Why Materials Are So Important For Outdoor Cafe Furniture

If you’re looking for outdoor cafe furniture then it stands to reason that it needs to be durable, attractive, and convenient. Furniture that is kept outside needs to be able to withstand harsh weather. Heat from the sun can break down the fibres of natural materials while humidity can cause corrosion and mould. Chairs and tables for outdoor use need to be resistant to these factors and able to be stacked for storage. We’ve put together a quick overview of points to consider when choosing your outdoor cafe or bistro furniture.

Lightweight

Furniture for outdoor cafe use needs to be sufficiently light that it’s not difficult for members of staff to move it around. Typically outdoor furniture has to be packed up at the end of the day and stored under cover or in a secure place to avoid theft, and then in the morning it needs to be set out again. If furniture is heavy and difficult to move, then there is a chance of staff hurting themselves in the process. Fortunately, outdoor cafe chairs are lightweight and available in a wide range of styles and colours, making set up and put away, an absolute breeze.

Non corrosive

Corrosion can be a major problem with outdoor furniture. Untreated wrought iron for instance produces a reddish powder as it starts to rust, and becomes weaker. As well as looking unsightly, this reddish powder can rub off from tables and chairs on to peoples hands and clothing. Aluminium is a sleek modern alternative for those that like the look of metal cafe furniture and thanks to powder coatings, it can even be made to look like wrought iron.

Fungal resistant

Mould and mildew are types of fungal growths which set up home in the irregularities of wood that hasn’t been treated. Spores in the air land on the wood and this begins a decaying process which makes the furniture start to look weathered. The majority of soft woods used for indoor furniture aren’t suitable for outdoor use, with the exception of teak. This beautiful wood has always been popular for its weather resistant qualities and offers a wonderfully warm and natural aesthetic. Teak can be left to weather to a lovely silvery colour or you can oil it a couple of times a year to retain its colour.

Resistance to ultra violet light

The effects of ultra violet rays from the sun can be damaging to chairs made from natural materials such as wicker and can break down the structure of their fibres. Fortunately there are many “resin wicker” chairs on the market which are made from synthetic materials but still have that authentic French or Parisian chair aesthetic. These can withstand the sun and are lightweight and low in maintenance too. Another fabulous material for outdoor use is polypropylene. This comes in a huge range of designs and colours, allowing you to be as bold as you like with your outdoor design.

At Cafe Chairs Melbourne we have a wide range of stylish outdoor furniture so why not take a look and be inspired. You can browse our online store, download our latest furniture catalogue, and even visit our showroom to try out our products yourself.

Exploring The Pros and Cons Of Stainless Steel In The Kitchen

Whether you’re planning a cafe makeover or starting out from scratch, as well as your cafe furniture you’ll also need to consider kitchen essentials such as shelving and a sink. One of the most common and popular choice of materials for cafe and restaurant kitchens is stainless steel, and this is mostly because of its durability and affordable price tag. That said, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of this popular material.

Stainless steel pros

Durability – Stainless steel has the ability to retain its good looks for many years. It doesn’t suffer from exposure to heat or cold and impacts are unlikely to mar or chip its surface. In addition, stainless steel is stain, rust, and corrosion resistant.

Affordability – When compared to many other materials stainless steel is usually the most affordable option for a sink. Although the price will vary according to the size and configuration, stainless steel is likely to be cheaper than most other materials.

Versatility – Stainless steel fits effortlessly into most decors and styles of kitchen. What’s more stainless steel can be easily shaped to fit into a customised space. You’ll also get a choice of finishes to match your other appliances and equipment.

Easily maintained – It’s easy to clean a stainless steel surface without using any special cleaning procedures. In addition, this type of surface does not harbour bacteria.

Stainless steel cons

Scratching – With continued use you may notice tiny scratches appearing in your stainless steel. Although they’re not extreme they are noticeable. In addition, if tiny droplets of water are left to linger, they can cause slight imperfections over time to the stainless steel surface. The solution is to ensure that your stainless steel surface is dried after use.

Colour – If you’re looking for a bold colour for your sink or shelves then unfortunately stainless steel probably won’t deliver. Although there are several finishes to choose from, the colour is ultimately silver.

Noise – Because stainless steel is relatively thin, you may notice notice levels increase when items bump against each other in the sink. Some higher quality steels do have an additional coating which prevents noise from vibrations.

Now you know more about the advantages and disadvantages it will help you decide whether stainless steel is the choice for your kitchen sink and/or shelving. To help your money go a little further, we’re currently running a promotion on our ‘Supremely Stainless’ range of sinks, benches, and shelving solutions, so why not take a look. If you need more information on our products please browse our online store, download our furniture catalogue, or visit our showroom. You can also call us on 03 9357 9688.

5 Cafe Food Trends That Will Reign Supreme in 2018

Just for a bit of fun we thought we’d focus this blog on the food trends that the experts predict will be happening in cafes all over Australia in 2018. Some of them sound more appealing than others, but hey it would be a boring place if we all liked the same things!

We’ve probably all had our fill of kale and chia, the 2 superfoods which ran rife in 2017, but the good news is that they’re having to move over to make way for the new kids on the block which are standing in the shadows and ready to burst into the limelight.

So, take a look, come up with some delicious recipes, and be ahead of your game. Good luck!

  1. Edible flowers – Yes, we’ve all seen these in some of the more posh restaurants but now it’s anticipated that they’re likely to be found in the local cafes in and around Melbourne as well as at home in your kitchen. In case you’re wondering which flowers to give your customers to nibble on ….. well lavender is the one to embrace.
  1. Functional mushrooms – Different from the normal field mushroom that you toss into your pasta or fry for your breakfast, these mushrooms have mostly been used as dietary supplements. They include those with exotic names such as lion’s mane, chaga, cordyceps and reishi, and will be making their debut in coffee cups and bottled drinks.
  1. Super powders – We’ll all be able to feel fighting fit in the mornings thanks to the addition of super powders such as turmeric, matcho, and cacao appearing in our smoothies and juice drinks.
  1. Tacos – The 2018 taco is likely to be a far shout from your average fast food variety. Expect to see taco shells made from seaweed, as well as paelo friendly and grain free creations.
  1. Plant based meat alternatives – Vegetarians rejoice. Plant based alternatives to fish and meat are going to bring happiness to vegetarians. Look for such things as sushi made from tomatoes instead of tuna and veggie burgers which ‘bleed’ like real meat.

So there you have it. I can’t wait to try some of the tomato sushi, myself. What about you?

If you’re looking for some swish new cafe furniture to set off your exciting new meals to your customers, then that’s something we can certainly help with. We stock an extensive range of cage tables, chairs, stools, and much more besides. Why not download our new furniture catalogue and browse our online store. Alternatively, you can always drop by our showrooms to try our furniture for yourself.

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.

Exploring The Benefits Of Pendant Lighting In Your Cafe

Pendant lighting is more popular now than ever before as both home owners and businesses are discovering their many benefits. In fact the advantages of pendant lights over other types of lighting may be your motivation to use them in your venue. So, without further delay, let’s take a look at the benefits you can enjoy from installing pendant lighting.

Defines areas of a room

Pendant lighting is perfect for defining specific areas of a large room and can be suspended in such a way that they become a focal feature. For example, if you have a bank of tables along one wall, you may want to hang a line of pendants to shine down on the tables. Or, if you have a central station where plates, crockery, condiments etc. are placed for customer to help themselves then you could hang various sizes of pendant lights at different lengths to again be both functional and decorative.

Focus lighting

Since pendant lighting is suspended from the ceiling and can be hung to virtually any length they serve the purpose of acting as focal lighting. For instance, they work really well suspended over an island flooding it with light concentrated solely on that area. Because the lights are conical they also direct a lot of light downwards covering a large area, meaning that you don’t need to invest in so many lights thereby saving you money too.

Wide variety of styles

Pendant lights are available in a wide range of colours, sizes, and styles so you can mix and match them to give a bespoke look to your venue. The latest trend is to ditch the lampshade and hang just the bulbs which gives a modern, edgy look.

Easy to maintain

Since pendant lighting hangs relatively low, it’s far easier to keep them free from dust and to change a light bulb than it would be if you were dealing with a light fitting attached to a high vaulted ceiling.

Transforms your décor

Pendant lights also have the ability to transform your décor since they come in many different finishes and colours. In addition you can switch out your bulbs to add either a soft warm glow for a more intimate ambience or a brighter bulb for an area where good light is essential. Pendant lighting works really well in an industrial themed setting since you can find them with metallic finishes. On the other hand, you can use brightly painted pendants such as red to add a pop of colour to a neutral palette.

At Cafe Furniture Melbourne we’ve recently taken delivery of large black metal pendant lights with either a matte or gloss finish, so why not pop by our showroom in Campbellfield to see them for your self or browse our online store. We have an extensive range of affordable cafe furniture too. If you need any further information on any of our products then please feel free to call us on (03) 9357 9688 and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist.

Guide To The Various Types Of Cafe Chairs

Cafe chairs are one of the most important items of cafe furniture that you’ll need to buy and since your customers will be sitting on these chairs when drinking their coffee or dining, it’s important that they’re both durable and comfortable.

Once you’ve planned your seating area you’re ready to start choosing your cafe furniture but before splurging your cash on the first chairs you see, let’s take a look at some of the different styles that are available.

Wood shell chairs

These chairs are most commonly used in minimalist modern venues since with their uncluttered sleek lines they portray a contemporary feel. Our Madeline chair is a prime example and is made from beech wood. Available in a variety of colours including brown, mahogany, black, and vibrant pink, it will complement any décor.

Wooden chairs

These have more of a traditional feel to them since they’re constructed completely from wood and are often seen more in restaurants than cafes or bistros. They come in a range of woods and different finishes with some of them being upholstered too. Classic examples include our ladder back chairs and our Bentwood chairs.

Aluminium chairs

Typically you’d expect to find these chairs sitting outside on the pavement edge or terrace since they’re weather proof and rust resistant. Often they stack for convenient storage, and some may fold. They offer a great way of extending your external dining area or creating a smoking area. One of our best selling aluminium chairs is our aluminium chair with double legs which also comes with a rattan shell.

Polypropylene chairs

Manufactured from durable polypropylene these chairs come in a wide range of colours and styles and are normally used outdoors because they are light and easy to move around, they stack, they’re weatherproof, and they’re easy to clean. Their vibrant colours are great for adding a bold splash of colour to attract the attention of passers by and most of these chairs are fade resistant too. Some of our best selling plastic chairs include our decorative Stephanie chair and our Premium chairs with arms.

Rattan/wicker chairs

Typically these chairs are what we’d describe as faux rattan and wicker since mostly they’re constructed with a nylon rattan for its durability and ease of use. These stylish chairs are lightweight and easy to move around and are resistant to heat and moisture too. Paired with a steel or aluminium frame, they lend a light contemporary look to your outside space.

Steel Chairs

Steel chairs are hugely popular with cafe and restaurant owners alike looking to create an industrial feel to their venue. Lightweight and durable these chairs are perfect for adding character and personality to your dining area. Our most popular steel chairs are our replica Tolix chairs which are available in a variety of colours, styles, and finishes.

Why not browse our online store or visit our showroom to see our extensive range of cafe chairs for yourself. For more information on any of our products please call us on 03 9357 9688.

Commercial Cafe Furniture – What Does ‘AFRDI Tested’ Mean?

When doing extensive research for commercial-grade cafe furniture, you’ll probably come across a whole load of incomprehensible acronyms for codes and standards you may never have heard of. One of those you’ll find pretty much everywhere throughout Australia and New Zealand is the term AFRDI. So what does it actually mean when a piece of furniture is ‘AFRDI tested’ ? Let’s take a closer look….

The Australian Furnishing Research and Development Institute (AFRDI) are a body of people designed to research and develop furniture for use within the workplace and hospitality sectors. In addition to researching the best designs they also run a series of stringent tests for a wide variety of manufacturers to ensure that their furniture meets the highest safety and quality standards. Any commercial-grade furniture that has passed these tests and met these standards is certified by a blue tick with the words ‘AFRDI tested’. I guess you could say that it’s a seal of approval and shows buyers that a particular piece of furniture is going to last.

So what type of tests do the AFRDI carry out?

They carry out a wide variety of tests including

  • Stability

  • Strength

  • Durability

  • Functionality

  • Workmanship

  • Flammability

Each piece of furniture is put through all of these tests and it needs to pass everyone with flying colours to be awarded the AFRDI tick of approval. If for example a piece of furniture passes every test yet it doesn’t make the grade on the final test, it will be rejected and won’t pass. For this reason when you buy commercial grade cafe furniture that’s been AFRDI tested, you know that you’re purchasing a piece of furniture that’s going to last.

Is there anything that isn’t tested?

The only thing that the institute doesn’t test for in circumstances such as these is the ergonomics and comfort of any furniture. So what does this mean to any cafe owner looking for new furniture? Even if you are considering buying furniture that’s AFRDI tested, don’t assume it’s comfortable. Instead you really should still sit on it and test it out before making your final decision. This is highly important because research shows that uncomfortable cafe furniture can be a real deal-breaker for customers. More so in fact than bad coffee or rude staff. Here At Cafe Furniture Melbourne as well as purchasing AFRDI Furniture online, we also have a Campbellfield depot where you can see the furniture first hand and of course..try before you buy!

The main point is that AFRDI certified cafe furniture doesn’t have to be expensive and in fact some of the cheapest commercial-grade furniture is AFRDI tested, so why not log on and take a closer look at what we have to offer. At Cafe Furniture Melbourne we guarantee you quality furniture and seriously competitive prices so call us on 03 9357 9688 for further information.

What’s The Difference Between Residential and Commercial Furniture?

cross-back-metal-bentwood-chairOne of the questions that we’re often asked by our customers is what is the difference between residential and commercial furniture? After all, surely a chair is a chair and a table is…..well….. a table, whether you happen to purchase it from a retail outlet or a commercial dealer. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as cut and dried as that.

When you consider the amount of times that you sit on your dining chairs at home, it’s probably less than an hour per day, if that. Now compare that to a cafe, restaurant, or other hospitality industry, and the furniture is more likely to be in use for up to 12 hours a day, for probably 6 days a week. As you can imagine, getting up to 12 times or even more usage than a typical dining chair in your home, means that commercial style furniture is subject to far more stress which can quickly weaken a chair that isn’t fit for purpose. Also, the chairs in your home are used mostly by your family members whereas those in a cafe are used by people of all shapes and sizes. In actual fact most commercial chairs are tested up hold up to around 300 lb and some, even more.

It’s more than looks

Although residential furniture is often considered more attractive, in reality the difference between commercial and residential furniture is not about looks but instead it’s all about construction. As we’ve already discussed, commercial furniture needs to be able to withstand the daily rigours of a bustling establishment as well as abuse at the hands of both customers and staff. For this reason it’s manufactured from heavier, stronger materials. Commercial manufacturers usually use a thicker gauge steel than retail manufacturers, typically 16-18 as opposed to 22-24. Commercial grade wood furniture is typically made from hardwood such as beechwood whereas residential wood furniture is often made from soft wood such as pine. In addition, any fabrics need to be resistant to punctures, stains, and tears which usually means vinyl instead of leather and acrylic instead of cotton. Finally, since commercial furniture has to be able to withstand customers of all weights, it usually involves mortise and tenon joinery.

Commercial furniture is often more expensive to buy than residential but when you consider the amount of use it receives and the cost per use, it works out considerably cheaper. So, when you consider that commercial furniture can get easily used 12 times more than residential furniture yet only costs on average 2 to 3 times more than residential furniture, it’s an extremely cost effective choice for bars, cafes, and restaurants.

Here at Cafe Furniture Melbourne we stock a wide range of commercial furniture of all styles, shapes, materials, and colours, so you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for. We’re constantly adding to our inventory, too, so it’s always worth checking back on a regular basis. Why not browse our online store and get inspired, or if you happen to be passing our Campbellfield showroom, then please drop in and see the products for yourself. We’re holding a timber sale for the whole of November too, so it’s a good chance to grab yourself a bargain. If you need any further information on any of our products, please call us on (03) 9357 9688 and we’ll do all we to assist you.

Concrete Look Cafe Furniture – The Next Big Thing?

Isotop cement table topWhat do fashion, food, and furniture have in common? The answer…trends! Clothes that only a few months ago were considered bang on trend are now ‘so last year’. The latest ‘must eat’ foods such as grass-fed beef, oatmeal, and Koji will probably be old hat by the time you read this, and what about furniture? After all, nobody would be seen dead sitting in a 1970’s beige recliner from Parker-Knoll these days, yet back then, they were all the rage.

The point here is that trends come and go fast and what appeared cool and hip yesterday is suddenly old news today. As a result people tend to jump onto the trend roundabout and embrace it for what it’s worth before moving onto the next best thing. The trick for any savvy cafe owner therefore is to try to predict the ‘next big thing’ in terms of design and décor and become a trend setter rather than a follower. So what is the next best thing in cafe furniture? The answer? Concrete, or rather…the concrete look!

While the real thing is inexpensive to produce, is tough and durable and can be made easily to order, it also has a number of cons. Concrete for example is porous. If something heavy falls onto it the surface can easily crack and above all, it’s almost impossible to move. All of which makes it very much not ideal for use in cafes, restaurants or bistros.

So why is the concrete look set to be the next best thing in cafe décor?

Not only does it fit in perfectly with existing trends such as the industrial theme that many of the happening places have, but also it fits in with the equally cool grey colour trend that appears to be sweeping the nation. For this reason compact table tops with a cement look are perfect. Right time, right place!

So what exactly are compact table tops?

Compact table tops from companies like Isotop are made using thin multi-layers of hard board which are bound together using a synthetic adhesive and pressed together under great pressure. The composite is then kiln-fired to produce an almost indestructible table top which can be made to resemble various types of wood, marble, slate and yes you’ve guessed it…concrete.

The end result is a table top that has all the characteristics of a concrete table in that it’s sleek, smooth, and incredibly tactile, but it won’t crack, won’t absorb spills, and it’s far lighter. What’s more concrete-look Isotop tables comes in a variety of sizes and shapes ranging from the 700mm round to the 800mm square meaning that it offers flexibility in design and setting too.

If you’re looking to jump onto the latest trend and feel that you need some concrete in your life, then take a look at our Isotop concrete-look table tops at Cafe Furniture Melbourne. They’re brand new in stock and at a great price they won’t hang around for long – so get in quick! To find out more you can contact us on 03 9357 9688. Alternatively check out our website and take a look for yourself.

Discover The Appeal Of Wicker Cafe Furniture

Parisian chair in black and whiteWhen it comes to choosing new cafe furniture there are plenty of options with some of the most popular being wood, steel, and plastic. However, another option which makes a great choice is wicker. We thought we’d put together some interesting facts about wicker and why it could make a good choice for your venue.

About wicker

Many people mistakenly think that ‘wicker’ is a type of material where it is in fact the name given to the practice of weaving and the end woven product. Common materials used for the art of weaving include grasses, canes, rattan, willow, and paper fibre with rattan being a material that is far superior in terms of strength and durability to other natural reeds and fibres. Today you’ll find many cafe chairs or tables in a wicker style that are made from plastic or resin strands because they’re highly suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Wicker furniture production goes back a long way in history to around 4000 BC and if you do a Google search for ancient Egyptian wickerwork you’ll see that it is very sophisticated with techniques and construction not that different to modern day technologies.

Wicker for cafe furniture

There are many benefits to using wicker for commercial use:

Aesthetics

Using wicker chairs and tables is an easy way to add a touch of classic flair to your cafe that never goes out of style. The pliable strips are woven onto steel or wooden frames which have been steam bent, resulting in a wide selection of shapes, sizes, and forms. Thanks to such a wide selection you can easily find the colour and design that fits in perfectly with your cafe’s décor or theme.

Comfort

Although wicker is tough, because the strands are pliable whether they’re natural or synthetic, it makes for a comfortable firm seat. If you’re looking for something more plush or as a colour accent, then you can always add cushions. Because wicker seating is so comfortable it enhances the customer’s overall experience in your cafe.

Strength and durability

You can choose either natural or synthetic wicker and be assured of its strength and durability, which makes it an excellent choice for a bustling cafe. If you’re choosing a natural wicker then it helps to give it an additional waterproof coating to protect it from spills and rain (in the event that you’re using it outdoors). Plastic or resin wicker is equally as resilient as natural wicker and not only is it resistant to spills and moisture but also any discolouration caused by the sunlight.

Practical

Wicker furniture can be used indoor or out and is lightweight, meaning it can easily be moved and re-arranged as and when required. If you choose natural wicker then you’re also playing your part for the planet since wicker made from bamboo, reed, or rattan is sustainable and grows in many tropical areas.

We can help

If we’ve convinced you that wicker is the way to go then why not take a look at our stylish Parisian chairs which are available in black and white or chocolate and cream, and will add a touch of French flair to your venue. Other options include our aluminium chair with double legs in natural rattan which will make your seating area look modern and chic especially when grouped around aluminium or chrome tables. If you need any advice or information on any of the products on our website then just give us a call on 03 9357 9688 or visit our showroom in Campbellfield and take a look first hand. We’re currently running an EOFY sale too, so you can save yourself some money!