Buying New Cafe Furniture? Mistakes To Be Aware Of

Furnishing your new cafe can be exciting and daunting, all at the same time. After all, it’s not quite the same as buying a sofa for your lounge or a dining room table. We’ve put together a few common mistakes that people make when buying cafe furniture to help you get it right.

Not spending enough time planning

It’s easy to land on a furniture website and simply click on the items you like without taking into full consideration whether you have enough floor space, where it’s going to be placed, and how your dining space will flow. Other considerations include durability, whether or not it fits your cafe’s image, and, of course, your budget. Be sure to spend sufficient time in the planning so that when you come to make your purchase you know exactly how much furniture you can comfortably fit into your dining area.

Not considering the spacial needs of your customers

Cramming in too many tables and chairs is a common problem for cafe owners and comes out of their wish to accommodate as many people as possible at any one time. While we totally get this, it’s important to place yourself in your customer’s shoes. Would you want to sit that close to the person on the next table that you can hear everything he or she is saying? Do you want to have to breath in simply to get to your table and sit down? You need to leave at least 45cm between chairs and allow for there to be sufficient space for waiting staff and other customers to move freely between tables.

Not getting your measurements right

When measuring your cafe’s floor space, do it once and then do it a couple more times. It’s infuriating to order several tables and then find out that you can’t fit them in as you’d planned. Instead we suggest that having measured your floor space you then take a note of the measurements of the furniture that you’re interested in. Sketch out a floor plan on a piece of paper and using the dimensions work out the best layout.

Not considering your customers’ needs

Your choice of furniture may suit you but remember it’s not about you, it’s about your customers. Consider the demographics of your potential customers and choose your furniture accordingly. For example, if your cafe is likely to attract older, retired people then choose chairs and sofas which are comfortable and allow them to sit a little longer. If on the other hand, your customers are young business people looking to get in and out as quickly as possible, then look for furniture that’s more suited to a fast turnaround, such as tall bar stools behind counters, or bistro tables and stools.

Every cafe will have its own special requirements based on the image you’re trying to get across and it’s always possible to create the right ambience with the careful choice of colours and textures.

Where to buy cafe furniture

At Cafe Furniture Melbourne we’ve got a wide selection of cafe furniture in an assortment of materials, styles, size and colours. Why not browse our online store or visit our showroom to try it out for yourself?

Which Material Is Best For Outside Cafe Furniture?

Whether it’s a cafe, bistro, or bar, when the sun’s shining customers want to sit outdoors and enjoy it.

Tips for outside furniture

If you have some space outside then it makes sense to create an area where customers can sit with a drink and food. Not only does this help to increase revenue with more covers, but it also draws attention to your cafe or bar, and an attractive outdoor terrace will attract passing business too.

Having the right outdoor furniture is particularly important especially with the harsh Australian climate, which leads into the tricky question of which material is the best for outdoor use?

To give you a better idea, we’ve put together the advantages of the 4 main materials: wood, metal, rattan, and plastic.

Wooden furniture for outdoors

Typically associated with urban cafes that are known for their wooden benches and tables, wood is a rustic, versatile, and attractive choice. The downside of wooden furniture is the maintenance required to keep it looking in good condition. Fading, cracking, and rotting is common in areas that experience extremities of hot and rainy conditions, which is why we tend to encourage our customers to consider wood effect furniture instead.

Metal furniture and seating

Out of all types of cafe furniture, metal is probably one of the most popular choices. Metal chairs and tables are adept at withstanding hot summers and prolonged wet weather. Stainless steel and aluminium are also very strong, durable, and light enough to move around with ease, so they can be easily rearranged by your staff or your customers. They can also be stored away conveniently for the winter months and won’t take up too much space.

Plastic furniture for commercial use

Made from a type of plastic resin called polypropylene this sort of furniture is completely weather resistant and durable. It comes in a wide range of styles and colours, so you can really let your imagination flow and create an outdoor dining space that’s unique to your cafe. Best of all, the only maintenance required is a quick wipeover with a damp cloth.

Plastic chairs were often regarded as cheap alternatives but with newly improved materials and a vast range of innovative styles, they’ve taken outdoor dining to new levels. Since plastic furniture is typically less expensive than other types, it could be a good choice if your budget is low.

Rattan furniture

Rattan furniture was traditionally made from palms woven together but nowadays the tendency is for rattan furniture to be made from plastic or nylon rattan, often with steel frames that have been finished to look like cane. Just as charming in appearance as traditional rattan, modern day rattan furniture is both durable, weather resistant, and easy to maintain.

If you’re looking for outdoor cafe furniture then at Cafe Chairs Melbourne we have a wide range to choose from. Why not browse our online store or visit our showroom for inspiration.

Tips On Choosing The Right Cafe Tables

While cafe tables play an important role in the aesthetics of your cafe’s dining space, it’s equally important that they’re both practical and functional. With so many table tops to choose from, making the right decision can be tricky so we’ve put together some tips to guide you.

Size

Before you can start looking at cafe tables it’s important that you know what size table tops you need. Most table top ranges are offered in a variety of sizes and shapes and it may be that one size will suffice throughout your cafe or you may find that a mixture of table shapes and sizes works best for your space.

Typically 70omm or 800mm square table tops are the most versatile since they accommodate 1 to 4 people and if you have a larger group of people wanting to sit together, you can push the tables together to make one large table. 600mm table tops are also very useful since they’re small and conmpact and can help you maximise your floors space in order to increase your seating capacity. This table top size can accommodate 1 to 2 people and slots easily into tight corners or small recesses. They also help avoid the problem of 1 or 2 people taking up a table that’s intended for 4 people.

Table bases

Our table tops fit on to most table bases (allowing you to create a custom table) but if you’re in need of new table bases then we stock these too. Typically a table base with a central pole makes a good choice since there’s more room to push the chairs in under the table so that it’s easier for customers and waiting staff to make their way in between tables, but we do have other styles to choose from too.

Table packages

If you’re starting out from scratch or working to a tight budget, then our table packages which include a top and base, are a more affordable option.

Materials

Generally speaking there are two main types of table top and these are solid tops, which are made from hardwood, or particle board which is faced wth either laminate, melamine, or veneer. This latter option is cheaper but it’s in no way inferior. In fact, due to innovative technologies offered by companies such as Isotop and Werzalit, these tops are extremely durable and will last for years. In addition, they look just like real wood or granite (or whatever material they’re trying to imitate) and cost a fraction of the real thing.

Functionality

Any thriving cafe needs table tops that are heat and stain resistant and which can be wiped down quickly in between customers. Laminate table tops fit this brief and are also weather resistant so that they can be used outdoors all year round too. All that’s needed to keep these table tops looking pristine is a wipe down with a damp close and non-abrasive cleaning solution.

Colour

Having settled on your table top size and material all that’s left is to choose a colour or pattern. This will depend on your décor and or theme. Some cafe owners like to match their table tops to existing fittings whereas others prefer to choose a pattern or colour that complements their décor. White table tops or light timber are a good choice if your dining space is small as they will make it look larger and you can always add a pop of colour with some brightly coloured cafe chairs. Jet black tables always look sleek and stylish and can be paired with black or white chairs for an elegant, yet modern look. If your cafe is more traditional, then you might prefer to choose dark wood table tops paired with ladder back or bentwood chairs for a look that’s cosy and inviting.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we have a large range of cafe table tops, table bases, table packages, and chairs to help you fit out your cafe space. All of our furniture is for commercial use and priced extremely competitively. Why not browse our online store, download our furniture catalogue for future reference, or visit our showroom to take a closer look at what we have to offer. We’d love to see you there!

Discover The Many Benefits Of Tolix Chairs

You’re probably familiar with Tolix chairs since they’re extremely popular in cafes, bars, and restaurants worldwide. Considering their history dates back to 1939 when they were first designed by Frenchman, Xavier Pauchard, it’s true to say that he hit on a real winner with the design and the material used for the chairs.

In fact Xavier Pauchard used galvanised steel in the production of these chairs for the simple fact that it didn’t rust. At first they were mostly used as utilitarian furniture and could be found in schools and hospitals, before being adopted by bistros and cafes. They were intended for outdoor use and had holes on the seats which were to allow the rainwater to drain quickly off them. Nowadays, however, they’re also a popular choice of indoor chair.

So why are Tolix chairs so popular? What are their benefits?

Strong and stackable

These quirky chairs are made from steel which is lightweight yet strong and allows you to move them around with ease whenever the needs of your business dicate. They’re also stackable which makes for convenient storage, especially if you want to use your floor space for other purposes.

Easy maintenance

Any thriving business requires chairs that can be maintained with very little effort and this is certainly true of Tolix chairs. It’s not often that you can say that a dent or scratch adds to the appearance of your furniture, but in the case of Tolix, it really does add character. Not only that, these chairs can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild cleansing agent to remove any spills ro food debris.

Colourful

What we love most about these chairs is the range of colours available. With a rainbow of vibant colours including red, yellow, blue, and green and gorgeous metallic sheens, as well as black and white, it’s a doddle finding a colour to match your theme or décor.

Our replica Tolix chairs are also available with timber seats which makes it easier to team them with timber tables too. If you’re wanting bar stools to match, then you’ll also find that our Tolix stools come in three different heights and again, a wide variety of colours enabling you to mix and match to your heart’s content.

Accent pieces

Finally Tolix chairs with their vibrant colours nake perfect accent pieces if you have a neutral palette. Just imagine bright red Tolix chairs sat around white tables for a real pop of colour? Or how about alternating colours sat around communal timber dining tables – beautiful!

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we stock a wide range of cafe furniture in a variety of materials, designs, and colours. Why not browse our online store, download our latest furniture catalogue, or visit our showrooms to see our products first hand. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

What Are Your Wonky Tables Costing Your Business?

Wonky tables are a common cause of complaint from customers visiting cafes all over the world. You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty annoying when you’re sat at a table that wobbles and spills your coffee or worse still sends your soup into your lap!

What wobbly tables can cost your business

If you’re a cafe owner with wonky tables then have you ever stopped to consider the impact wobbly tables could be having on your business? Customers that encounter a bad experience at your cafe are unlikely to return again, so that’s potential earnings lost. What about if you have to replace a spilled drink with another? That’s money literally down the drain. And, how about your waiting staff? How long do they spend each day levelling out wobbly tables with bar mats and the like? Wouldn’t you rather be paying them to serve more customers?

So what’s the solution?

Flat base technology

Simply but effective flat base technology offers a permanent solution to wobbly tables. This innnovative technology not only stabilises cafe tables but also allows you to align several tables together quickly and easily. It works by using a series of hydraulics which are automated whenever a table is moved from one position to another.

Flat technology bases

Flat technology bases are available in a variety of sizes and designs and will fit most table tops. They’re ideal if you’re wanting to create a new table from scratch or they can be fitted to your existing table tops. Whether you’re looking for a traditional or modern base, we’ve got you covered.

Flat technology equalisers

Sold in packs of 4, these handy equalisers are designed to replace the feet of your existing table bases so that you can enjoy all the benefits of Flat Technology without the expense of purchasing new table bases. They fit practically any table that already has screw in feet.

Aligning tables

You know how time consuming it is to set up your cafe or restaurant for large groups. If you’re trying to align several smaller tables together to make one large table then it can be extremely frustrating having to level each one individually. The trouble with this too, is that you’re always left with that uneven ridge where the tables aren’t quite level which makes it difficult to stand a glass without it wobbling.

Flat technology automatically adjusts your tables as you push them together and without you barely blinking an eyelid, your tables are perfectly aligned as if by magic!

Isn’t about time you embraced Flat Technology? If you need more information then don’t hesitate to contact Cafe Furniture Melbourne and speak to our experts. Call today on 03 9344 1623.

What does that symbol mean?

You may have noticed the FSC logo on some of our products and be wondering what it means?
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international association of members consisting of a diverse group of representatives from environmental and social groups, the timber trade and the forestry profession, indigenous people’s organisations, responsible corporations, community forestry groups and forest product certification organisations from around the world.

But why should you care?

It is important to us that the timber that we sell is sourced in the most responsible way possible, not only because its better for the environment but also because you as the customer have the right to know where your purchases are coming from.

FSC has a global forest certification system to provide a guarantee that forest products come from responsibly managed sources. The system has two key components:

• Forest Management (FM) certification shows that forest managers or owners are managing their forests in a responsible way. forest management certification is a guarantee your processes and operations meet FSC standards;
• Chain of Custody (CoC) certification provides a guarantee about the production and source of FSC-certified products. it is for for businesses manufacturing or trading forest products. Chain of Custody certification verifies that products are handled correctly at every stage of production – from forest to shelf.

We have made many changes to our sourcing processes to ensure we are in accordance with FSC principles and criteria. This means following exact social and environmental guidelines, and often requires adaptation and evolution to our existing management and operational practices.

Want Your Coffee Shop To Succeed? Here Are 3 Essential Tips

succeeding in businessThere’s no doubting that coffee shops are in the ascendancy right now and with a 7% increase in new venues opening year upon year across Australia, there’s certainly a demand. That said, before you go and rush out to secure your prime location it’s worth knowing that for every coffee shop that opens its doors, two close. In order to avoid being part of the statistic, here are three essential tips that you really should follow.

Aside from the obvious factors like managing cash flow, paying taxes, serving quality coffee and hiring great people, we’re going to talk about the stuff that nobody tells you. The stuff that makes a difference between running a ‘so-so’ cafe and running a great one. So without further ado, let’s kick it off…

Don’t get too sucked in by trends

The cafe industry is awash with latest trends. From newfangled grinding and roasting techniques to designer ‘must have’ cafe furniture. If you’ve got deep pockets then by all means purchase the latest $15,000 brewing machines or the latest bespoke cafe furniture. In fact if you want to make a statement then it’s a great way to do so.

The trouble is that many of these fads and trends are being fuelled by people who have a business interest in doing so and are not always necessarily what your customers want. Sure you can advertise ‘Coffee like you’ve never tasted before‘ but you have to ask yourself ‘does it really make it more delicious?’ The thing is that you do need to stand out from the competition, but not at the expense of alienating your clientele and that’s what many of these trends often do. Our advice therefore would be to be mindful of trends but don’t get too suckered in by them.

Be that knowledgeable coffee guy (or girl)

As the owner of your venue you really need to be the head barista. By truly understanding what makes a great cup of coffee you can set the standards and because of this you can drive the business forwards. Sure you can hire a top barista, but if you’re not up to scratch on knowing what makes the holy grail of coffee and instead rely heavily on someone else, how do you know if it’s right or wrong for your customers? It’s raw talent and hard work that delivers good results and inevitably that has to stem from you.

Building a ‘taking care of people’ culture

Let’s face it, presenting someone with food and drink that we’ve produced is one of the most intimate and caring of human interactions that we possess. If you truly care about your customers then you should strive to make the best coffee you can make. If you really want to make the best coffee, then you have to know what you’re doing and this involves continual evolution in your skills as a top barista. When you realise that for your customers, a cup of coffee is a savouring taste experience, one that becomes a daily ritual, one that fuels their day, and one that they hanker after, then that’s a big responsibility, If you can look at it like this, then you’ll have a thriving business that you’ll be proud of.

At Cafe Furniture Melbourne, as well as handing out sound business advice we also offer some great deals on commercial grade cafe furniture. Check out out website at www.cafefunrituremelbourne.com.au to see our amazing deals. Alternatively if you can’t find just what you’re looking for then contact us directly on (03) 9357 9688 and talk to our experienced team. We’re only too glad to assist.

5 Amazing Facts About Ladder Back Chairs You Can Use To Impress Your Friends

Wooden Chair Ladder Back
Ladder Back

We’ve all seen them and chances are that we’ve all sat on them, but like them or not, ladder back chairs are having somewhat of a renaissance of late. They maybe under-rated as a stylish piece of furniture design, but the cold hard fact is that cafe’s, restaurants, and bistros across the world simply can’t get enough of them. For this reason we thought we’d ‘big up’ this humble wooden chair and give you 5 (nearly) amazing facts about Ladder back chairs you can use to impress your friends.

Fact 1 – Ladder-back chairs are as old as civilisation itself!

Well, not quite, but you can see where I’m coming from. Ladder-back chairs are believed to be the oldest wooden chair still in production today. Some reports say that Ladder-backs were first being sat on by 12th century royalty. Everyone else had to make do with sitting on the floor presumably! By the 16th century the English diarist Samuel Pepys and Queen Elizabeth the first each had their favourite comfortable ladder-backs. In the 18th century as the UK began to expand it’s empire, ladder-backs began to be exported globally to India, America, and beyond.

Fact 2 – It’s got a twin!

Yes it’s true the ladder-back has an alias. Also known as the Slat-back chair and when you see one you can easily see why. The back is made up of 4-6 pieces of wood (slats) contained within a frame. Hence the alternate name. That said, die hard fans of the chair will always refer to it as a ladder-back

Fact 3 – It costs a small fortune to buy one

Again not quite, in fact you can pick up a modern ladder-back chair for well under $100. However old versions in top condition are some of the most expensive chairs to ever sell at auction. For instance, a fairly utilitarian example made by the designer Charles Remie Mackintosh in around 1920, sold for £24,000 at auction in the UK. If you think that’s an eye-watering amount of money for a basic wooden chair then how about this…A much older ladder-back chair believed to be made in Pennsylvania in 1790 recently sold for just shy of $50,000 USD.

Fact 4 – Millions of them were produced

In their heyday around the turn of the 20th century millions of them were produced. Advancements in technology meant that they were quick and easy to make and used fewer component parts. That said earlier versions were made using thicker struts making them more durable, this is why some of the finest examples of older chairs have stood the test of time.

Fact 5 – Nothings’ changed

Funnily enough over the last 100 years or so we’ve seen the most amazing technology, manned flight, space rockets, the internet, yet the ladder-back chairs still in production today are produced in exactly the same way as they were many years before. That’s a testament to the original design and build quality of those early chair-making pioneers.

If you’re loving the ladder-back revolution and are looking to acquire some for your cafe, restaurant or bistro en look no further than Cafe Furniture Melbourne. We sell a wide variety of commercial grade cafe furniture including Ladder-back chairs all at great value-for-money prices. Give us a call on 03 9357 9688 today to find out more.

What Melbourne Cafes Are Doing Right Now To Stand Out From The Crowd

cat cafeThere’s no getting away from the fact that Melburnians simply love their coffee. In fact the city itself is regarded by many aficionados as the coffee capital of the world. It’s no wonder then that many entrepreneurs are clambering to opening up a new venue here. In fact, according to popular daily newspaper The Age, in 2012 there were 135 more hospitality venues in and around the city than there were retailers. What’s more in 2014, it was reported that Melbourne CBD had 108 more cafe’s, restaurants, and bars than it did two years previous, showing that even in times of austerity the popularity of Melbourne cafes shows no signs of waning. Because of this, you’d probably be foolish to ignore what’s trending in the Melbourne cafe scene so without further ado, let’s see what local cafe’s are doing right now to really stand out from the crowd.

Thinking outside of the box

There’s a growing trend in Melbourne right now to open cafe’s aimed at a specific groups of people. So rather than catering to the masses (after all, that’s really old hat) switched-on cafe owners are niching down their market and honing in on the needs and requirements of specific individuals. For example Melbourne happens to be the site of Australia’s first cereal cafe. Cereal Anytime caters for those that just can’t get enough of the breakfast staple. Customers can enter the premises at any time of the day, choose from 15 types of cereal and indulge, all for just $4.00 a bowl. Another first for Melburnians is Australia’s first cat cafe. Don’t worry cat isn’t on the menu, instead the aptly named Cat Cafe caters for those people who adore furry felines. The venue is designed just like any other cafe with tables and chairs, etc, but the difference is that 12 gorgeous resident moggies are left to roam the cafe at will. Customers can pet and play with them and have some serious pet interaction while enjoying their espresso.

Communal dining

You might think that communal dining was something that only happened at school, but nowadays (in Melbourne anyway) there’s a real sense of community spirit and this is reflected in communal dining. Surprisingly it’s catching on as more and more cafe’s are incorporating larger tables that seat 10-12 into their venues. In some cases these are being put together to make giant tables that seat 20 or 30 with ease. This way customers have the option to drink their skinny latte alone, or if they wish by sitting next to someone they don’t know (yet!).

Finest coffee (no really!)

Every cafe might state that they serve the finest coffee, but as Melburnians really love their coffee there’s a growing trend to seek out the very best coffee that money can buy. Of course, where there’s a demand, there’s going to be a service supplying that demand and in Melbourne a few venues are starting to serve the very best coffee that money can buy. No standard Starbucks fayre here! Instead, there’s a certain coffee one-upmanship about visiting cafe’s such as Proud Mary’s and purchasing a cup of Columbian HR61 with delectable hints of peach mango and cream for the princely sum of $100. That’s per cup! Okay so you also get to take home 150grams of these exotic beans, but even at this price it seems there are people who are more than happy to pay for a truly amazing cup of coffee.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we can’t promise you the finest coffee, cereal on demand, or cats for that matter but what we can do is to supply cafe owners with the highest quality, commercial grade cafe furniture at fantastic prices. Why not check out our website at www.cafefurnituremelbourne.com.au or give us a call on 1800 859 616 to see how we can help. Additionally if you’re in the Campbellfield area of Victoria then why not pop into out warehouse direct, where you can see all the furniture we provide up close and personal.

How To Achieve A Stylish Rustic Look To Your Cafe Using 3 Tips

rustic cafe lookThe rustic look has always been a firm favourite with café’s stretching right back to the bistro’s of Paris at the turn of the century with their gingham tablecloths, rickety wooden furniture, and wine bottle candleholders. Nowadays of course rusticity is still considered pretty chic, but only if you get it right. Get it wrong and rather than rustic charm, you’ve got cheap and tacky. With this in mind, here are some pointers on how to bring some rustic style to your cafe.

Oversized chalkboard

No rustic style cafe would be complete without an oversized chalk-board. Often used to cover a compete wall they give a real homely, rustic feel. The good news is that if you don’t want to buy one you can easily make one with some wood panelling to make a frame and some common or garden chalkboard paint. Use it to write the specials of the day so customers can see your great food at a glance or alternatively, how about writing some inspiring or beautiful quotes for your customers to read. A chalk-board wall gives an interesting rustic look that your customers will love.

Distressed fixtures and fittings

Distressed fixtures and fittings can be bought relatively cheaply from car boot sales and auctions, as well as online. Whether it’s something quirky like an old wardrobe, or a series of boxed shelving units, it really can give you a great look. Alternatively if you’re feeling a little creative then why not distress your own? There’s plenty of advice and videos on the internet and what’s more it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s the beauty of distressing, anyone can do it. If you want to take it one step further, then how about cladding your bar area in wood panelling and giving it a thin coat of whitewash. It gives an amazing finish that really looks the part.

Getting the right furniture

The good news about rustic furniture is that it doesn’t have to cost you the earth. Look for simple but solid furniture, such as the Tolix inspired stool, Bentwood chairs, simple but stylish Megan chairs and adjustable Detroit stool. All work really well to blend in with a rustic style. Pair them with light coloured butchers-block tables or even old oak barrels to give a modern adaptation of the perfect rustic look.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we have a wide range of commercial-grade cafe furniture much of which can be used in a rustic setting so why not check out our website at www.cafefurnituremelbourne.com.au to see what we have to offer. If you can’t see what you’re after or simply need advice then contact us on 1800 261 489 and talk to our experienced team who are only to glad to help. Finally if you’re in the Campbellfield area then why not pop into our showroom where you can see all the furniture first hand.