Archive for August, 2017

What is a Bar Stool Swivel and Why Do We Need Them? FAQ’s from the files of East Coast Chair & Barstool

What are bar stool swivels? FAQ's from the files of East Coast Chair & Barstool

Have you ever wondered how that swivel in your Lazy Susan works?  Did you know that it’s the same mechanism that makes your bar stool swivel around when you’re saddled up to the bar?  Or, how about the swivels that turn your washing machine or the wheels on your car?  Does your kid have a fidget spinner?  Guess what?  That’s a swivel too.  Swivels are just couplings that allow two parts to rotate around one another, but they are everywhere you look.

But why does a bar stool need to swivel?  After all, all your customers have to do is sit on it and enjoy their microbrews right?  Well, it turns out that swivels on bar stools come in handy for a number of reasons.  First, they make it easier to get on and off of the bar stool without having to back away from the bar, which can wear out your glides and scratch your floors.  Second, imagine that you have a great band playing on a Friday night and the joint is packed.  If you don’t have swivel bar stools, then every customer at the bar who wants to watch the band has to pick up their chair and turn it around; this leads to blocked aisles, potential injuries, and an increased workload for staff members that have to move the bar stools back into place.  It also makes it difficult to order more drinks from the bartender, which can hurt your bottom line.

Now that you know why swivels on bar stools are great, let’s take a look at the two different types of swivels that come in bar stools.

Ball Bearing Bar Stool Swivels

The first, and most common, type of swivel is called a ball bearing swivel.  Ball bearing swivels are metal plates with metal balls running in channels between the plates.  One plate rotates on top of the other, and the metal balls reduce friction.

Ball bearing swivels have been around for ages and they are used in just about every rotary application that you can think of.  They are economical, reliable, and easy to find.  The main problem with ball bearing swivels in bar stools is inconsistent weight distribution.  Consider the customer who always sits on the end of the bar stool; his/her weight is distributed toward the front of the stool.  Over time, the plates that hold the metal ball bearings become loose, and the balls start to spill out of the back.  If you’ve ever wondered where those little metal balls on your floor are coming from, they’re from your bar stool.  In general, ball bearing swivels last between 60,000 and 100,000 rotations; much less than the second type of swivels that we’re going to discuss.

Nylon Race Bar Stool Swivels

Nylon race (and other polymer) swivels are specifically designed for furniture use.  Instead of ball bearings, nylon race swivels are made from two nylon disks that fit together so that they turn around each other.  The nylon plates do create more friction than ball bearing swivels, but the durability of the smooth nylon is unaffected.  In fact, nylon race swivels have been tested up to 1 million rotations without noticeable losses in serviceability; that’s a lot of turns on a bar stool.

Most commercial swivel bar stools, including the ones that we sell at East Coast Chair & Barstool,  come standard with ball bearing swivels.  Nylon race swivels are considered an upgrade, and are available for an additional fee.  If your barstools get a lot of use, it might be worth the additional charge to upgrade to a American-made nylon race swivel due to the increased durability and longevity.  Nylon swivels also come with a 10 year warranty, whereas ball bearing swivels typically come with no warranty.

Secure Your Kitchen: A Guide to Increasing Safety in Your Commercial Kitchen

Commercial kitchens are notorious for the hustle and bustle that happens behind the doors; while the customers might see the relaxed atmosphere of the dining room, the kitchen is anything but. That being said, it is also one of the most dangerous rooms in your restaurant. With a few easy steps, you can help ensure the safety of your employees and patrons, and protect against financial losses.

Fire Safety

The biggest hazard to a commercial kitchen is a fire. Nearly 8,000 eating and drinking establishments report a fire each year, according to 2006-2010 data tabulated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Fire causes over $246 million in restaurant property damage each year and can devastate a restaurant, leading to lost revenues and even permanent closure.

A great way to combat a fire is by installing an effective kitchen fire suppression system. Look for a  system from a company that provides trained technicians to install the system, provide routine inspections, and service the equipment. Current U.S. codes require a UL3000 hood extinguishing system along with a k-rated fire extinguisher.

Be proactive about fire safety by maintaining and inspecting your fire alarm system. Try to create a schedule to inspect the alarms on a regular basis. Check to make sure that the batteries are still in working order. The alarm will let you know when the batteries are getting low by beeping periodically even when there is no smoke. Experts recommend checking your fire alarms every six

months. While checking don’t forget to check the batteries for corrosion, which can also cause the alarm to malfunction.

 

In the event of a fire, ensure that all posted signs are easy to read and visible, not only for employees but patrons as well. Make sure to keep you evacuation routes clear. This is a safety measure, but if routes are blocked it can also be a code violation.

Ensure that all posted signs are easy to read and visible, not only for employees but patrons as well. You don’t want to see anyone harmed if something should happen.

Having properly functioning fire alarms can alert not only your employees and patrons, but also the fire department of any serious situations. Regular fire drills and well-displayed evacuation routes also help to ensure the safety of everyone. Practice the drills to help identify any area of confusion that should be remedied before an actual fire breaks out.

Equipment Safety

In addition to fire, improper equipment is a huge concern in a commercial kitchen. Deep fryers are not only a concern for fire safety but also for burns.  Hot oil is very dangerous and requires a 16-inch clearance to ensure that all staff members are safe. Keep in mind that child labor laws do not permit workers younger than 16 to cook or use a deep fryer. Always have team members wear steam gloves when changing or filtering the oil to protect against burns. Another aspect of fryer safety is keeping the floor near the fryer very clean; oil from the fryer can easily make its way to the floor and cause a fall leading to injury.

Keeping your kitchen as grease free as possible increases not only safety but productivity. Commercial kitchens are full of grease. Cleaning grease traps on a 6-month interval may be an industry standard, increasing the cleaning frequency based upon how quickly the grease accumulates helps cut back on the likelihood of blockages. According to the EPA, grease is the primary cause of sewer blockages that lead to overflows in the kitchen.

Knives are one of the most commonly used tools in a chef’s arsenal and present a constant danger in a commercial kitchen. Believe it or not, dull blades are more likely to slip and cause injuries, so keep you knives sharp. Utensils made of high carbon stainless steel hold their sharpness longer and might be a good investment so you aren’t spending lots of time sharpening blades. It is also important to avoid knives with wood handles as they are more likely to become oily and slip from the users grasp.

Training

One of the most helpful ways to improve your kitchen safety is to provide your staff with the appropriate training. Staff should always be trained on the proper way to use new equipment and the dangers that are associated with improper use.

In addition to new equipment training, consider sharing with your team a few other pieces of information to help keep your kitchen safe.

Train your staff to:

  • Properly use a fire extinguisher
  • Clean up grease
  • Never throw water on a grease fire
  • Store flammable liquids properly
  • Use chemical solutions correctly
  • Be able to power down equipment – Train at least one worker per shift on how to correctly shut off the gas and electrical power in case of an emergency.

Sometimes it is difficult to make your safety training engaging, yet quick, and easy to grasp. Colorful visuals, customized posters, and videos are all good tools to help teach your employees without causing them to zone out from boredom.

Nobody likes to micromanage employees and make them feel incompetent, but it is a good idea to supervise the handling of the equipment occasionally to make sure that it is being used safely.  You can give your employees all the tools they need but if they aren’t using them correctly it won’t improve the conditions of your kitchen.

Another benefit of revisiting your safety measures is that a safe and clean kitchen leads to higher employee morale and productivity,  not to mention the benefit of avoiding lost revenue due to down time from an accident or permanent closure. At the end of the day, the biggest benefit is still ensuring the safety of your staff and patrons. By checking for fire hazards, monitoring your equipment, and training your employees you can improve the safety of your kitchen, protecting your restaurant from disaster.

East Coast Chair & Barstool Returns to Florida

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

 

**** Please note that due to Hurricane Irma, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show has been rescheduled for October 11-13 for the safety of attendees and exhibitors. Exhibitors will retain the same booth number, please stay safe and we hope to see you there! ***

East Coast Chair & Barstool is coming to the Sunshine State this September! We’re so excited to return to the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show (FLRS) this year at the Orange County Convention Center. And we’re back with an even bigger booth from last year, which means we’re bringing lots of new indoor and outdoor furniture collections to help your restaurant stand out.

The FRLS show runs September 10 through the 12th and is open to members of the restaurant and foodservice industries. With over 400 vendors, the FRLS show offers restaurant, bar, and hospitality professionals a chance to see industry trends up close and personal. In addition to interactive booths, attendees also can experience educational forums, culinary competitions, and demonstrations by celebrity chefs Letty Alvarez and Art Smith.

We will be featuring our luxury bucket bar stools and Quarter Sawn table tops for your indoor dining needs as well as our customizable outdoor Caribbean and Lake Shore Collections, never before seen in Orlando. It’s going to be a show you don’t want to miss!

Heading to Florida as well? Plan your visit to the trade show with the exhibitor map and list. You can even click the banner below to attend the show for free. Don’t forget to stop by Booth #1919 and say hello!

FLRS Show

One Table, Three Beautiful Finish Options

Everything has a story, but some are deeper than others. Imagine as a man approaches a tree in the forest. He examines it for termites and any other imperfections. Finding none he begins to work on the tree, sawing back and forth until finally, it falls. The tree is then transported to a lumber mill where it is cut into various sizes to be sold. Another man purchases the lumber and uses it to construct a barn that will be in his family for generations. It houses the animals that are his livelihood until he hands the farm over to his children, who then give it to their children. Each year the wood becomes more and more weathered until the barn is no longer able to be used. It is carefully deconstructed to salvage any reusable lumber. That lumber is then taken to a kiln where it is dried and nails and bolts are removed from the wood.

Next, the lumber ends up in the hands of an Amish craftsman. He checks each piece for imperfections, before sanding and sealing each board into a table top. Finally, the finished tables are shipped to a restaurant where they can be utilized and enjoyed for years to come.

More and more restaurants are looking towards creating a one of a kind atmosphere for their guests to experience. What is more unique than a table top unlike any other? No two of our reclaimed wood table tops are alike; each has varying grain patterns and knots that tell the woods story throughout the years. The boards used to create these table tops are salvaged from Pennsylvania and Ohio barns, making each table different from the one next to it.

A great way to customize these table tops even further is by selecting one of our three finish options: natural reclaimed, antique black, and whitewash. Each table top is fully sanded before the finish is added and then sealed with a heavy catalyzed lacquer sealer to make sure they are ready for commercial use.

Natural Reclaimed Finish

Our most popular option, the natural reclaimed finish allows your table’s raw beauty to shine through. Sanded and then sealed with a heavy sealer, this finish provides customers a look into how the boards may have appeared when they were still fulfilling their original purpose as part of a barn. For an organic, classic rustic look the natural reclaimed finish is a great option. This finish is versatile in that it can easily be paired with many of our seating options to create a different look.

Antique Black Finish

A new choice available for reclaimed table tops is our antique black finish. This darker cousin to our natural reclaimed finish has a rich black color that accents the wood grain and helps to draw your focus on the weathered appearance. The table is not entirely black but allows just enough of the original color to shine through to highlight the deep tones of the finish. This finish would look great in any restaurant looking to create a romantic atmosphere.

Whitewash Finish

Our final stain option is the whitewash finish. The white coloring adds some light to the table top and accentuates the unique grain patterns without hiding the knots that can be still be seen underneath the finish. Perfect for brightening up a room, the whitewash finish would look great in a bakery or a cute breakfast spot with a colored centerpiece.

No matter what finish you select, all table tops are 1 ¾” thick and are available in all 32 sizes that we offer. The tables are available in both round and square options with a steel inlay option is available for square tables only.

To purchase your table top in your choice of stain head over to our Reclaimed Barn Wood Table Tops page and start shopping!

 

 

 

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