Selecting restaurant furniture – Why it’s important to use an interior designer for your venue

Hospitality design is ever growing and changing with customers prioritising unique design,experience, atmosphere and sharing memories over basic comfort and functionality. There’s so much to take into account including your restaurant furniture, lighting, atmosphere, logistics, wallcoverings and accessories.

Stay ahead of the competition

This leaves hospitality business owners continually trying to keep up with customers’ needs in order to stay ahead of the game, and beat their competitors.

If you’re opening a new venue, or refurbishing an existing one, you’ll already know that the way it looks and feels to your potential customers is key to its success. So, do you take on this challenge yourself or use an interior designer?

You may have the vision but are struggling to execute the details. You could be so involved in the other areas of the business that you simply cannot dedicate the time to the interior design yourself. Or, maybe interior design is just not your thing and feel its best left to the experts.

One thing’s for sure, if you choose to use an interior designer for your pub, restaurant, café, hotel or bar, it’s a big decision and a hefty outlay. So, how can you ensure a return on your investment?

Here are 12 tips to help you choose a designer:

  • Choose an interior designer who specialises in hospitality
  • Meet three designers to get a feel for different working styles, personalities and costs
  • Local is best in case the project runs over a long period of time
  • Checkout their portfolio, reviews, recommendations and references
  • Choose somebody with a natural style affinity to yours
  • Sustainability and eco-friendly solutions are important to your customers – ask about your designers’ ethical policies?
  • Be honest about your budget and timeline

“The essence of interior design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for an attractive, civilized, meaningful environment, not about fashion or what’s in or what’s out. This is not an easy job.”

Albert Hadley, Interior Designer

  • Be clear on your involvement – hands on or handing over the reins?
  • If you’re looking for inspiration, why not go along to a show, such as the Hospitality Design Show at the ExCeL in London on the 18th and 19th September – so you’re armed with ideas?
  • If you have a vision in mind, go prepared and share plans, mood boards and sketches
  • Ask lots of questions – most designers will not charge for their initial ‘pitch’ so take advantage and come prepared with a list of specific questions
  • Use a contract and set out exactly what’s included – responsibilities, timelines and budget

Restaurant furniture

With customer needs and design trends constantly evolving, many savvy hospitality business owners, and interior designers, look to contract furniture suppliers to provides eating for their spaces.

Restaurant furniture is designed for commercial use, making it durable and therefore cost effective for businesses. You won’t have to replace a sagging sofa or a wobbly chair every few months.

Also, a beautifully upholstered item may make for a striking feature in your venue –but it’s a legal requirement that it conforms to safety regulations. So, don’t choose aesthetics over your customers safety. High end contract furniture will always comply with health and safety laws. Ensure that your interior designer is on board with this.

Another benefit of using contract restaurant furniture is that suppliers will hold a large stock of the same, or matching furniture items, over a long period of time. So, when you have a special event or you’re super busy, you can order extra furniture and get it delivered quickly, and hassle-free to your venue.
Any great hospitality interior designer will recognise the benefits of using contract furniture but do make sure before commissioning them for your venue – and definitely before signing any contract.

If you require help with the overall design of your venue, we can help as we have many commercial interior designers who can assist from design to implementation, so why not give us a call and get the ball rolling. Why not take a look at our range by visiting our website or alternatively call 01452 336 520 or email sales@eclipsefurniture.co.uk

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