Let me set the scene for you: you’ve just purchased a new fitout of furniture and slowly but surely you start to notice little issues and problems with your furniture that once looked so nice and new. Being such a close contact of the hospitality industry, we often get to hear the horror stories of furniture that is faulty, not great quality or simply doesn’t do its job.

We don’t like hearing these stories as much as you don’t like telling them. That is why we have pulled together this article aimed at informing bar owners across the country of some of the problems they may face and the solutions we would recommend to fix them.

1: Rocking and Wobbly Tables

In the bar and pub industry wobbly bar tables is disastrous. For some, however, this is a reality. Bar tables that rock and aren’t stable don’t provide a great atmosphere for guests or staff. Unstable tables lead to food and drink spillages, not mention don’t give the best image and aren’t very comfortable for patrons to sit at.

So, how do we minimize the chance of rocking tables? Adjustable feet. Simple as that.

Many table bases these days will come with at least manually adjustable feet. With these feet you can manually adjust the height of them yourself to ensure that the tables are level on the ground they are sitting on. Alternatively, look for a self-levelling table base.

Self-levelling table bases are on the most costly end of the scale, however they are an accurate and efficient way to keep your tables level. With these bases you simply need to press down on the table and the base will level out no matter how uneven the surface is that they are sitting on.

2: Chairs and Stools Falling Apart

Whilst some chair and stool breakages are simply from misuse or that the product has lived its full life, there is also the possibility that the furniture purchased wasn’t of the best quality. We understand buying new bar furniture can be a costly venture, but more costly than new furniture is replacing it all over again 6 months later, or – worst case scenario (and yes, we have heard of this happening) – getting sued over a chair or stool breaking while a patron was using it.

You don’t want any of these things to happen, and neither do we!

When you are looking for your new chairs and stools, shop around. Find the best suppliers for the furniture you’re looking for. This doesn’t only apply to seating, but also your tables as well. Adage Furniture has the largest range of bar furniture including bar tables, bar stools, bar table stands and more, we are sure to help you make an impression.

A quick tip from us: avoid furniture of Asian origin unless it is backed up by some sort of guarantee. Often furniture created in Asian factories is made from materials that simply don’t cope with the Australian climate or harsh bashing that the Australian hospitality industry dolls out. However, having said that, not all Asian furniture is the same, so keep an eye out for guarantees and the like.

Furniture guarantees, such as a good warranty, are always a good sign that the furniture will last in your venue. If the company guarantees the product with a warranty, that’s a good sign!

Alternatively, make sure you keep up a strict maintenance program for your furniture. Ensuring that bolts and screws are tight and there aren’t any cracks in the furniture will ensure that your furniture stays in peak condition.

3: Flexibility Within Your Bar

When you plan your bar, you want to ensure that you maintain flexibility throughout your bar. A problem we have seen too often is that bars might not be flexible enough to serve groups of varying sizes. People descend upon bars in many different forms. They come to alone, they come with a friend or family member to enjoy some quality time together, or they come in large groups ready to have a great time. You want to be able to cater to all.

To cater to the different groups, include bar tables and seating that can be easily adjusted to suit. Our suggestion is to use tables that can be moved easily, to create bigger or smaller seating areas depending on what is needed at the time. Place multiple smaller tables around your venue that can be separated or joined as the need arises.

Alternatively, you could include tables of various sizing around your venue. Mix and match your style or choose table tops that come in different sizes. Many table tops do have multiple sizes available, which will allow you to continue the same style throughout your venue, regardless of the size of the table.

This leads on to the next point about your venue layout.

4: Incorrect Venue Layout

Continuing on from the above point, we often see bars that have problems with the layout of their venues. Typically, bars are crowded places where people congregate to celebrate, unwind, or simply enjoy themselves. Getting the correct layout can be difficult but is so important. If your bar layout isn’t effective, your bar won’t run to its full capacity and can mean that either you can’t fit in all the patrons you should be able to, or you are overcrowded and having to turn people away. Overcrowding isn’t a great option as it can mean you may be hard pressed to deliver the service you want to your guests.

When you are looking to layout your bar, we would recommend you take measurements of the space and draw up a plan of where you want everything to be. Draw up the designated areas, table sizes and the flow you envision. If you haven’t done this before, come and speak to the team at Adāge Furniture – it’s a service we offer for free!

Flow through your bar or pub is important to keep movement free without accidents. You want a pathway designated from the front of the venue through to the serving area and the amenities. This flow should also accommodate different areas within your venue – such as dining seats, bar-height areas, or lounge/booth zones. These allow for patrons with different preferences and needs. And then to reiterate what point three suggests, include different table sizes to accommodate for varied group sizing.

Drawing up a plan and keeping these tips in mind will allow you to get a better idea of the quantity of seating you need throughout your venue to fill it to capacity without overfilling. If you create a floorplan and remember these simple points, your bar should run like clockwork!

5: Table Tops Discolouring or Being Easily Damaged

A big problem faced by many bar owners is damage to their table tops. Whether that be that their tops are warping, fading, scratching, or cracking. This can be a quality control issue, but it can also be misuse, not keeping a tight maintenance schedule or a natural aging process. There are products that are used for table tops which will more than likely crack or scratch easily, such as timber.

Timber table tops are made from a natural product and therefore it is common for them to crack or scratch. Timber is constantly moving, expanding, and contracting, and it will crack as a natural process. You can expect your timber table tops to crack – this is a part of the charm of timber! A solution to small or medium cracks is to fill it with a putty of similar colour. Scratches can be fixed by sanding down the top and resurfacing. Avoid putting timber outdoors and keep up a regular maintenance program.

Some restaurant owners may find they have trouble with resin tops fading or warping. We find this happens mostly when darker colours are used outdoors. The heat of the Australian sun warms up the darker coloured tops too much and causes the materials within the resin top to expand and cause the top to warp. Similarly, the sun fades the colouring of the darker tops to a certain degree. Again, we would recommend that only light colours are used in outdoor settings.