6 Factors That Turn a Good Cafe Into A Great Cafe

what makes a good cafeThese days popular cities and towns are awash with dining establishments and speciality coffee shops. In fact according to an interesting survey carried out by Future Melbourne.com in 2006 the city and it’s surrounding areas had just under 2500 cafés, restaurants and bars with enough seating for over 150,000 people. In 2014 this shows no signs of slowing down despite tiptoeing out of the worst economic crisis for decades. With so many cafés offering a ‘great experience’ then anyone opening up a new café has to distance themselves from their competitors. With this in mind, here are 6 factors that can help to turn a good café into an outstanding café


Nowadays this is more of a necessity than a luxury and for the working community a café with a good wi-fi signal is often a preference. Yes it may cost more to install and to run, but when people stay longer, it generally means that you’re serving more skinny lattes all round.

Great Coffee

Gone are the days when café’s could make do with instant, or lousy blends of coffee. In 2014 it’s all about the standard of your beans. Serve great coffee and you’ve virtually got it made. Oh, and if you know your latte art, then all the better!

Great Food

We’re not talking Michelin-starred here but rather homely, affordable, great tasting food. If you can offer the best butter cake for miles around just like mum used to make, then word will soon spread and before long you’ll be packed to the rafters.

Great magazine selection

Okay so it’s an extra expense, but people love to go to café’s to relax and recharge their batteries and a good magazine selection certainly helps. Besides if you’re anything like me you can easily lose yourself in a good magazine and before you know it, it’s been 4 cups of coffee and a couple of hours later. Yikes!

A warm and comforting environment

Research has shown that the right balance of commotion and calm can boost creativity. Sometimes people go to café’s to brainstorm ideas or to meet people/clients, it’s no longer just a place to go and drink good coffee. That’s why Starbucks is so popular with it’s idea of the ‘third place’ somewhere between the office and the home.

Comfortable furniture

It’s a bit of a no-brainer really but did you know that some café’s will deliberately choose less than comfortable furniture so that guests don’t hog all the seats? Ultimately this is more in the case of establishments that need to turn tables, but in the main, people are only going to return to café’s where they feel relaxed and comfortable.

So there you have it, 6 not so secret factors that can turn a good café into a great café!

If you’re looking for comfortable, affordable and stylish café furniture, then we have it all here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne. Why not visit our Melbourne warehouse or alternatively visit our website to see what we have to offer.


Why Not Add An Edgy Industrial Look To Your Cafe?

Copper Tolix ChairIndustrial type furniture is seeing an upsurge in popularity as the hospitality industry has come to recognise the many benefits that this particular type of furniture has to offer. One such style of furniture that has been hugely popular since the early 1930’s is the Tolix model A chair.

This iconic chair was designed by Xavier Pauchard in 1934 and was soon to be found in all the bustling bars and cafés in Paris at that time.

The original chair was made from steel and intended to be used indoors or outside hence the hole in the seat which was for any rain to drain away. However café owners complained that the chairs were difficult to stack and so he was forced to tweak his design. By 1956, the classic Tolix chair was finally here to stay. With a slimmer frame it was possible to stack up to 25 high with a height of 2.3 metres.

They immediately became more popular, not just in cafés, but were often given away by breweries right up to the 1970’s to businesses that stocked their brand, as well as to hospitals, offices and factories.

By the 1950’s the company employed almost 80 workers and produced around 60,000 units per year. This prosperous company company remained in the family until 2004. A revival in the brand came about when Chantal Andriot who was once the financial director, bought it back out of loyalty and passion for the company, and with the aid of some of the previous employees launched into production once more. As a woman in a man’s world she injected a new vitality and today half of Tolix’s annual turnover is exported, mainly to the USA.

If you love the look of the classic Tolix chair but don’t relish the price of an original, then why not invest instead in our replica Tolix chairs. Staying true to the original design they are made from steel with a powder coated finish. Available in a wide range of fun and vibrant colours or attractive metal finishes, they’ll add a stylish look to your café. Solid and robust, they’ll last for years and never go out of fashion.

Choosing And Caring For Your Café Chairs

cafe chairsChoosing café chairs for your establishment from online sites such as Cafe Furniture Melbourne has several advantages. Firstly we have a huge selection of chairs and other café furniture to choose from, all at highly affordable prices, and what’s more you can happily browse the site, read up on descriptions, and make your choice all without leaving your favourite armchair. You can also call us or drop us an email to ask questions or check on availability, without the hassle of waiting for a salesperson to appear.

Choosing café chairs

Here are our tips for choosing and caring for your café chairs but bear in mind that caring for the chairs starts with making the right choice of chair in the first place.

Firstly you need to decide on the type of materials for your chairs. This will be influenced by where you want to use your chairs, ie. indoors or out, your décor, and most importantly, your budget.


Outdoor chairs use different materials to indoor chairs for the obvious reason that the harsh Australian climate will place considerable stress on them. For example, aluminium chairs are an ideal choice for outdoors since they’re rust proof and lightweight, as are resin chairs. They’re also waterproof and resistant to UV rays. For indoor use then wooden chairs are better suited.


Industrial style furniture is very popular at present, as in our range of replica Tolix chairs and bar stools and these are most suited to a modern décor. Our Madeline chairs also boast clean lines and modern aesthetics. Wooden chairs such as our Bentwood cabaret chairs are more in keeping with a traditional décor and our ladder back chairs also work well.


Wooden chairs are often more expensive than resin or metal chairs because of the manufacturing costs involved, but things such as the complexity of the design can also play a part.

Secondly you need to consider the size of your chairs and this will be determined by a couple of factors:

Size of your floor space

Smaller chairs are more suited to a small space than larger chairs which will swamp the area and also reduce the amount of customers you can have seated. If space is tight then consider armless chairs and bar stools as these will take up less room around a table or in a corner. If you’ve got acres of space then consider strategically placing a couple of armchairs and Ottomans alongside tables and chairs to encourage customers to linger longer.

Target market

You also need to take into consideration who your target market are. Older people will appreciate chairs with arms whereas younger people will be happy with bar stools or armless chairs. Families will appreciate high chairs for the baby that can be positioned around their table.

Caring for your chairs

Caring for your chairs should be a relatively easy task particularly if you pay attention to the instructions of the manufacturer. That said, here are a few tips to follows:

  • Wipe your chairs on a regular basis with a clean cloth to remove dust
  • Re-stain any wood that has faded and/or repaint metal components to keep your chairs looking smart and attractive
  • Check all chair joints to ensure that they haven’t gone rusty particularly in the case of folding chairs

With the right choice of comfortable, trendy and stylish café chairs your customers will enjoy their drinks and snacks and this will encourage them to come back on a regular basis.

How To Use Instagram To Bring In More Customers To Your Coffee Shop

customers in cafe There’s nothing like personal recommendation to bring in customers but if this isn’t enough, then you really should be mastering the art of social media as a means of building up a rapport with existing and prospective new customers to gradually build your business.

Insider information

Instagram has over 100 million subscribers so is definitely one of the big boys in social marketing and is used by companies such as McDonalds and Starbucks to promote their brands. Since Instagram is used for uploading images and videos what better way to show off your products to customers. For example you could upload an image of your latte if you think it’s a bit different from that of your competitors. Or, if you’ve recently upgraded your furniture or décor, then you could post some images  to entice people to come and see for themselves. Or how about snapping a picture of a particularly delicious new pastry or cake that you’ve baked? You’ll be surprised by how people will react.

The first step to using Instagram is creating a handle which you’ll be known by and it’s important to use a name that will be easily remembered. For example Starbucks is simply known as @Starbucks but if your café has a long name, then you may want to dig deep and come up with something really creative that also complements your business.

Educate your customers

Instagram can also be used as a means of giving existing customers and prospective ones, information. Certain celebrity chefs have been known to use Instagram to show people how to cook their signature dish and you could do the same with a particular style of coffee or hot chocolate drink or an innovative sandwich. People like to learn by using visual aids so creating a step by step guide is a sure fire winner.

Associating products with celebrities

There’s something about us mere mortals that makes us enjoy following celebrities and catching up on the gossip. With this in mind, if you can link your products to a celebrity, even it’s just a local celebrity, and post a picture of your “celebrity” either sitting on a funky new café chair or tucking into a double chocolate marshmallow cupcake, then this is a way of letting everyone know that your café is hip and trendy, serves delicious food and drinks and is the place to be seen.

Finally remember when you’re uploading images to give them suitable captions and to ask your followers to take some sort of action. It could be asking what their favourite drink is, what city did they have their best ever coffee in, and so on. The more you can encourage people to interact and leave comments, then the better known your brand will become.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we’ve got a wide range of café furniture at affordable prices which will help you add personality to your coffee shop or bistro to make it your own. Why not take a look, you won’t be disappointed.