmth you’ll be fine. For example, terracotta, marble or natural stone are an ideal choice for tiles and rustic pottery vases, while glass should be visibly recycled or reused in an imaginative way, in keeping with the ‘reduce, recycle and reduce’ elements mentioned above. Finally, warm metals such as gold, rose gold or brass will match in well, while silver can add a touch of brightness if required.
Darkness and light
The heavy emphasis in 2018 on cosy, warm spaces that remind you of home might lead you to think that dim lighting is the order of the day – not at all. Bright lighting designs are a great way to lift the potential gloom with the surprising contrast of things like natural woods and ceramics positively glowing under high-intensity lighting. In general these should be more toward the focused luminescence of spotlights and LEDs rather than the flat, far less interesting (or complimentary) fluorescent strip lighting.
You might well feel yourself being drawn to accenting gloomier corners or hard to light areas with the inclusion of a few, well-chosen desk or table lamps. ‘Over the shoulder’ reading lamps might also make an attractive and intriguing lighting design for bar areas or lounges.
The hot colours for 2018…
It will probably come as no surprise that the colour palette of choice for 2018 sits firmly in the warm part of the spectrum, with reds and associated ‘fire’ colours, such as oranges, warm yellows and even pinks, definitely in vogue. As red is traditionally associated with heat, positivity and energy this is the colour to bring a positive vibe to your commercial interior designs in 2018. Try a variety of tones from a range of warm colours to prevent an overall flat colour experience. Complimentary shades of red can work well together – from a bright splash of colour to lift a range of more neutral natural colours or used in a wider area to bring a sense of visual highs and lows to your space.
…cool alternate colour choices
For those looking for something a little cleaner and fresher in the interior design a great alternative is the whimsical and warm shade of teal. Although, this sits in the opposite side of the spectrum to the ‘on trend’ colours of red, orange and yellow it is blessed with being a sophisticated and elegant hue – without being cold or standoffish as some of the other turquoise tones can be. Used in a clever way, in concert with natural textures and materials, this is a colour which will elevate your public areas without overpowering them.
Comments Off on What is Commercial Furniture?
Definition: Commercial Furniture (otherwise known as contract furniture) relates to furnishings that have been specifically designed and tested for use in business interiors where they will be used regularly or constantly be large volumes of people over long periods of time.
Refurbishing an existing business, or starting a new one can be quite a daunting and stressful task. With so many factors to consider such as cash flow and lead times not to mention creating an aesthetically pleasing commercial interior that makes your customers want to return time and time again. But it is human nature to make do with what you have got and hold off that investment for some time in the future.
Understandably it may be tempting, especially for start up companies to use domestic furniture in your business interior. It’s often cheaper, you might have an old sofa or some dining chairs at home that you think may be suitable or you may even contemplate purchasing second hand domestic furniture to use in your cafe or restaurant. But wait! There are a number of reasons why this might not be the best course of action to take, as we explain below.
Reasons Why to Buy Commercial Furniture
First and foremost let’s start with the law (this only applies to upholstered items). It is a legal requirement that all upholstered furniture conforms to CRIB5 Fire & Safety regulations (BS5852 Source 5) and a certificate must be produced when requested by a Fire Officer. Failure to comply with this law will at best result in a hefty fine, worse still the officer could close your business and at very worst (heaven forbid) your building caught fire with disastrous consequences. Commercial Furniture Suppliers like ourselves or legally obliged to provide you with a CRIB5 fire certificate (either upon purchasing your new furniture or at a later date), this is all you will need to present to the Fire Officer when they visit.
Durability is also a major factor to consider when choosing furniture for your business. As noted above, you may be tempted to go down the domestic route because it’s slightly cheaper than commercial furniture in the short term. But think about the long run, customers in pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants will not treat your furniture with as much care as they would with their own furniture at home. For this reason domestic furniture is prone to breaking when it it is used in a commercial environment. Commercial furniture is thoroughly tested by companies such as FIRA (Furniture Industry Research Association) to ensure suitability for use in commercial environments where it will be subjected to regular use. Therefore in the long term commercial furniture offers better value for money because it will last significantly longer than furniture indented for domestic use.
Commercial furniture is designed to be much more stable than domestic furnishings. Stability is one of the test criteria carried out by FIRA and other testing companies to ensure suitability for the commercial market. The test involves the front legs being secured and then force is applied at a 45 degree angle, if the force required is more than 40% of the chairs overall weight without the front legs showing any movement then the chair passes.
To summarise the points above, health and safety is a big factor. A broken piece of furniture being rendered unusable is one thing, and it might cost you a few covers per day. But imagine the expense of an injury caused to one of your customers as a consequence of a broken or unstable piece of furniture. An incident like that could send a young, or small business under due to expensive legal costs and compensation pay outs.
Longevity is another factor to consider. In the structural sense that we have covered above, you do not want the furniture to fall apart as domestic furniture is prone to doing. But in an aesthetic sense you want the furniture to look as new as possible for as long as possible. This is why the majority of commercial furniture is finished with hard wearing materials. For example contract fabrics have rub tests (a way of measuring how durable a fabric or leathers) these are carried out by third party companies and are known as either the Martindale (most popular) or the Wyzenbeek test. The higher the value, the longer the fabric, leather or faux leather will last. Contract fabrics have a much higher rub test value than domestic, they are usually between 2 – 5 times more hard wearing than domestic upholstery options. For non upholstered furniture such as table tops and wooden bases contract furniture suppliers use super hard wearing lacquers known as acid catalyst lacquer (AC). This not only minimises the chances of scratching, but it also helps to resist heat and spillages and therefore extends the life of your tables.
Finally commercial furniture not only allows you to save money in the long run, it also helps you to make more money. The reason being that domestic furniture is designed more for comfort than anything else and as such items such as dining chairs are usually bigger than those you would buy in the contract market. Bigger chairs result in less covers which in turn of course result in less revenue. Commercial chairs are a happy medium between size and comfort but with the added benefits of being designed with all of the other factors listed on this page.
How to Identify Commercial Furniture
It is not always easy to identify a piece of commercial furniture, however there are often some clues as to whether it fits the criteria or not. One of the most common features of a commercial chair is a U-Brace, this is usually located half way between the bottom of the leg and the seat. The U-Brace provides additional support and prevents the legs from splaying out. Secondly look for signs of wear in the fabric (only if its second hand) if teh furniture is brand new then try to markthe fabric or leather with your fingernail or a key (in a discrete area of course). Finally try to mark any exposed polished wooden areas, if it’s difficult to do so then the item is probably finished in an AC or PU lacquer and fit for contract use. You may also wish to perform structural strength and durability tests also before you use the furniture in your business.
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.
Britain is, without doubt, a nation of pet lovers. From our beloved family pets to indispensible companions we lavish affection – and money – on our four legged friends. Traditionally the hospitality industry has had a rather stand-offish relationship with animals, with only service dogs readily welcomed into the inner sanctum of eateries (while lesser dogs have to make do with a single bowl of water strategically positioned outside). However, the tide is turning. Recently several enterprising hospitality businesses have begun to open their doors to pets as well as their owners – cleverly tapping into the highly lucrative market of over 30 million people which has been ignored for years. A great example of this is Central Bark – a dog-friendly cafe which is enjoying great success in Manchester while “cat cafes” are busy catering to the feline trade.
So how can you make your cafe, bistro or other hospitality venue is a pet friendly zone? We’ve done a little research and come up with a few ideas to give you ‘paws’ for thought (sorry – we couldn’t resist).
Doggy dining and catty cuisine
While certain animals have been on the menu for years, having to cater for our four-legged friends is recent innovation. However, that’s not to say there aren’t lots of ways you can easily introduce pet-pleasing treats onto your normal bill of fayre. Enterprising cafes and bistros are starting to produce special dog or cat-friendly menu choices with ingredients which are appropriate for the dietary requirements of this new trade. Specially prepared ice-creams and shakes are being marketed for dogs to enjoy in hot weather, while a few high end restaurants in London are beginning to introduce top-quality beef biscuits and even puppy granola!
Introducing a pet-menu is certainly a fun and highly marketable way of luring in customers who are happy to pay a premium for the privilege of dining with their furry friends!
Pet friendly fur-cilities
While some people might not object to Rover or Tiddles joining them at the kitchen table, hygiene regulations mean that pets’ eating from the same tables as human customers is a non-starter. Therefore, you could introduce a special space on the floor nearby for doggy diners – complete with attractive bowls and an easily cleanable plastic feeding mat to protect flooring from pooches with messy eating habits. While animals are naturally banned from areas where food is being prepared consideration should also be given to other diners who may not relish the idea of sharing their eating space with someone else’s pet – In this case a separate dining area for dogs or cats and their owners is likely a necessity.
Of course, just as is the case with human customers, pets require adequate toilet facilities. Consequently, your venue should have space for animals to enjoy a little ‘private time’ – preferably outside with adequate facilities for owners to clean up adequately afterwards. In addition a safe outside space where dogs can play with a few appropriate toys will also set tails wagging.
Needless to say the wisdom of allowing cats AND dogs to dine together is questionable, at best. Therefore, you’re going to have to pick a side. In terms of staff, consideration should also be given to a range of potential problems, including allergies, phobias and even the prospect of increased insurance to cover the possibility of one of your new pet customers deciding to register their dissatisfaction with the service by biting the serving staff…
Giving your hospitality venue a ‘unique’ appearance and feel is one of the key elements of a successful business. The interior design of your restaurant, cafe, bistro, bar or dining area speaks volumes about both your business and the customers you want to attract – another speaks louder about your choice of style than the use of statement furniture.
Often the preserve of very high end or boutique style hospitality businesses, the use of statement furniture is a fantastic way of differentiating yourself from standardised, homogenous chair and table selections and creating a look which is unique to you.
But what is statement furniture and how can you use it to add a splash of colour and character to your dining area?
Making a Statement
Statement furniture is anything which cries out “Look at me! Look at me!” – A table made from tinfoil, a chair modelled from parts of a motorcycle; a footstool in the shape of a giant ladybird… the list is endless. They are the items that make people stop dead in tracks – mesmerised with the wonderful uniqueness of such a standout piece of furniture. Of course, by their very nature, statement furniture is not for the faint-hearted but a choice for those who like to push the envelope – the rule breakers and attention seekers. Nothing provides a wow-factor reaction better than the unusual, incongruous or starkly different.
That being said a restaurant filled to the brim with oddly mismatched furniture carries with it the danger of merely appearing as disorganised chaos – rather than a bold design idea. To get the best results statement furniture should be used sparingly, like a dash of Tabasco in a recipe: adding spice and colour to enhance the dish – not to overpower it completely.
Using Statement Furniture in Your Restaurant
Statement furniture tends towards ornate – even glamorous – styles. Hence it tends to work best in surroundings where there is a heavy artistic influence. Elegance is the watchword here with designs for chairs and tables which accent the sophistication of your dining area being of prime importance.
While statement furniture is there to stand out, maintaining consistency of design in your commercial furniture choices is also important. In addition, you should never lose sight of the fact that chairs and tables are – first and foremost – for customers to use in comfort. Therefore, statement furniture should be seen as a balance of design and practicality.
A simple but highly effective way to achieve visual impact in a dining area is through the use of contrasting colour. For example, a single red dining chair in a setup with a plain ivory table and chairs is an easy but powerful way to draw the eye without it being functionally any different. Another idea might be to use rustic wooden bench style seating in place of individual dining chairs or, for the truly opulent feel of Arabia the use of sumptuous cushions surrounding a low level table.
When it comes to statement furniture in your dining area the only limit is your imagination.
The choice of seating for your cafe or bistro is likely to be governed by three critical considerations: cost, practicality and style. For those who are looking for commercial furniture which provides the best balance between all three of these elements there are two clear options for your selection of cafe chairs: plastic or aluminium.
But which of these is most suitable for your needs? While Harry Hill might decide the matter with his usual cry of “Fight!” we’ve outlined below a few of the prime considerations for each of these cafe seating heavyweights:
Plastic Cafe Chairs
Polypropylene seating has a number of benefits for those looking for a hardwearing and practical cafe chair choice – especially if your bistro or eatery has an outdoor seating area.
Firstly, modern plastic chairs are highly robust – able to happily shrug off knocks, bangs and impacts that commercial furniture is far more likely to receive while in constant usage. Forget those memories of the flimsy plastic garden furniture of yesteryear – polypropylene cafe chairs are a far cry from the wobbly and breakage-prone seating you remember. With high density construction these are a seating option that can take a beating and still come out looking good.
Polypropylene plastic seating is also both lightweight and naturally water-resistant – the latter of which enables it to shrug off the effects of the kind of sudden downpour the British weather tends to specialise in, while the former means that they can be moved, rearranged and stored with ease.
Available in an array of colours, attractive styles and practical finishes there’s sure to be a plastic cafe chair to match your interior (or exterior) design ideas. If there’s a downside it tends to be in the fact that plastic has somewhat of an image problem – frequently being considered a ‘cheap’ option. However, with modern manufacturing techniques and stylish designs this is fast becoming a non-issue. If you’re looking for a great balance between practicality, cost and longevity then plastic cafe chairs are a serious contender.
Aluminium Cafe Chairs
Somewhat of a stalwart for outdoor seating areas, patios and Al Fresco dining spaces, aluminium chairs are a familiar sight in the hospitality industry. Popular for their robust, yet lightweight construction, metal commercial furniture is the ‘go-to’ choice for many cafes and bistros when it comes to chairs that look equally good inside a venue as outside.
Aluminium chairs are available in a range of styles – either with an all metal construction or incorporating other materials, such as wood, fabric or rattan, when it comes to the seat and back rest. This allows for a wonderful ability to tailor your choice of appearance to achieve a look which elevates your cafe and bistro from a casual eating place to something a little more individual.
With such a range of positive advantages in their corner drawbacks for aluminium cafe chairs are few and far between, with only their slightly more expensive cost and lightweight nature in windy conditions counting against them.
Laminate table tops became a popular furnishing choice throughout the late 50’s and have remained a prevalent choice within dining venues and eateries today. They are a great option for anyone that is looking for a cost effective yet durable solution for furnishing high traffic environments and venues that expect frequent contract use. Laminate table tops are low maintenance as they are very resilient to scratching, feature anti chip ABS edges and are heat resistant up to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). An additional benefit of using laminate table tops is that they do not easily absorb liquids making them a very hygienic alternative, which are also extremely easy to clean and hard to stain. It is also commonly appreciated that laminate table tops are an effortless way to modernise an interior or dining space because they are available in a variety of colours and finishes, as well as also being particularly easy to install and fit. However, if you don’t choose carefully some laminates can look low cost or unrealistic in appearance when compared to the lavish grain of real wood.
Real wooden table tops are widely used throughout the hospitality and leisure industry – especially in venues such as old fashioned bars, pubs and restaurants – due to their fantastically opulent and stunningly traditional appearance. Real wood table tops are less resilient to heat and scratching than laminate table tops and whilst they might be a slightly more expensive selection; they are a worthwhile investment for your business as there is an endless list of finishing techniques for real wood, from a simple seal or lacquer to sand blasting, scorching or distressing, which can be used to match your new table tops to your current colour schemes. Real wood also has the ability to effortlessly add character and warmth to your venue, taking take pride of place and lasting for decades to come in your dining setting. Any stains or imperfections that appear on the table top throughout use can be simply sanded down to reveal another layer of real wood, although general wear of the table tops does fantastically contribute to the authentic aesthetic of real wood appearance, unlike laminate tops which have to be completely removed and replaced once the top layer has been worn out or damaged.
Warner Contracts Ltd specialise in supplying a wide variety of hardwearing commercial furniture solutions and table tops for both indoor and outdoor use, including laminates and real wood in a range of sizes, colours and finishes. Our furniture collections are stocked in the UK for immediate dispatch meaning they all carry a short 3 – 5 day lead time but please do speak to our sales and dispatch team if you require them sooner and we will try our very best to accommodate your request. If you wish to receive more information on our table top product range or would like to request a competitively priced quotation please contact our sales team by calling: 0161 408 2390 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
In a bid to suceed in the increasingly competitive hospitality industry, the UK has seen a rise in the number of restaurants offering a truly one of a kind dining experience, with 44% of eateries now considering their venue as a provider of concept dining to their customers. From the dizzying heights, eating your meal at a table suspended from a crane to enjoying surprise menus served by blind waiters, there really is no shortage of choice. Whether you are looking to undergo a full refurbishment or just want to refresh your interior, we have furniture to suit all budgets.
We have outlined below some of our favourite unique cafes, bars and restaurants nationwide and how you can take inspiration to apply to your own venue.
Boho Utopia, Manchester
Boho Utopia is an independently run, creative coffee shop with boho-chic contrasting furniture and a statement feature wall.
Inspiration for your venue:
Statement furniture is a massive upcoming trend for 2017/18. Using bold, contrasting colours in your décor adds a welcoming atmosphere for your customers and is a trend that is here to stay! View our commercial furniture.
This West End cocktail bar boasts a highly popular Pan-Asian menu with futuristic décor and breath-taking cabaret, trapeze and other circus performances. The entertainers dance on glittering tables and dance alongside diners throughout their meals.
Inspiration for your venue:
Providing entertainment alongside your food and drinks creates suspense and attracts diners looking for a new experience. Live music from local bands/artists is a great way to set ambiance and attract locals looking to support their community.
Located in the stunning South West Italy, this unique venue has been enjoyed since the 1700’s. Diners can expect a meal on a cliff ledge lit by the reflection of the sunset off of the Adriatic Sea.
Inspiration for your venue:
Customers love to see their surroundings; it really enhances the overall dining experience. Take the opportunity to decorate your natural outdoor dining space. View our outdoor contract furniture collection.
Kitty Café, Various Locations
With an estimated 30 million pet owners in the UK, it’s true that the nation is feline good when it comes to dining with our furry friends. Cat Cafés offer a purr-fect retreat, where you can enjoy coffee, cake and cats!
Inspiration for your venue:
You’d be surprised how much custom you are turning away, if you’re not a pet friendly venue. Strategically place water bowls in designated pet areas and check out our variety of hardwearing, durable furniture perfect for pet-friendly venues on our website!
Jamie Oliver’s Italian, Manchester
This City Centre based Italian is the true definition of luxury. Previously trading as a bank, some of the original features are still present in the building today, including the bank vault, which can be hired for functions and events.
Inspiration for your venue:
Make the most of any existing rooms and features that are unusual or eye-catching. Remember, we now supply bespoke fabric and leather sofas which can be made to match your colour schemes and brand, and perfectly complete any room!
Gloucester Studio, Gloucester.
Former MasterChef contestant Kathryn Minchew has transformed her ordinary garden shed into an extra-ordinary eight-seater restaurant. Once guests have been welcomed and seated, Kathryn cooks excellent quality food over an open fire to be enjoyed in this intimate and romantic setting.
Inspiration for your venue:
Venues come in all shapes and sizes – but maximising your space is what’s important. We have a range of furniture on our website from stacking chairs to small stools that are perfect for space conscious settings.
‘Secret’ Bars, Various Locations
From The Laundrette and 17 below, both in Manchester, to The Boiler Room in Nottingham, ‘secret’ bars are popping up all over the country. The blink and you’ll miss it venues are truly exclusive for those in the know and offer unique food and cocktails (see right) to tantalise your tastebuds.
Inspiration for your venue:
Offering ‘exclusives’ peaks the interest of diners. Introducing surprise additions to your dining area or new cocktails to the menu for a limited time only will see the public flooding through your doors.
Warner Contracts Ltd. are a market leading supplier of indoor and outdoor commercial furniture, with bespoke manufacturing capabilities and a broad selectoin to choose from. All our furniture is tested in accordance with contract furniture regulations, to ensure you receive the best, hardwearing and durable furniture that will stand the test of time and last throughout heavy contract use. If you would like to receive a competitive quote please contact a member of our sales team by calling 0161 408 2390 or emailing email@example.com
It’s that time of the year again and with Father’s Day almost upon us, it’s likely that you’re already well underway to planning for the floods of families that will visit, all looking for a great dining experience to treat dad with for that special day. If done right, it’s a great opportunity to maximise your profits but we understand that in the rush of preparing specialist food menus, ordering decorations and taking endless bookings for the day, your restaurant furniture can be the last thing on your mind. However, as the day draws ever closer you may come to realise that you simply don’t have the space or furniture to facilitate your expected footfall. Don’t panic, this is where we come in! At Warner Contract Furniture, we have an extensive range of stocked restaurant furniture, from stools to upholstered dining chairs, table tops and table bases to complete tables and everything in between, all which come in a variety of colours, styles and finishes. What’s more? As all of our contract furniture ranges are stocked goods, so have short lead times and express delivery options available.
As sunny intervals have been predicted for throughout the day, it is more likely than not that families will be taking advantage of the outdoor dining facilities and flocking out to visit beer gardens, so this could potentially be the first chance for your outdoor furniture to be used and put to the test. You could even take the opportunity to provide some outdoor entertainment, such as Dad V Children games like rounders or a quiz. Ensure your outdoor space is prepared for the extra dining opportunities by viewing our range of heavy duty, robust and affordable outdoor furniture here.
Maximising your space is absolutely essential for increasing your profits. Maximising space, simply means optimising the space and this doesn’t have to be a complicated or tiresome process, as the smallest changes are often those with the biggest impact. For starters, simply ensuring that your space is adaptable for those with special needs or mobility issues and reserving spaces for high chairs (and having lots of high chairs available!) is paramount to providing families with the no fuss service they will have come to expect. Looking to purchase extra high chairs for the big day, view the Bambino which is available from Warner Contracts. If your restaurant has a children’s play area, you could even go as far as reserving the surrounding dining area for families with young children, to give parents piece of mind whilst enjoying their family meal.
Don’t forget that as part of our service to you, we are able to offer delivery in time for Father’s Day on all orders that are placed by Monday 12/06/2017, meaning we can accommodate all those last minute furniture requests. Either purchase on our website or email a member of our friendly sales team for our best prices and bulk order discounts on our contract restaurant furniture.
As late spring begins to blend into early summer the signs of a return to outdoor dining are already starting to appear in hospitality businesses everywhere. For cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars the improving weather heralds the opening of pavement, patio, terrace and garden areas to customers looking to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
For many businesses this is the ideal time to make a change when it comes to replacing your tired old commercial outdoor furniture in favour of a fresh, new look. As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of outstanding contract furniture we are delighted to present our ideas on what promise to be the top 9 design trends for outdoor commercial furniture in 2017.
1) Bring the Inside Outside
This year will see the continued rise of the design trend for a seamless transition from interior to exterior. Gone are the old notions of a distinct difference between indoor furniture and items which will see use outside. Plush seating and tables which wouldn’t look out of place in any dining room are making their way out into the fresh air. Where plain wooden benches once ruled, patios and gardens are now seeing the arrival of sofas and easy chairs, enabling customers to enjoy a meal or drink in the same comfort as those inside.
2) Beachside Bliss and Calm Coastal Colours
It’s not surprising perhaps that we instinctively associate summer and relaxed dining with being by the sea. Memories of long, relaxing beach holidays and that unique sense of serene contentment that comes with an ocean connection are maybe why the trend for coastal colours is seeing a comeback for 2017. Calming blues combined with nature inspired commercial furniture are ideal for generating a fresh, inviting outdoor dining or hospitality area. Wood, cork and natural fabrics help to provide a warming element which will encourage diners and drinkers to relax and unwind.
3) Expect the Unexpected!
For those businesses looking to bring a little more vibrancy and a sense of experimentation to your outdoor dining area 2017 is the ideal time to be bold with your choice of colours and commercial furniture accessories! Bright tones, exciting patterns and unexpected textures are all trending well in the top designer’s studios, with pillows and cushions being an especially good way to inject some much needed life and colour into an otherwise uninteresting seating arrangement. In terms of commercial outdoor furniture try extending this theme by choosing elaborate designs, paired with unusual materials, to create a lasting visual impact!
4) Go Retro…
Ah, retro…the old trend that is somehow always new. It could be argued that design, like fashion, is not a linear progression but actually a revolving wheel with retro placed squarely in the centre. Retro themes for outdoor contract furniture are an almost constantly popular choice with both hospitality businesses and customers alike – from the nostalgic feel of a 1920’s speakeasy bar to the fun kitsch of the 1970’s it’s no surprise that a design that harks back to yesteryear will always find a warm welcome with clientele. For 2017 some commercial outdoor furniture trends are moving firmly toward the natural, woven rattan and wicker inspired styles of the 1970’s.
5) …With a twist!
Going one step further with the whole return to retro woven trend is the introduction of bold new colours for rattan and wicker outdoor furniture. While remaining true to the retro styling and construction the cheeky injection of a dash of unexpected colour matches well with the ‘Expect the unexpected’ trend already outlined above. As such an exterior dining area arrangement can still reflect a retro feel but with a more contemporary twist. Mixing the occasional brightly coloured chair or table in with a host of darker, more traditional commercial outdoor furniture is a clever way to draw the eye.
6) Naturally Attractive
The urban-chic look so popular in 2016 is firmly out of favour in 2017, with outdoor contract furniture trends for hotels, pubs, cares and bars seeing a return to the ever-popular natural look. Stark, post-urbanisation concrete furniture is being hastily dumped in favour of the much more welcoming use of wood and other natural materials to provide a warm and friendly feel to exterior dining and drinking areas. Teak in particular is an excellent material for outdoor furniture, aging beautifully and acquiring an attractive weathered look over time.
7) Vintage Tables & Chairs
Carrying on from last year the use of vintage style tables and chairs continues to be a big design trend for outdoor commercial furniture in 2017. Distinct from the ‘retro’ trend this is more about classical elegance as demonstrated through the clever use of natural stone and simple metal finishes, including colourful ceramics and glass. One item in particular is seeing a huge upsurge in popularity for hospitality businesses: the mosaic table.
In line with 2017’s vintage outdoor furniture trend dainty tea garden tables and chairs are also seeing something of a renaissance.
8) Bohemian Hhapsody
Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that a decade which saw British mega group Queen’s seminal rock anthem is once more casting its influence over commercial furniture styles in 2017. Bohemian colours and styles are in favour in a range of hotels, restaurants and bars, with deep rich reds and oranges – accompanied by plush, opulent fabrics – reflecting the free artistic expression so evocative of the period. Earth tones and subtle golds are also on the rise. Outdoor wooden commercial furniture with a whimsical or handcrafted appearance is likewise strongly tipped to be a big thing this year.
9) Distressed Designs
While the stresses and strains of running a successful hospitality business might leave you looking a little careworn – take heart: 2017’s last design trend is toward outside commercial furniture which looks as attractively distressed as you do…
Washed out, worn wood finishes and a visible grain – accompanied by neutral pastel tones – are a great way to convey a feeling of timeworn, rustic charm to your exterior dining or drinking area.
With high intensity usage, hard knocks, constant spills, heat, steam and even attacks from natural elements, such as sunlight, it won’t take long for your beautiful contract furniture to start showing the signs of wear and tear. Once pristine areas can quickly begin to look tatty and unappealing, at best (and downright dirty at worst). Neither of which is likely to encourage customers or enhance their experience in your premises.
This problem is especially relevant for businesses working in the hospitality sectors: restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs – even hotels, theatres and cinemas – all see the kind of high customer traffic and occasional messy accident that can take their toll on even the most practical of furniture choices.
Whilst choosing hardwearing, sturdy contract furniture can help, knowing the best way to maintain your furnishings is a great idea in terms of keeping them looking great and getting the most out of your investment. Consequently, we’ve composed some ideas and suggestions on not only keeping your furniture in great condition, but also some handy cleaning hints, should disaster strike. Finally, we’ll also be looking at your options around repairs vs. replacement when your contract furnishings have finally reached the end of the road.
General Contract Furniture Maintenance Tips
Keep It Tight: Regular use can quickly loosen joints, fixings and screws on a variety of items – especially when it comes to tables, chairs and other seating arrangements. Constant movement and rearranging also subjects these to pulling and pushing stresses which can weaken their stability. Make it a point to check chairs and tables for signs of excessive movement and tighten any fixings that are starting to loosen. Wooden joints may need to be re-glued or even reinforced.
A Stitch In Time: Check furniture for tears or rips in their upholstery. Any damage should be dealt with immediately – before the problem has a chance to become worse. Caught in good time, smaller rents and torn seams can be easily mended by professional attention – sometimes even providing an almost invisible fix at a fraction of the later cost of replacing the entire item!
Keep Things Moving: Rotating contract furniture from high traffic areas to less used sections helps to spread the distribution of wear more equally amongst a larger number of items. Bringing these ‘reserves’ out to relieve the battered front lines of your contract furniture – as well as having a regular cycling of furnishings in your public areas – assists in keeping things looking better for longer. This also applies to items which may spend long periods in bright sunshine where the damaging UV rays will fade fabric, wood and leather.
Long-lasting Doesn’t Mean Dull: When choosing your contract furniture consider the amount of wear and tear it’s likely to be exposed to. Beautiful solid wood and colourful laminates are extremely hardwearing when it comes to tables. Metal table legs and chairs are also hardy enough to endure a high usage environment, whilst still looking good and requiring minimal maintenance. Faux leather and the real thing are also tough customers when it comes to luxurious seating that can withstand the test of time.
Commercial Furniture Cleaning Hints
Dirty or soiled items and a generally unclean area will send customers running for the hills, or at the very least, unlikely to return for a second visit. However, in any business environment where food and drink are being served there is the certainty that an accident is going to happen sooner or later. So, what’s the best way to keep your contract furniture looking spick and span?
Wooden surfaces should be cleaned regularly using a dry or slightly damp cloth and, occasionally, ordinary furniture polishes – especially those containing natural waxes. For larger spillages, cleaning with a cloth, some warm water and a mild detergent will quickly deal with most problems. Minor physical damage, such as a scratch, can normally be easily ‘buffed’ out, again using beeswax. Abrasive cleaners should never be used on varnished or lacquered wood surfaces.
Over time leather can dry and crack. Avoid this by applying a leather conditioner – this can be worked easily into the surface and polished to a high shine, thus accomplishing the dual roles of cleaning and caring for this expensive material at the same time. Leather should never be soaked in water – even if trying to remove a stain. Avoid detergents, solvents, ammonia, bleach and furniture polishes – all can cause irreparable damage. Instead use only cleaning products specifically designed for use on real leather.
An excellent, hardwearing material vinyl is both easy to clean and care for, needing only a moist cloth and some mild detergent to deal with the majority of dirt and grime. However, oils should be avoided as these tend to harden the vinyl causing cracks and brittleness over time.
Stains and spills on upholstery fabrics should be quickly blotted with paper towels or a dry cloth before washing with clean, warm water and a mild detergent. Ensure that the area is then dried thoroughly.
Repair or Replace?
There comes a time when even the most hardwearing and sturdy of contract furniture items must be replaced. Whilst repairs are a good idea for commercial furniture which has only sustained minor damage or still has plenty of life ahead of it, eventually replacements must be considered. In such instances it’s likely that the chairs, sofas, tables and other business furniture in your venue may be approaching the end of their life spans at approximately the same time, in which case replacing them with new items can actually be a very positive decision – allowing businesses to reinvent their interior decoration, layout and even theme. A fresh start, with beautiful new contract furniture, can serve to reinvigorate the entire direction of your commercial enterprise.
By choosing attractive, long-lasting contract furniture and caring for it as outlined above you can be assured of a lifetime’s faithful service.