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Cafe Chairs: Balancing Space Against Comfort

Aug 9, 2008
It is important to manage the space you have at hand against the comfort level of your customers in your cafe. Such an aspect allows you to provide optimum results without sacrificing one for the other, but rather by creating a synergy between both elements. Let us first examine what is meant by space since it will help us later on.

Space is the area available for any given activity or business. In your case, the space is the land you've rented or bought sans the basic structure, meaning that you will calculate the space only by including the real space available for you to place things. You might ask, what's the need for such a definition? Many people might be fooled by the area given when they buy a new cafe. Just because you were told its 200 meter square, doesn't mean you can utilize all of the space. When picking a place, make sure you look around for "practical space", meaning that a place with a lot of columns and nooks might be a tough net to crack when the design stage starts.

Moving on to comfort, it is defined as the person's state of mind or physical state when positioned or aligned in a projected time or place. Comfort, unlike what people think, isn't a state of happiness or ecstasy as much as it the average state where a human being is capable of living or adapting.

Now that the definitions are out of the way, we can start with the two basic things to watch out for when balancing space against comfort.

1. Moving Space Vs Comfort Space

You might be going like, but aren't they the same? Actually, you'd be surprised to know they're not. Moving space is what your customers will have if they decide to move when you have a full house with customers at every table. Comfort space on the other hand, is what your customer will have for himself and it totally depends on your customer and the chairs available. So how can you balance moving space and comfort space? Which is more important? If you look at them, you probably would've noticed that if you pick bigger chairs (more comfort space) you'll be sacrificing moving space, and if you go for moving space, your customers will end up with less comfort space. The relationship between the totally is inversely proportional, with a mid area of what we call the comfortable moving space synergy.

The comfortable moving space is exactly what we're looking for, so how can you achieve it? For starters, you need to observe the lifestyle of your customers. If you're dealing with younger people, you'll notice that the moving space is much more important than the comfort space. Why is that? It's simply because younger people are more hyperactive, and there's nothing more annoying that having to bump into another customer. As for older crowds, you'll notice that the comfort space comes as number one, no senior will show up to your cafe if you have one of those high uncomfortable stools.

The second thing to look at is the ethnic distribution of your customers. How is this relevant? Of course it's relevant, different ethnicities have different perspectives on comfort and space. Let's say for example that you're in a high tourism area with many Europeans. Europeans are known cozy cafes and friendliness, it's very unlikely a European with frown in your face if you bump into his chair. Therefore, less moving space is acceptable for certain groups, while if we were to take the American example, we'll notice that moving space is very important.

The third thing to look at is the weight and height of your customers. You're probably think this is nuts! On the contrary, it's very reasonable to look at such factors since they affect comfort space. Try to test your furniture arrangement with many people of different sizes and heights, observe their reactions carefully, and write down what you observed. You'll notice for example that both overweight and tall people cherish comfort space. Observation is the key here.

Accommodation Rate vs. Comfort Space

As we all know that the number of tables occupied directly affects the moving space by definition, but what about comfort space? A recent study concluded that people feel more comfortable being in a crowded place, believe it or not. This is due to the fact that humans in this age because to see a crowded space as potential means of communication and being social, therefore; if we were to follow the study's outcome, we'd say that comfort space increases with the accommodation rates. Right?

Not so, the relationship between accommodation rate and comfort space depends on five factors that make the relationship quite arbitrary: background, lifestyle, mood, area, and time.

So how can you predict when you will customers start feeling uncomfortable? This requires a test, since the relationship is quite arbitrary, experimentation is essential. Try observing and writing down, on any given day, when a customer comes in and when he leaves and what was the total number of customers sitting around. If customers are spending less time when the place is crowded, then your cafe's crowd is definitely looking for less accommodation rates for comfort. If your customers are spending more time when people are lining up to get it, then your customers must be the kind of customers that find high accommodation rates appealing.

If you put moving space, comfort space, and accommodation rates in your mind when creating your cafe's chair layout, you're most likely to achieve the synergy needed. Take your time and experiment with different layout with the exercises given above before settling on your final layout. Try them out on different days with different weathers, times, and events, since the comfortable moving space synergy is only achieved when putting all this in mind. You'll be astonished at how useful this will be when you start seeing more tips are being put in the jar.
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To view over 2,000 contract furniture products including bistro and cafe furniture, bar and hotel furniture please visit http://www.laytrad.co.uk/bar-tables-chairs.htm and http://www.laytrad.co.uk/commercial-bistro-chairs.htm
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