Here’s why domestic furniture just won’t do it for your pub…

Have you ever been sat in a pub enjoying a delicious meal or supping your favourite tipple, but your entire experience has been ruined by a wobbly table or chair?  

Or worse still, have you ever had a chair or a table collapse from underneath you? Hopefully not – but it just goes to show how important it is to make sure your pub furniture is of contract quality, as opposed to domestic grade. 

If you’re starting a pub or restaurant from scratch or refurbishing an existing business, you’ll want your venue to look as good as possible. This can be a daunting task, especially if budgets are tight. 

As a result, you might be tempted to opt for the cheaper choice of domestic furniture items instead of contract furniture, such as a modern pub table and chairs. However, it’s important to understand why commercial dining furniture is so important in a consumer environment. 

What specifically constitutes commercial grade furniture?  

Contract furniture – or “commercial” furniture as it’s otherwise known – is made specifically for commercial settings. This includes modern pub tables and chairs, bar stools, sofas and parasols ,as well as many, many more items!  

Commercial grade furniture is any item which has gone through extensive testing by a third-party organisation. This includes: 

  • safety 
  • flammability 
  • strength 
  • durability 
  • stability 
  • fabric performance  
  • foams performance and durability  

Here are four things to consider when it comes to choosing your pub furniture

1. Fire safety 

Commercial dining furniture is manufactured to an extremely high standard. It is made using materials which will withstand the toughest of conditions.  

This includes the need to pass fire safety standards, specifically Crib 5. And if your furniture doesn’t adhere to these standards then you could face stiff penalties. 

Generally, domestic furniture only has two fire safety regulations to pass; the smouldering cigarette test and the BS EN 597-2 – Match test, whereas the Crib 5 test is a fabric fire treatment for upholstery, and must only be used for furnishing and upholstery purposes.  

It uses wooden planks with fabric attached over the lint with propane–diol added at the bottom. This unit is then lit. If an item is to classify as passing the Crib 5 test, the crib and the fabric must not have any smouldering on the outer cover or within the material. 

A certificate must be produced when requested by a fire safety officer. Failure to comply will result in a hefty fine, or they could even close your business. 

A modern pub table and chairs in front of a fire with a candle on top, representing fire safety in commercial pub furniture

2. Durability 

Domestic furniture comes in all different shapes and sizes as well as all different types of quality. But even the most expensive and highest quality items just aren’t built to withstand the traffic within commercial environments.  

Commercial dining furniture is manufactured with large amounts of usage in mind and is therefore extremely robust and will withstand the highest usage. Just think, your dining room chairs may be used once or maybe even twice a day at a push.  

However, pub furniture, restaurant furniture etc. can be used 15+ times per day, as well as being dragged around and moved etc. 

Contract pub furniture is designed to look great in its environment, and is also fit for purpose and that purpose gives consideration as to what it goes through on a daily basis! It uses hard-wearing materials which will withstand the test of time. 

And remember, it’s not only about the usage, customers just won’t treat your pub furniture the way they treat their own furniture at home. Naturally they are more careless – dragging chairs around, making marks on tables etc. Behaviours they wouldn’t even entertain at home. 

3. Longevity and stability 

The majority of contract furniture items are finished with hard-wearing materials. For example, table tops will be finished in scratch/dent/heat resistant coatings/lacquers.  

Fabrics and leathers need to pass the ‘rub’ test to ensure they are durable enough for commercial environments. Contract fabrics tend to be 2-5 times more hard-wearing than domestic versions. 

In addition, the stability of contract furniture is tested by entities such as FIRA (Furniture Industry Research Association) to ensure it can withstand high-use environments. 

Modern pub tables and chairs in an empty pub

4. Cost 

You may be thinking that commercial dining furniture is extremely expensive and the thought of furnishing your entire premises is worrying when it comes to your bank balance and bottom line. And, yes, this is true, the initial outlay for contract furniture is more expensive than domestic grade furniture.  

However, it’s important to view this as an investment. You won’t need to include it in your annual budget every few years, as these items will withstand the test of time – if you remember to take good care of them, of course!  

But other than that, your pub will be furnished and safe for many, many years, and you should therefore view it as a great return on investment. And you have to remember that a great venue from continued custom means that you’re making money! 

Ready to fill your pub with the furniture it deserves? 

Discover our modern pub table and chairs selection among other amazing furnishings.

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