Mastering The Art Of The Industrial Look – A Few Pointers

industrial-cafe-furnitureAs you’ve probably noticed over the past year, industrial furniture has began to sweep the nation. More and more coffee shops, cafe’s and especially restaurants in many of the major Australian cities are buying into the theme.

A true industrial look is one that’s strange to comprehend. It’s been described as old yet modern, contemporary yet chic, smart and sophisticated, yet dark and interesting. All that said, exposed brick and steel coupled with the right industrial furniture makes for a great look. However get it wrong and the whole thing can look a bit dingy. So how do you master the art of the industrial look. Here are a few pointers:

Thoughtful lighting

We’ve already mentioned that some industrial settings look all too dark and dingy, so the lighting you choose, and indeed where you place it, plays a large part in the end result. Many industrial settings have high or exposed ceilings. As such it pays to light these areas up brightly. Carefully placed spot lights hung from steel rafters work particularly well. That said, in the seating and dining areas it’s far better to tone it down a little. The use of dimmer lights and gentle down-lighting creates a more personalised, loft-apartment-style, homely space. It also gives off a feeling of warmth in an otherwise harsh environment.

Furnishing in darker tones

You’d be forgiven for thinking that because it’s an industrial look, it has to be bright, shiny stainless steel furniture. However in this setting, richer darker tones tend to give a warming ‘less sterile’ feel that works extremely well. With this in mind, how about some gorgeous copper coloured tables which blend in perfectly with exposed brickwork? When it comes to seating, a combination of dark wood and aluminium tends to blend seamlessly with most industrial surroundings. Finally try choosing some matching foam pad seating to add a touch of comfort, without losing the industrialised look.

The industrial look offers an edgy, modern style that’s perfect for any contemporary eating or drinking establishment. By creating an area that’s intriguing (possibly by adding some real industrial relics) and offering some of the best coffee and food in town, you really will be onto a win-win situation.

If you’re in dire need of furniture inspiration then you’ve come to the right place! At Cafe Furniture Melbourne we have a wide range of commercial furniture much of which is perfect for this look, and all at great value-for-money prices. Why not contact us on 03 9357 9688, visit our website at www.cafefurnituremelbourne.com.au or if you’re in the Preston area of Melbourne, then why not pay us a personal visit and drop in to our showroom.

What Makes Us Want To Keep Returning To Our Favourite Cafe?

what makes a cood cafeI’m a great coffee drinker, in fact I never touch tea, can’t stand the stuff. In fact it’s fair to say that I’ve visited a fair few cafés in my time in search of a cup of coffee which is that little bit special. The kind of delicious flavour that makes me want to sit and take my time, slowly enjoying every sip. In my quest to find delicious coffee, I’ve also tasted my fair share of pretty mediocre coffee, but you know what, sometimes a good café is more than just about the drinks it serves.

It’s hard to be specific about what makes for a café that you keep returning to, since often it’s a combination of things which collectively make it great. So let’s take a look at some of the elements I personally look for:

Friendly staff

This is important for any business but when I enter a café I want to be made to feel welcome. I want to take my time and linger, sometimes reading, sometimes just people watching but always feeling comfortable. If the staff are moody or rude then I will drink up and I’m out of there.

Top quality coffee machines

Many of us are guilty of “blaming our tools” for a job badly done, but if a café hasn’t invested in decent machinery then the coffee won’t be at its best or, worse still, they won’t be able a rush of customers, and we’ll all leave out of frustration at waiting so long.

Great décor

This is somewhat a sweeping statement because what does in fact make “great décor”. I guess it boils down to personal taste. However, what I do like is a café that stands out from the crowd and has a unique interior which piques the interest or is really one of a kind. Often, my favourite cafés don’t necessarily serve the best coffee in the world, but I just enjoy admiring the décor and soaking up the ambience.

Comfy seating

This is part of wanting to feel at home as if you could stay there for hours. Although I enjoy sinking into a tub chair or sofa while drinking my beverage, I understand also that many people prefer to adopt a more upright stance. Therefore a diverse range of furniture works well for me, and also a good layout which isn’t so cramped that you feel you might as well include the person sitting at the table next to you in your conversation.

Finding a niche

Finally, my favourite coffee shops always specialise in something. One that I visit serves the most delicious cupcakes where choosing the flavour is the hardest decision in the world because they’re all so yummy. Another has a great selection of stylish magazines to browse. It’s incredibly difficult to be great at everything, so for what it’s worth, I’d advise any aspiring coffee shop owner to target one particular product or customer experience, and simply be the best.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we’ve got a diverse range of café furniture for you to choose from. Whether you like traditional, designer or industrial, we’ve plenty to choose from at the best prices. So why not visit our Melbourne warehouse, download our latest catalogue, or browse the online store.

Café Lounging Or Wi-Fi Scrounging… Which Is It To Be?

wifi scroungersLet’s face it, café’s are no longer places where you come to have a cup of coffee and leave. Instead, successful café’s are a kind of ‘third place’ somewhere in between work and home. They’re places where you can relax, read a paper, meet friends or business colleagues and of course use the free Wi-Fi facilities. The trouble is that the very success that establishments offering free Wi-Fi brings may also be their downfall. Why, because of so called Wi-Fi scroungers.

We’ve all seen them, and we might have also been one of them from time to time. You know, the person who buys the smallest and cheapest cup of coffee going, only to sit there for the next six hours or so chatting to friends on Facebook. However there comes a point when café lounging becomes Wi-Fi scrounging, but the question is at what point is this surpassed? When does it become okay for the owner to ask the person to leave?

The unwritten rule

There does seem to be an unwritten rule which every self respecting café goer using the wi-fi services of a busy café adheres to and that’s the ‘coffee an hour’ law. To put it basically, every hour you’re in a café using their electricity and their Wi-Fi, you really need to buy something. Whether it’s a coffee, a doughnut or a slice of scrumptious apple pie, it’s a fair trade off and most definitely good manners to boot.

The lure of a great café

There’s no getting away from the pull that a great café has on the public and if you put this into perspective, many libraries also offer free Wi-Fi, they also provide comfortable seating (in most cases anyway) and they’re probably a lot quieter than most café’s However they’re drastically under used. Why, because they don’t serve skinny latte’s and cappuccino’s. People just like going to café’s and to many it can become part of their life’s routine For this reason it’s important to get the décor and the setting absolutely right, so great looking and comfortable furniture is key.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we supply a wide variety of great looking, commercial café furniture in a wide range of styles, designs and composites. The result is that you’re bound to find something that suits. Give us a call on 03 9357 9688. Alternatively if you’re in the Preston area of Melbourne, then check out our showroom, or visit our website at www.cafefurnituremelbourne.com.au

 

How To Pick The Right Café Chairs To Please Your Customers And Turn Them Into Regulars

customers using laptop at a cafe tableHow good is it when you recognise the faces of your customers and without them asking you can say “Would you like your usual?” Ask any regular who at a certain time of the day can be counted on being found propped in a corner, headphones on with their laptop in front of them, what keeps them coming back and they’ll most likely reply “The comfortable chairs, oh and they serve a mean cup of coffee too!”

Not all café owners recognise this fact and as a result customers who find themselves jiffling around in their seats trying to get comfortable are likely to seek solace elsewhere. This doesn’t have to be the case. It’s really just a matter of striking the right balance between design and comfort, and of course it helps if you offer the best carrot cake in town!

Comfort is key and it’s all in the chairs

There’s a vast range of café chairs to choose from and making the right choice can be a little bewildering. So here’s a few points to consider:

Matching the theme or décor

Try and match your chairs to suit the type of clientèle you’re looking to attract and make sure that your chairs fit in with your theme or décor. It’s all very well having a really comfortable chair but if it looks particularly unappealing then it’s not going to work. Attractive furniture in a nicely decorated café will encourage passers by to step through the door.

Good quality

The quality of your chairs needs to match their good looks. It may sound obvious but make sure that your choice of chairs are for commercial use. Also try and look for chairs that are easy to clean and low maintenance. Think long term, after all if you buy inferior chairs you’re only going to face a big investment further down the line when they quickly need replacing.

Functionality

Functionality is often overlooked when choosing café chairs. They need to be portable so that they can be easily moved to meet the demands of your customers; for example, if a couple of people want to pull up additional chairs to a table so they can engage in conversation with their friends. If you’re purchasing outdoor chairs then it’s also makes sense to buy chairs that can be stacked, since they make for more convenient storage if you need to keep them inside during the winter months.

Comfort

This should be your main concern and pleasing customers will help encourage them to become regular customers who will bring friends along too. People may be visiting your café for leisure, or to meet a friend or prospective new client, and in doing so may need to work for a while on their laptops or tablets so a comfortable chair is a must.

Whatever the size or shape of your café’s interior, the right chairs will enhance and entice people through the door. By making them feel welcome and providing them with comfortable seating, they’ll feel good in themselves and more likely to come back to repeat the experience.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we have a great range of café furniture in all manner of materials, colours and styles, and at budget friendly prices. So why not download our latest catalogue or check out our online store. Or if you happen to be in Preston, then why not call into our unit and see for yourself what we have to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

Making Your Café Furniture Layout Work For You

cafe layoutIf you’re looking to refurbish a brand new café, restaurant or bistro, or are simply looking to change your existing layout, you should be working towards the same goal and that’s profitability. You see, it’s all about getting the maximum amount of workable tables and chairs into a space so that you and your clientèle still have room to freely move around. Not as easy as it sounds right? Well let’s take a look at some pointers.

One size definitely doesn’t fit all.

Although uniformity is great, it will only work if you have a perfectly square seating area that just happens to be perfectly divisible by your table size. Let’s face it, this really isn’t going to happen! Instead, what will happen is that more often that not your space is going to consist of quirky corners or recesses, or areas that..well…just aren’t square. This is why you need to look at different table sizes and shapes and mix them up For instance, if you have a small recess area that won’t fit a standard table, why not look at slotting in a smaller round table, or casual high-bar table? After all, it might be the romantic snug that a couple are looking for and will give you 2 more seats than you initially thought – two more seats equals more profitability.

You’ve gotta have a plan!

Even if you’re extremely good at visualisation, it’s always best to draw out your space on a large piece of paper and plan your seating accordingly. Don’t forget to take into account things like door openings, where the bar is going to go and toilet access, emergency exits, as well as movement around the seating areas for your waiting team. Once you’ve got an accurate scaled plan, then it’s relatively easy to start drawing in your tables and chairs. This way at a glance you know instantly, how many tables, how many chairs, the types of table needed and most importantly, the total number of covers.

Check your measurements

I know that this sound obvious, but even the professional designers get it wrong, so check, check and check again. Accurate measurements means no wasted money and time spent on purchasing the wrong size and number of tables.

Table functionality

When it comes to table size and what to choose, the functionality aspect becomes very important. For instance, do you need say a menu and condiments on each and every table? Or how about some form of table decoration or lighting? These are all important questions that you’ll need to know in order to get what you need while keeping your budget in mind.

If you have a good idea of your café furniture layout and it’s now simply a case of looking for the right style, design and/or theme, then why not check out our website here at Café Furniture Melbourne? We offer a wide variety of café furniture in a multitude of composites and styles, all at great value-for-money prices. Simply Google www.cafefurnituremelbourne.com.au to take a look.