Making decisions on the furniture you want in your club can be tough, and we understand there is nothing more disappointing than having furniture give you trouble after you have spent the time and money on the purchase. As a leading supplier of commercial furniture, we understand all too well the agonies of furniture that breaks, spaces that don’t flow or furniture that doesn’t serve its purpose.
Here at Adāge Furniture we have worked with many clubs across Australia, and we have encountered many problems that you might come across yourself. Here is a list of the top 5 problems we’ve come across and some solutions that will help you make the most informed decisions you can.
1: Fit for Purpose
The first problem we want to talk about is the purpose of your furniture. As a team of passionate furniture consultants, we want to ensure that the furniture you choose for your club is everything you need and want. We want your furniture to provide the practicality that you need, but also bring the style and atmosphere that you are wanting to create within your venue. Your furniture should tell your story and give guests an idea of what they can expect from your venue. However, it should also be quality that can withstand the harsh treatment that the hospitality industry tends to dish out.
Unfortunately, all too often we hear of clients finding the perfect furniture only for it to break or disappoint them later because it turns out to be not quite what they were expecting. We don’t want this to happen to you, so here’s some tips to ensure that the furniture you choose is built for the purpose that you need it to serve.
Firstly, we would recommend that you look only at commercial grade furniture. Domestic grade does not stand up to the rigours of the environment and will not last in your venue. Your commercial grade furniture should come with a warranty. The higher the warranty is, the better the guarantee you are getting that the furniture will last.
Secondly, you could do a little research on where the furniture is manufactured. Although it isn’t always the case, our experience has proven that furniture created in Asian factories doesn’t usually withstand the thrashing they’ll get. Not only this, but often the harsh Australian climate can wreak havoc on Asian-made furniture as the materials used don’t cope too well with our climate. This is where you will need to do your own quality checks and assess whether you think the furniture will hold up.
The final part of purpose is style. This is entirely up to you! What is your style? What story are you trying to tell? How do you want your customers to feel and what is the atmosphere you want to create? Answer these questions and you’ll be well on your way to creating the club of your dreams.
2: Damaged or Discoloured Table Tops
As a club owner, you may have already experienced issues with your table tops. Unfortunately, this is a rather common issue that many venues face. Table tops warp, discolour or even crack. This can simply be down to quality control, or it may be that the table tops are not being used in the way they were created to be used. Or, in some cases, it may simply be a natural aging process.
For example, you can expect table tops made from natural products, such as timber, to crack and scratch easily simply because they are created from a solid natural product. Timber is always alive and constantly expanding and contracting depending on the temperature they are kept in. As a natural timber process, these table tops will crack – it is a part of their natural charm! The best way to fix small to medium sized cracks is to fill them with putty. To fix scratches on your timber table tops, sand them down and resurface the tops. To avoid cracking tops, don’t put your timber outdoors and sustain a tight maintenance program.
Some venue owners have found they have issues with resin tops fading or warping. We have found that most times this occurs when darker colours are used in direct sunlight or outdoor situations. The heat of the Australian sun warms up the darker coloured tops too much and causes the materials within the tops to expand and warp the tops. The sun will also cause fading on darker coloured tops if they are left in direct sunlight. For these reasons, we would recommend that you use only lighter colours outdoors and in direct sunlight. Reserve the beautiful deep tones for your indoor spaces.
3: Incorrect Club Layout
The layout of your club space is very important to the flow and usability of your venue. Getting the correct layout for your area can be difficult as there are many things to consider and having an incorrect layout can lead to your venue running inefficiently and not to its full potential. This can mean you may not be able to serve as many patrons as you’d like, or it could mean your venue becomes overcrowded and it is difficult to provide the service you’d like to.
When you are looking at the potential layout for your venue, we would recommend you take measurements of the area and draw up a 2D plan of the space and where you think you want everything to be. Draw up the different areas you’d like within your area, include the table sizes (especially if you opt for different table sizes throughout), and the flow you want your patrons to follow through the venue.
If a 2D plan sounds a little daunting and you haven’t created one of these before, speak to a member of our consultancy team. It’s a service we offer for free!
The flow through your venue is so important. You want to ensure you have room for servers and patrons to walk through without causing any accidents. You also want a clean and clear pathway from the front of the venue through to the serving area and amenities. Your flow should accommodate different areas within your venue – for example if you are looking to have a separate dining, bar and/or lounge area, mark these out clearly in your floorplan.
Drawing up a floor plan and keeping these tips in mind will allow you to get a better idea of the capacity of your venue and the amount of furniture that you will need to make your club a great success!
4: Flexibility within the Club Venue
When you are creating the perfect club, you want to ensure you can serve groups of all sizes. A major problem many venues face is not being able to serve groups of various sizes. People visit clubs in many different group sizes. You want and need to be able to serve all patrons, no matter the size of the group they are in. Many clubs make the mistake of not catering for different groups and larger groups may find dining a little more difficult. You don’t want to be turning patrons away simply because you can’t serve them.
An easy and sure way to avoid this is to include tables of different sizes throughout your venue. Using different sized tables will automatically allow your venue to cope with varied numbers more easily. Many table top options come in different sizes, which allows you to continue the same style through your venue, regardless of the different sizes you decide to use.
Alternatively, you could opt to use many smaller tables that can be easily moved to be joined together to create larger dining tables. Look for lightweight tables with straight edges that can be pushed together. Lighter tables will allow for quicker movement of them around the venue and will allow for more flexibility.
5: Rocking/Moving Tables
A big problem that we see across the industry is rocking and wobbly tables. Tables that aren’t completely stable can result in spillages and present an uneven surface for your patrons to eat off. This isn’t a good look and can lead to some patrons turning away.
To fix this problem, we would suggest adjustable feet or self-levelling table bases. Many bases come with adjustable feet on the bottom (all of Adage’s base range have adjustable feet). These feet can be manually adjusted to bring the table to the right height to keep the surface even. Alternatively, there are self-levelling bases available, for example NOROCK bases are a great self-levelling table base. Self-levelling table bases are engineered to stabilise the table regardless of the surface they are sitting on.