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The Essentials of a Buying Great Cafe Tables

Aug 9, 2008
If we were going to scientifically dissect what is the actual make up a a cafe, there would really be just three basic components that must be there and must work well for any cafe to be a success. And those components are good food and drink, good service and cafe tables and chairs for customers to sit at to enjoy their meal or beverage. That's about it. Of course, you will be enhancing that basic formula with a warm atmosphere, perhaps a fireplace, some newspapers and magazines for people to enjoy and wireless Internet for that crowd. But if you get those three core components right, you will have a successful cafe. And on a more ominous note, if you mess up any of those three core components, your cafe will not succeed.

It is good to boil down to the essentials the components of a successful cafe as you begin your business plan to open your coffee shop because in doing so, you can create a checklist of characteristics of a great menu, rock solid workers and furniture that will make your new cafe take off. The furniture has a lot riding on it. Besides the obvious need for function, cafe tables tie in the overall themes of the interior design and help convey the atmosphere and mood that will appeal to the particular clientele you hope to become regulars in your cafe.

High quality is a must in the cafe tables you set out for your customers use. Next to the chairs, the tables in your coffee shop will undergo the most continuous use next to the plates, forks and spoons. And even then, rotation means that those items will not be in constant use which your tables will almost certainly see. This means that those tables much do more than just stay standing and not fall while holding customer's food and drinks, they must be pleasant, free of nicks and easy to clean up to like new condition every day.

Unlike many restaurants, the appeal of a cafe is that customers can linger in your shop and visit, work on homework or computer projects or discuss business deals at length. This is why the coffee shop has virtually replaced bars and pubs as the heart of social life and the relaxed ambiance of your cafe is a primary goal in your decorating scheme. The tables you offer to your customers will have guests stay for anywhere from a half hour to half a day. So they must be ready to "host" customers that long. While customers actually seldom think about the tables they sit at, that's the point. If they thought about the table, that would mean something was wrong. So the table must be a silent servant for hours and then be ready in an instant to host a new group as soon as the last group goes on their way.

The layout of your cafe will dictate different kinds of cafe tables so you should look to purchase a number of designs of tables to fit those needs. Many of your guests will enjoy standing and talking while having a table for resting their beverages. Standing tables encourage walk through traffic which are patrons who come in and make their purchase, enjoy a brief cafe experience and move on. This is kind of faster moving traffic is good for business. So strategically position these tables to accommodate the fast paced lifestyle these patrons will bring with them. But you will also need smaller tables for just 2-3 customers to enjoy intimate discussion and larger tables for groups to gather to spend hours together in you shop, talking, laughing, arguing and at the same time, eating, drinking and spending money.

At the same time, all of your cafe tables should coordinate in style, color and design to each other and to the dominant design and decor of your cafe. That means you while you are looking for tables that fit your needs, you all also looking for a manufacturer and supplier who can customize your table order to give you just what you need in high quality tables of various sizes and all customized to fit your decorating scheme as well.

Keep in mind also when envisioning the cafe tables that you will buy that cafe furniture will be more mobile than furniture is a traditional restaurant. That is because the assumption, approach and "contract" that a cafe with it's guests is different than in a normal restaurant. In the standard restaurant, people come, eat and leave and the layout of the restaurant is not negotiable. Once you have the restaurant set up the way you want it, you could virtually bolt the tables to the ground. Not only should they not move, you don't encourage your customers to move them around.

The customers of a cafe see that coffee house as their home away from home. Hospitality is an even bigger part of what you offer to your guests than the food or drink you sell. Those things are there to support the hospitality you offer, not vice versa. So your customers should feel at ease to rearrange the tables and chairs as they wish to accommodate their social needs and the size of their group. If they want to spontaneously push tables together for a big group gathering, the facility and the tables should be easy to manipulate like this.

In the same way the furniture in your cafe should be easily taken care of by employees. Its just a given that there will be spills and accidents. So your staff should be able to quickly get the tables cleaned up and in a ready condition to greet new guests very quickly with no effect on the furniture. In that way little mishaps like a spill can be taken care of with no alarm or fuss and the mood of the cafe that you work so hard to maintain is not disrupted.

The essentials of good cafe tables are that they are well made, tough, easy to move around and designed not fit the needs of your customers in any group size and to provide them service sitting at straight back chairs, in lounge chairs or couches or standing up. The tables should be easy to take care of and not show damage easily so there are no dings or signs of wear over time. And the tables should come from the kind of supplier and manufacturer who can customize what you need to fit your decor easily.

This is a tall order and it means you may not be able to economize on your cafe tables. But by investing well in this very essential part of your cafe equipment, you will start out day one with great cafe tables that will last for decades and serve hundreds or thousands of customers with no need for replacements or repair. And that is worth a little more investment in quality up front.
About the Author
To view over 2,000 contract furniture products including cafe furniture, bar chairs and hotel furniture please visit http://www.laytrad.co.uk/bar-tables-chairs.htm, http://www.laytrad.co.uk/commercial-bistro-chairs.htm and http://www.laytrad.co.uk/commercial-hotel-furniture.htm
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