Why Buy Commercial Grade Furniture?

Your local retail store has a great looking set of bar stools, and you wonder if they’ll work in your bar or restaurant. You only need a few outdoor dining tables and chairs for your cafe’s small outside patio, and you wonder if you can pick them up at your local discount center. Your friend just got a great table at the local furniture store, and you think the design will be a great fit for your restaurant or public dining hall.

Wait! Are they commercial grade?

V.

There really is a difference between the quality of furniture designed for residential use and the tables, chairs, and bar stools used in commercial settings.  Commercial restaurant and hospitality industry furniture must undergo stability, durability, and weight testing to meet the commercial grade standards.  These standards are designed to ensure the repetitive usage of the product by people of all shapes and sizes.  Much like you would expect your restaurant’s ovens, mixers, and freezers to be of a different grade than your house’s kitchen appliances, the furniture should also stand up to the commercial grade tests.  Designed for heavy everyday use, commercial furniture can withstand the rigors of the hospitality industry and typically outlast their consumer grade counterparts.  The same is true for office chairs; commercial office chairs are designed to be sat in for ten hours a day, seven days a week, while your home office chair is made for more light duty work.

For example, metal chairs and bar stools designed for home use usually are constructed of 20-22 gauge steel frames.  Commercial metal chairs and commercial metal bar stools tend to feature frames of 16-18 gauge steel.  The lower the gauge number, the better the quality when it comes to strength and durability.  Another example is the type of wood wooden chairs and bar stools are made from.  Many consumer products made for the home are built with rubberwood.  However, commercial grade wooden chairs and commercial wooden bar stools usually are constructed of beechwood, a better quality wood.

Why is this important to you?  For one, even though the upfront cost of a commercial grade chair may be more than a consumer grade chair, you want to avoid the costs (and hassle) of fixing or replacing your restaurant chairs in the future.  Also, local retail stores change out their inventory frequently, and if you want to replace a chair for a matching one, you take the risk of not finding the same chair again if you rely on your local store.  Secondly, you want to prevent as many accidents as possible, and by using the right commercial grade furniture, you reduce the risk of injury.  Residential-designed chairs or bar stools could break and send a customer tumbling to the floor.  In addition to someone getting hurt, the costs of settling accident reports and incidents can be great for a business.

That’s why we caution you to buy commercial grade for your business. Look for high quality furniture with added braces and supports, and prevent the hassle you could face if you don’t buy commercial restaurant furniture.

Coffee Cafes: A Hot Trend for Churches

A church buying up cafe table tops, bar stools, and dining chairs?  Yes, it does happen!

Building community and attracting new audiences are two very important objectives for many churches, regardless of denomination.  Many churches across the U. S. (and globally) have acted on a growing trend to help address these goals:  open a cafe or coffee house inside the church.  Depending on your church community’s own goals, a coffee house could also be a much-needed revenue stream for a declining membership or growing capital needs.

We live in a Starbucks world

Chances are, when your congregation walks out your chapel doors on Sunday morning, they are heading to the nearest Starbucks or local coffee house to get their fix before the rest of the day.  Or perhaps, they came to church holding their white to-go cup adorned with that famous green mermaid.  Younger generations, especially, feel comfortable in a cafe atmosphere and often include a weekly, if not daily, visit to a cafe or coffee house.  Bringing this atmosphere to a church can make the Sunday ritual a little less intimidating or threatening to some, and can offer a convenience factor to those coffee connoisseurs in your congregation.  If you’re reading this, you are probably already tasting your drink of choice – whether it’s a chilled frappuccino, a frothy cappuccino with your favorite flavor shot, or a bold cup of espresso.  Even tea drinkers find comfort at a cafe, and many serve up smoothies for those looking for a fruity taste instead (which is also a great kids’ choice for younger families).

Coffee hour can build community

Imagine your sermon ends, and people don’t rush out the door.  Instead, they chat with their neighbors over coffee in your narthex, or a church-run separate cafe.  Imagine Bible Study ends, but the conversation continues over a cappuccino or hot tea.  Imagine a pastor reaching out to get to know someone in his fellowship, and being able to offer a cup of joe in a relaxed atmosphere while trying to do so.  Having a resource of this kind inside your chapel’s walls can be a great boost to your own congregation and provide ample opportunities to bring people together and inspire people to truly connect.  Cut out the small talk about the weather and the “I’m good” automatic responses, and really get to know your church-goers a little better.

Integrating technology will modernize your church

Coffee houses don’t just sell coffee.  They have Wi-fi, promote new music, and keep people connected – in a more global way than previously mentioned.  To do a cafe right, you need to offer free Wi-fi to your customers, so they can bring in their laptops and surf the ‘net or do other work in the peacefulness a church cafe can inhabit.  You can also stream contemporary Christian hits and perhaps offer free downloads of your own choir’s musical performances.  At times, bring in local musicians to host live events and draw more customers.  If your church’s bookstore is flailing, consider linking up with an online book retailer to bring the great written copy onto someone’s Kindle or Nook.  (Coffee houses can also inspire people to sit down and actually open up that book they’ve been meaning to read, and could work well in conjunction with a church bookstore or lending library.)  If your church is too conservative to try to bring in modern elements to its sermon, a cafe can be a great extension of your services and attract a less-conservative crowd.  If you’re already breaking down barriers with A/V additions to your Sunday mornings, then a cafe will fit into your personality and be a smooth transition for your audience.

Sundays aren’t the only days people can come to church

Does your church have activities throughout the week?  Do you want to be more visible all week long?  Having open cafe hours can not only just attract outsiders for some coffee (and money for your church’s revenue stream), but it can be a great perk to your staff, volunteers, and people coming to church throughout the week for activities or private confessionals/prayers.  Many churches recommend hiring a few key staff who are responsible for the cafe, but others can operate it solely through the hands of volunteers.  Finding what works for you, your church, your goals, and your budget will be beneficial.

If you can envision a cafe in your church, already enjoy the aroma of the beans wafting through your chapel, hear the clink of coffee mugs and friendly conversation, and begin to see the benefits of how a church cafe could promote a happier congregation, attract new/younger church-goers, and boost your fundraising efforts, then we hope this article was helpful and wish you success in your exciting new venture!

East Coast’s Favorite Things

In memory of Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things, we thought we’d keep the tradition alive in 2011, and put our own spin on a favorite things wish list!  I’ve taken a staff poll and have rounded up some of our most popular items from tables, chairs, and barstools.

Looking for some year-end spending opportunities?  We think you’ll love our favorite things:


1.
One of our staff loves this black with gold dot stacking chair so much she owns one!  Great for banquet centers, social club halls, meeting facilities, event venues, or other businesses looking for easy-to-stack and store chairs, this banquet stacking chair features a fabric upholstery in black with a gold dot and is designed with a solid gold frame of 16 gauge steel.  With an extra brace on the front, this chair is sturdy and durable.  It ships in 1-2 days of ordering and comes with a limited lifetime warranty on its frame.

On sale now, order your selection of these stacking chairs for just $21.99/each plus shipping.
Item # TCB-W60126-XY-017BLK

2.
This mahogany wooden ladder back bar stool tops the favorite things list of another one of our staff members.  Besides the owners, this staffer is our most veteran staff and has the greatest product knowledge of anyone.  The timeless style of this class wooden with ladder back bar stool includes a double support bar structure, a foot rest with kick plate, durable nylon floor glides, and a 7-year limited commercial warranty.

This bar stool will add some class to any bar or restaurant!  Order your shipment today at the low sale price of $59.99/each plus shipping.
Item # TCB-WB101-MAH


3.
Several of our staff voted for our new Steel City Collection.  While our East Coasters have added the tall-backed steel chairs and bar stools to their kitchens and can visualize them in their home’s man caves, our business customer base have also fallen in love with the Steel City.  To read more about our Steel City Collection, read our previous blog entry.

With a variety of chairs and bar stool options available, find the right item for you!


4.
Who doesn’t love a picnic?  When I see our line of outdoor commercial picnic tables, I think about all the fun times I had while growing up, of gathering around a table with my girlfriends at our local amusement park, sharing Potato Patch fries or Dippin’ Dots.  Give your outdoor park, school yard, ball field, or outdoor beer garden guests the same kind of warm, fuzzy feeling and memories of a lifetime by adding this park table to your casual outdoor dining space!  Not only is it heavy-duty and weather resistant, it is even graffiti proof! (Now you can’t beat that!)

We have coordinating outdoor trash receptacles, benches, and an entire line of outdoor commercial umbrellas for your entire outdoor area!

This model comes in several colors and is on sale for $629.99/each plus shipping today.
Item # TCB-LC-T46RO


5.
Looking for a cafe table top?  One of our East Coasters likes our resin table tops.  They come in cherry, natural, walnut, and her favorite, mahogany finishes.  Available in many different sizes, in both square or round, they feature a waterfall edge and are extra thick, proving durable in a commercial setting.

A 30″ round mahogany resin table top costs $44.99 plus shipping.
Item # TCB-W-RS30R-MAH

In an attempt to be humorous…or honest...when asked what his favorite product was, one of our owners said, “the one that sells!”  Who says you can’t give your customers a special gift for the new year?  Give your restaurant, bar, or other business a mini-makeover with one of our favorite things!  You’ll be happy, your customers will be happy, and our owner will be happy, too!

Whether it’s tables, chairs, barstools, or something different…we wish you a season surrounded by all your favorite things.