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Bistro Furniture: 7 Quick Tips to a Good Design

Aug 13, 2008
One of the key elements to any restaurant, bar, bistro, or café is ensuring that the layout of and design is adequate and comfortable for patrons. It is important to strategize and reserve areas within the design for tables, chairs and people, and create a balance between stationary items and the movement of customers and staff. Figuring out how this will all flow together is quite a challenge here are some quick tips that may make it a little easier.

Consider the type of atmosphere that you want for your bistro. Is your bistro going to have a warm romantic type of atmosphere, or would you prefer a lively upbeat setting where friends are welcomed to talk casually and laugh a little too loud if they want to? This is an important aspect of deciding on your bistro furniture, so you really need to take the time to decide what sort of ambiance you want to create. Settling on a specific type of atmosphere will help you construct the other key areas of the bistro. It will aide you determining where you place furniture and what colors and textiles will fit best with the mood you would like to create. When patrons walk into your bistro the atmosphere needs to bring to them the essence of the food that they will be enjoying.

Remember that you are essentially confined to a space of four walls. It is viable to the bistros presentation as well as the experience the patrons have at your bistro, to map out the areas where you would like server traffic to flow. Once you have a general idea of how server flow will run, taking into consider all areas from the back to the front tables you can begin table placement. Tables need to be spaced so that bussers and servers can take care of your customer without bumping into them and each other.

Washrooms need to be easily accessible. If you have ever taken notice one of the first things you subconsciously look for when walking into a restaurant is the washroom. Make sure that washrooms are not only easily accessible but are clearly labeled. If they absolutely need to stay an area that is tucked away, the signs that direct you there need to be clear and in a place that is easy to find. You want patrons to be comfortable and for some just the thought of having to ask where the restroom is located is mortifying. That is why its so important to make restrooms or directions to restrooms very visible.

The lighting of specific areas such as aisles and dining tables should be bright but not make patrons feel as if they are dining under a searchlight. Warm lighting adds to the look of the whole layout of the table accentuating the silverware, plates, the colors of textures of the tables themselves, and especially the food.

One of the most overlooked areas in the design of a bistro is the waiting area. Ideally you do not have to make your customers wait. But sometimes the inevitable happens, and your customers may need to occupy the waiting area an little longer than you might like. That is not the moment to realize, "Maybe I should have spent a little more on those seat cushions". Decorative eye catching wall accessories can help stimulate your customers mind so that they are not just concentrating on the amount of time that they have been waiting. It is important that these people feel like guests and have something pleasant to do while the are waiting. Be sure that the area keeps them busy.

Another major concern that can very easily be overlooked is temperature. You can create a restaurant that is completely covered in the essence of the tropics. Palm trees, birds of paradise, wicker furniture, pińa coladas, but if you have customers sitting under a vent with a winter's frost blowing through, your perfect atmosphere, can will be compromised. Pay attention to this, and your guests will start to let you know when the atmosphere is too cold.

Furniture, especially chairs should be comfortable, but there is a balance between comfortable and too comfortable. You want customers to be able to come in enjoy their meal and eventually move on making room for other customers to be served. Furniture that is too lax combined with food could make customers too comfortable. Furniture also needs to combine well with the colors that you have chosen to for your bistro. You want it to coordinate well not take away from the atmosphere that you have created. Make sure that your chairs don't become the central focus of the entire restaurant.

With the right design that is structured and well thought out any bistro or café will stand out. The visual aspect of a restaurant can say a lot to a potential customers. They may have not tasted the food but if the appearance is not appealing or a bistro looks cluttered and unorganized, patrons may automatically assume that food served there is not good, or that the kitchen is dirty. Never underestimate the power of a first impression. You will be satisfied when you take the time to make the layout of you bistro not only work for you but for your patrons as well. Take all the necessary time you need to do this lay out, draw it out, choose several styles that may work and then choose the best out of those. Make sure you check the manufacturer, and make sure that there are ways to repair the furniture, and that parts or manufacturers tips are readily available should you ever need them. Be sure to try to keep furniture out of direct sunlight as much as possible and perform regular maintenance and cleaning, once you have bought the bistro furniture, that way you will keep it in good shape for many years to come.
About the Author
Tony has written several books on cafe chairs, cafe tables and cafe furniture. He also enjoys to write about hotel furniture and gardening.
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