What is LTL delivery? FAQs from the Files of East Coast Chair & Barstool

Tractor trailer

Ever wonder how your recently ordered furniture will get to you? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that we get when it comes to receiving your shipped furniture.

How is my furniture being shipped to me?

LTL delivery is a common way that many furniture suppliers use when shipping furniture to customers. Items are usually put on a wood pallet and secured using plastic straps and/or shrink wrap. LTL delivery is used when items don’t fill the entire truck but are too large or heavy for parcel. With this delivery method, you are paying only for the space that the pieces of furniture take up.

What does LTL stand for?

LTL stands for “less than truckload”.

What determines how much delivery will cost?

To calculate LTL delivery costs, items are put into classes designated by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). There are 18 classes total. To place an item’s class depends the shipment’s density, stowability, handling, and value. The lower the class, the cheaper it is to ship the item. For example, a steel chair ships at class 250 because they have a high density. Meanwhile, aluminum furniture ships at a class 300 because it takes up more space but has less weight. Other possible costs include fuel surcharges, expedited delivery fees, and where the end destination is located.

What is lift-gate service? Is it included?

A lift-gate raises and lowers items from the back of the truck to the ground. This is not included in the shipping quote are given unless you ask for it. If a truck that delivers your items has a lift-gate and you use it but did not pay for it, you will be charged as if you had requested it.

Will the carrier call me to let me know when my order is being delivered?

For an additional fee, they can call you with a timeframe.

Can I change the shipping address once the item has shipped?

Yes, it is possible to change the shipping address by contacting the carrier. However, a reconsignment fee will be charged.

Will the driver take the items off the truck?

No, we recommend that you have some extra help with you to take items off the truck.

Will the driver take my shipment inside?

No, however, an “inside delivery” option can be added for a fee.

Can I use a forklift to take the items off the truck?

Yes, this could help you get the items off the truck because they’re on pallets. Don’t use forklift on booths or oversized tables, these items are easily damaged.

What do I do if my furniture is damaged?

Regardless of what condition your furniture arrives in, you need to accept the delivery. You will receive a delivery receipt where you can note the damages. From there, you will need to contact our service department about the damages.

For more information on how to accept a tailgate delivery, check out our video below!

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5 Common Regrets When Buying Restaurant Furniture

Ladder Back Bar Stools

Besides purchasing or leasing the actual space for your restaurant, buying commercial furniture is another obvious cost that you will have to shell out for. Regardless of the physical size of your business and how many pieces you are buying, ordering furniture is no small undertaking. Whether you are a first-time purchaser or a seasoned restaurant owner of 30 years, there are five regrets you will want to avoid when outfitting your restaurant or bar.

So you didn’t measure your space…

You are buying furniture to fill your space, but not to the brim. Knowing how much space you have to work with allows you to choose the correct amounts and sizes of furniture you need. In the end, inaccurate measurements can cost you some serious cash. If you don’t have enough furniture, you won’t be maximizing your revenue opportunities. From there, if you have to order more, you will not only have to add on the cost of the additional pieces, but also the shipping and handling that comes along with it. It’s simply best to order it right the first time with the most accurate dimensions.

So you didn’t take your customers into account…

Eat'n Park

Eat’n Park Restaurant- Photo via Trip Advisor

When it comes to furnishing your restaurant, knowing your targeted demographic can help you make a decision on what styles to select. Who are your regular customers? For example, if you’re a family-oriented establishment that considers messy toddlers a large portion of your market, you should focus on tables and booths that are easy to wipe down and clean.

Likewise, if your customers are interested in a finer dining setting, look into high back, cushioned chairs in a dark color that make sitting feel exclusive.

Think like your customer when you’re buying your furniture. What would you want to sit on and dine on top of?

Morton's the Steakhouse

Morton’s The Steakhouse- Photo via WeddingWire

 

 

 

 

So you didn’t coordinate with your restaurant’s theme…

Minimalist design, a light green and white color palette, and natural-wooded accents. Would you stuff heavy, dark restaurant booths along the wall? No, because it doesn’t flow with the theme.

Themes tie all the loose décor ends together for a cumulative design scheme that just makes sense. And décor does not stop at wall hangings; it includes your furniture! Coordinating your furniture to go with your theme is vital to completing your restaurant vision.

So you didn’t think about your environment…
It can be expensive to buy restaurant furniture. So when you go about purchasing, you want to make sure durability is a top priority. Wood tables are a popular choice for many restaurants. Despite their versatile look, these table tops can crack or split because of excessive heat, cold, and dryness. Wood tops should be kept at 68°-72°F, with humidity between 40-45%, and proper air circulation to avoid damage. For seaside restaurants, choosing furniture that can endure the heavy beating of salt spray and buildup is crucial. A strong poly lumber will hold up far better than wrought iron. For all-weather outdoor furniture, invest in aluminum or synthetic wicker pieces to be on your patio.Cayman Arm Chairs

When selecting the furniture for your space, keep in mind what goes on outside your restaurant’s window and the amount of maintenance you’re ready to commit to.

So you didn’t think about your restaurant’s strategy…

Are you a sit-down eatery where customers are encouraged to stop and stay awhile? Or are you focused on punctual and speedy service to turn and burn your tables? Whether you’re on either end of the spectrum or somewhere between, your restaurant furniture should reflect this mission. For those slow down bistros, furniture should be geared towards coziness like padded seats and comfy booths. For quicker-paced restaurants, the focus can be on more streamlined, metal pieces with clean lines that communicate a no-nonsense feeling. Your restaurant’s strategy can make a statement through your furniture, so definitely take that into consideration when you order.
Opening or upgrading your restaurant can be a lot of pressure. The best way to avoid regrets when buying your furniture is to take into consideration your space, customers, theme, environment, and strategy. It’s your restaurant, so the creativity is up to you!

Have a regret that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!

Restaurant Furniture Trends by State

Restaurant trends run far and wide all over the United States. Some businesses are focused on speed and efficiency while others are more concerned with a customer’s experience. Needless to say, in some shape or form, these businesses need a type of furniture that represents their company and their brand.

Here at East Coast Chair & Barstool, we help restaurants, bars, and the hospitality industry find their perfect furniture that embodies their business and atmosphere. With such a diverse customer base, we wanted to show what has been our most popular furniture items by state in the past year.

1) GLADIATOR Ladder Back Chair and Bar Stool

A durable and simple shape to complement many types of interiors.

2) GLADIATOR Full Ladder Back Chair and Bar Stool

The full ladder back offers even more shape to the contours of your guests.

3) GLADIATOR Full Vertical Back Wooden Chair

An elegant wooden chair with slimming vertical back design.

4) Henry Chair and Bar Stool

A marriage of wood and metal that make for a distinguished look.

5) GLADIATOR Window Pane Chair and Bar Stool

The same sturdy frame of the GLADIATOR Collection with the stylish window pane back.

6) Cayman Side Chair

A distinguished outdoor chair to instantly ramp up curb appeal.

7) Shipyard Backless Bar Stool

Brushed aluminum gives this bar stool a streamlined appearance for your outdoor patio.

8) Simon Bar Stool

Bring a clean-cut, modern look to your restaurant with this bar stool.

9) GLADIATOR 825 Bucket Bar Stool

Our newest bucket seat offers ergonomic seat and back support with premium molded foam.

10) Gulf Coast Outdoor Chair

We combined poly lumber slats with an aluminum frame that’s easy to maintain on your deck.

11) Viktor Chair

Convey a contemporary feel to your brewery or coffee shop with this industrial style.

You will notice there aren’t many avant-garde furniture styles represented here. While many customers still order them, most focus on classic silhouettes that will blend into any atmosphere with ease.

The GLADIATOR Collection takes up quite a bit of space on this map. We can attribute this to the style’s customization opportunities with various seats and finishes. The GLADIATOR Collection looks great in any kind of restaurant because of their traditional structure.

What’s your state’s most popular item from us? Does your restaurant have similar characteristics to it? Let us know in the comments below.

Why We Love the Rustic Industrial Trend (And You Should, Too!)

Rustic TrendWant a look for your restaurant’s interior that has an organic, elegant style with an effortless je ne sais quoi? A timeless style that’s easy to pair with other décor items? Then the rustic industrial trend is the right theme for you.

Seen in home design, wedding themes, and splashed across Pinterest, the rustic industrial trend is still going strong in late 2016. But what inspired the Mason jar fervor?

As a culture, we are obsessed with authenticity. We crave a sense of legitimacy and timelessness. We love seeing genuine, honest to goodness labor turned into beauty. Showcasing cracks, daily wear and tear, and distressed accents embody this trend.

So what does this mean for your restaurant and the industry?

Within the last 10 years, restaurant-goers have seen a rise in sustainability and local allocation of food in the businesses that they frequent, playing upon authenticity and individualism to set themselves apart from the competition. Customers are more likely to trust these singular operations that are original in the way they do things. This trust is key to differentiate your restaurant. If you can get customers to believe in your mission and purpose, it will set you apart from your competition.
The desire for authenticity has birthed the rustic industrial trend. The interior originality of the restaurant is just as important as the food selection to consumers.

One characteristic that ties restaurant interiors into this look is showing evidence of craftsmanship. The raw aesthetic of these restaurants remind us of the physical labor that went into creating them with their visible markings. Some common features of rustic industrial interiors include natural materials, high ceilings, and unfinished wood for accents. It’s these nitty-gritty details that can transform your space into the charming eatery of your dreams.

We’ve made a list of our awesome customers that rock the rustic industrial trend.

11th and Bay

11th and Bay (Columbus, GA)

Built in an old cotton warehouse, 11th and Bay fits right into the rustic industrial theme. This restaurant pulls rustic inspiration with the exposed white brick, distressed rafters, pendant lights, reclaimed wood seats, and sliding barn door. The cool metal of the bar stools and chairs add an engineered look to this otherwise very warm-toned atmosphere. This balance looks great together and prevents the room from looking too antiquated. The interior of 11th and Bay reflects the business’ passion for southern hospitality and quality ingredients.

The Feed + Co.

The FEED Co. Table and Tavern (Chattanooga, TN)

A feed warehouse in the early 1900’s, the Chattanooga Craftworks building is now home to The FEED Co. Table and Tavern. The rustic industrial style was a no-brainer in a building with this kind of history. This restaurant is split into a table area and a tavern area based on where the warehouse was sectioned off. Exposed brick, factory swing doors, and wood floors use the building’s origin and make it work with the theme. To tie the individual rooms in together, the reclaimed tables and seats add a unifying element.  Harmonizing with the manufacturing atmosphere of the building, chairs, bar stools, and fixtures add a metallic contrast and create the balance between rustic and modern.

Hell n' Blazes

Hell’n Blazes Brewing Company (Melbourne, FL)

The building that now houses Hell’n Blazes Brewing Company has come a long way since its hardware store roots. The brewery still proudly displays its history with the adorned ceiling, hardwood floors, stone accents around the bar area, and other rustic décor. Visible duct work and drop lighting also add metallic tones, matching the chairs and bar stools. Hell’n Blazes holds onto the original feel of the building while introducing industrial design elements, an ideal setting for their combination of craft beer and historic structure.

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen (Newark, DE)

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen uses the rustic industrial theme to set the atmosphere and complement its combination of craft beer and live music. A casual setting for Newark restaurant-goers, this restaurant and bar is decorated with a unique machinery collection assembled on the wall, chalkboard details, and use of deep wood tones, contrasting with the exposed lightbulb fixtures. This type of lighting casts a soft glow on customers, reflecting off the metal chairs and bar stools. Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen brings together the rustic and industrial styles with the help of décor and furniture.

Distinguishing Rustic Features

The rustic industrial trend is a combination of varying materials and textures. If you are building or designing your restaurant with this trend in mind, here are some materials to consider using. To meet in the middle of rustic and industrial, you need pieces from both ends of the spectrum. Remember to soften hard metal elements with wood tones and vice versa, the blending of supplies makes this trend truly unique.

  • Exposed beams, brick, and stone
  • Unfinished, raw wood
  • Galvanized metal
  • Unrefined edges on furniture
  • Limited color palette of neutral, warm, and subtle tones
  • Concrete or wood floors
  • High ceilings (reminiscent of a barn or warehouse setting)
  • Open floor plan
  • Visible, bare light fixtures
  • Items repurposed to serve a function such as a pallet furniture, barrel sink

Ready to try the rustic industrial look in your restaurant or bar? Here are some of our must-have items to get your upgrade started.

Reclaimed Reclaimed Wood

Each reclaimed table top is made of solid oak wood salvaged from Pennsylvania or Ohio barns by our Amish craftsmen and come with a story of their own. Unique knots and grain patterns are combined to create an individual look every time with these tops. Repurposing items to use them as something else is what the rustic industrial trend is all about.

Urban Distressed

Urban Distressed Wood

The urban distressed table tops are a great option if you want the reclaimed wood look, but at a lower price point. These tops are handed sanded and distressed to add the rustic charm that’s perfect for your restaurant. Available in a provincial and dark walnut finishes to accommodate whatever color wood tone you would like.

Simon

The Simon

Our Simon bar stool and chair is the ideal complement to the wood of the tables. The Simon contemporary silhouette makes it the perfect match with its clean, smooth lines. To mimic the other wood tones, there is an option available to add a vinyl, urban distressed, or reclaimed wood seat. Or leave it metal for a completely modern feel.

Viktor

The Viktor

Complement your rustic restaurant or bar with the industrial Viktor bar stool or chair. The supportive, laid back structure of the Viktor adds a comfortable alternative to a wooden chair. Choose from rust, brushed transparent, or matte black to pair with your tables. This stylish choice will be a favorite with your tables and warm tones.

Gladiator 101

The GLADIATOR Collection

One of our most popular collections, the GLADIATOR line is sure to please in your rustic restaurant or bar. Contrast against your warm tones with the 101 GLADIATOR style in a clear coat finish. This type of finish accentuates the crafted weld markings. Be sure to add a reclaimed seat to your chairs and bar stools for the perfect mix of rustic and industrial.

Let us know in the comments below if your restaurant uses a rustic design or if you’re ready to take the leap and give this trend a try.

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Meet the New Outdoor Collections of Summer 2016

Whether you’re looking to furnish an entire resort or a just need to fill a patio, we’ve added a quite a few new products to our outdoor furniture lines. Our goal is to educate you as a customer as much as possible so you can make the best informed decision. You’re also getting an exclusive sneak peek of a brand new collection that’s coming soon to our sites, so you will be ahead of the game with new trends. As establishments grow and want to offer more space and different atmospheres, outdoor areas are becoming increasingly popular. As a business owner, it’s important to know the options available to you and get inspired.

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Isotop Laminated Table Tops- A Versatile Option That Lasts All Year Long

In the commercial industry, it’s important that you can trust your table tops to endure heavy wear and tear. Introducing the Isotop Collection that’s perfect for a traffic-laden restaurant or bar. Our Isotop table tops combine aesthetics and science to create a durable, strong piece that is a great asset for your restaurant or bar. These tops are precision molded from a blend of resin, wax, and wood pulp to create a high density laminate. Depending on how you want your edges to look, the Isotops come in the Plus style, a 1 ¼” edge, and Sliq Compact style, a ½” edge. These tops are made to be strong with burn and scratch resistant surfaces. With the option of indoor or outdoor and a wide variety of colors, the Isotop table tops can be customized for your need as a restaurant.

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The Athena Collection- Classic Silhouettes with Modern Accents

Float on up to Mount Olympus with the Athena Collection this summer. A textured black powder coat offers a durable yet modern look, making the Athena great for a casual sidewalk café or a dining patio. To give this collection an ethereal, airy feel, slot detailing is used for a lightweight appearance. But these chairs are as sturdy as the goddess herself, each Athena chair, bar stool, and table is heavy gauge aluminum and rust-resistant. Even your staff will love the stackable features of the chairs for simple storage. Table tops are available in round for a more intimate experience or square that can easily be pushed together. To truly create a heavenly experience for your guests, umbrella hole grommets are included for straightforward umbrella installation. Let the Athena Collection bring a neoclassic atmosphere to your patio and increase your curb appeal.

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The Atlantic Collection- Poly Slats for Easy Maintenance

Bring this collection back to your coastal paradise for a unique look Appearing more modern and streamlined than its sister collection, the New England, the Atlantic Collection offers a stark contrast between the teak coloring and aluminum frame. Don’t let the teak-inspired poly slats look like maintenance mayhem; this collection is easy to clean and simple to store. You get all of the advantages of this outdoor furniture look like real wood without the nightmare of trying to take care of it. To keep your pieces looking happy as a clam on your patio all year long, the aluminum frame is powder coated in deep black to prevent rust and resist the harsh outdoor elements of seascapes. Whatever kind of furniture (bar stools, chairs, and tables), the Atlantic Collection has it all. With the range of bar stools, chairs, and tables that are low maintenance, the Atlantic Collection offers a seating solution that’s just as perfect by the sea as it is in the city.

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The New England Collection- Bring the Rustic Trend to Your Patio

A new collection is coming to port soon. The New England Collection plays on the rustic trend that’s been popping up all over patios this past year. Perfect for a seafood restaurant or cocktail hour on a terrace overlooking the bay, this trend is easy to integrate with your establishment. Poly lumber slats, inspired by the northeastern United States and reclaimed wood, used in conjunction with a powder coated aluminum frame to give off an urban edge. The poly slats of this collection make for easy cleaning and are reminiscent of coastal reclaimed wood, without the hassle of caring for them. The New England Collection is ideal for outdoor spaces with its durability and strength. With an array of bar stools, chairs, and tables, you’re sure to find what you need to bring the rustic with an edge theme to your restaurant or bar. This collection will be here soon, so stay on the lookout for this trendy set!

 

Now that you know a little bit more about the new outdoor collections, feel free to start your journey by going here.  If you have any questions at all about the collections, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-986-5352. What are outdoor furniture must-haves for your business? Which one of these collections speak to you and your restaurant’s theme? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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How to Avoid the 5 Most Common Problems with Restaurant Furniture

 

It takes a chunk of change to furnish a bar or restaurant.  And when you spend that “chunk” on commercial grade items, you want to see them last.  Proper maintenance and cleaning is the key to long lasting furniture but it won’t fix some common problems that may arise.  So, if they are common problems, shouldn’t you then be able to avoid these issues if they are happening everywhere?  Absolutely!  Our hope is that by providing you with this information, you are able to take a proactive approach to caring for you bar and restaurant furniture so that these common issues don’t happen to you.  Like the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.”

 

Problem #1:  “The metal legs on my chair and/or bar stool are bending and don’t seem as strong.”

Problem-1

Solution:  Damage to the legs of chairs or bar stools often stems from improper use by customers and staff, something that can happen on a regular basis.  For example, customers may lean back in their chair putting all of their weight on the back two legs. Yikes!  If you see this happening, politely ask the customer to refrain from doing this in hopes to keep the leg strength strong…and of course to save your customer from getting hurt.  Another example is when staff members unknowingly use a chair or bar stool improperly.  As a standard procedure when sweeping and mopping floors, most restaurant staff members place the chairs upside down on the tables.  They clean the floors, let them dry, and proceed to lower the chairs back to the floor.  The issue arises when the staff member slams the chair or bar stool onto the floor with such force that the leg strength is compromised.  After this occurs many times, it can in fact make the legs of chairs and bar stools look bent.  To avoid this, it’s important to show and/or communicate to staff members the proper procedure to gently lower chairs and bar stools back onto the floor so as to keep the legs nice and strong.

 

 

Problem #2:  “My chairs and/or bar stools are scratching up my flooring.”

 Problem-2

Solution:  Scratches on floors from chairs and bar stools are often due to the absence or wearing of one or more floor glides.  Floor glides are the pieces of rubber or hard plastic that are placed on the bottom of the legs of a chair or bar stool to protect the floor.  Without them, the chair will scrape along the floor, cause some scratch marks, and even make a sound that can be like fingernails down a chalkboard.  To avoid this, be sure to regularly check the wear of floor glides as well as that they are all in place.  It’s also a good idea to keep a few extra glides on hand, just in case.  Following these suggestions will keep your floors scratch free and looking fabulous.

 

 

Problem #3: “My tables are peeling, staining, or cracking.”

Problem-3

Solution:  It’s important to be aware of what your table tops are made of and how to properly care for them, especially when it comes to wood table tops.  In the case of wood, it is a natural material that expands and contracts with the changes in temperature.  With any wood product, including table tops, it is important to keep them away from direct heat to avoid cracking.  When we say direct heat, we mean in direct sunlight through a window, under a heating vent, or in a warm area that can become humid and warm from the heat of a hot oven.  It is equally as important to not place a hot tray, sizzling pan, pizza pan/pizza box, or anything right out of the oven directly on the wood top, or any table top for that matter.  If there is no way around it, invest in products to protect the table tops from heat generated from hot foods like a hot plate or an elevated pizza tray.  These items will be worth your money and you won’t have to witness an altering of your table top finishes or heat stains that will appear if you’re not extra careful.

 

 

Problem #4: “My chairs and/or bar stools are wobbly.”
Problem-4

Solution:  If you are experiencing wobbly chairs or bar stools, first check the floor glides to make sure that all four are present and not worn out.  If they are in place and not causing the wobble, loose screws that were either not tightened at assembly or have worked loose over time could be the issue.  With regard to assembly, a lot of commercial restaurant furniture companies ship their chairs and bar stools with the seats unattached.  This enables them to stack the furniture and ship more products at a lower price.  Also, by packing the seats tightly together, it reduces the likelihood of shipping damages.  So, when assembling your seats on site, it is important to follow the proper instructions as well as use the suggested tools with the hardware provided.  Make sure that screws are snug and not too tight so as to avoid further damage to the seat.  In addition, it is just as important to routinely check the hardware on all tables, chairs, and bar stools, and tighten them as needed.

 

Problem #5: “My furniture isn’t lasting as long as I thought it would.”

Problem-5

Solution:  When purchasing furniture for your bar or restaurant, it is important to know where these items are going to be placed and how they are going to be used.  If you need chairs, bar stools, and tables for an indoor dining area, it is important to purchase items that are intended for indoor use.  The same goes for outdoor furniture items.  An outdoor chair, bar stool, or table intended for outdoors, should only be used outdoors.  Or, maybe you want items that can be transferred to and from an indoor space to an outdoor space.  Buying items that have this dual use is the key.  Also, chairs and bar stools are meant to be sat in and tables are meant to be used for eating off of.  Any other uses that customers or staff might be using them for can affect the longevity of the item.  Staff and management should be aware of the intended use of all restaurant furniture and doing what is necessary to make sure that use is maintained.

 

 

Buying restaurant furniture is an investment.  As with any investment, you want to protect it so that you get your use out of it for years to come.  But along with that comes your responsibility to do what it takes to keep your furniture in its most pristine state.  Taking care of your items with the suggestions above will help deter common problems and likely, will last for the years that you were hoping for.

 

 

3rd Annual Favorite Things | 2013 staff picks for this holiday season

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Happy holidays!  Doesn’t your bar or restaurant deserve something new and shiny this holiday season?  Every December, our staff pick out their favorite things from our wide selection of restaurant furniture.  Here are the tables, chairs, and bar stools that made the ranks on our list this year:

Staff Picks
 

 

“I love the Stella chair so much, I even named my dog after it!”

~Kerry  {Shop for Stella}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My favorite items that we just got in this year are the vertical back wooden chair and bar stool in mahogany. I liked them when we custom-ordered them for one of our customers and am thrilled we now have them in stock!”

~Robyn {Shop for wooden vertical back chairs and bar stools}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I like Viktor in clear coat. He’s very rustic, yet modern…industrial chic!”

~Danelle {Shop for Viktor, available in clear coat, rust, or a custom finish}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Customers loved Simon at the tradeshow in New York, and although it may not be as sleek as its friend, Viktor, something about Simon just grabs you!”

~Janene {Simon is coming soon!}
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There are many things I really like, but if I have to narrow it down, I’d choose the GLADIATOR full ladder back chair, bar stool, and swivel bar stool in silver.”

~Kim {Shop for our GLADIATOR chairs and bar stools}
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My favorite things are the economy plank solid wood table tops. They are very nice and affordable. Someone with a champagne taste and a beer budget would love them!”

~Chris {Shop for economy plank wooden tables}
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The new 825 model bucket seat bar stool gives you the comfort of a bucket seat but has a sleek, modern look that makes it work well in many more restaurant designs.”

~Emily {Shop for bucket seat bar stools}

 

 

 

 

 

 

From all of us at East Coast Chair & Barstool, may your holiday season be bright and merry – and filled with all of your favorite things!

Tell us, what is YOUR favorite item from our list?

See what made our favorite things list in 2012 and in 2011!

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.

8 Restaurant Trends for 2012

A few days ago, we watched the ball drop.  Toasts were shared.  Resolutions were set into place.  And 2012 is now officially upon us.  Is your restaurant ready for what the new year will bring?  I’ve put together a list of restaurant trends for 2012 that I hope will get you thinking and help you reach all your new year hopes and dreams.

1. When it comes to design, less is more. We are just a bunch of minimalists.  Don’t let the few pat racks in the world that they make TV shows about influence the way you design your restaurant.  If you have shelves of dusty knick-knacks, it’s time to reinvent your image.  Anything you put into your restaurant design needs to celebrate your theme and brand; if it doesn’t, it should go.  Be picky when you choose your color scheme, artwork, lighting, and overall look of your restaurant.  If you are sports bar, then sports memorabilia is OK.  But if you are a modern, American family dining establishment, retro Hummels on a shelf probably aren’t doing anything for you.  Today’s consumers want to see shiny, germ-free, clean, and clutter-free surfaces.  The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of money or a complete overhaul to accomplish this design task.  Not sure what to do with empty shelves?  Why not turn them into functional space by storing wine bottles, dessert glasses, or pretty pieces of fruit or veggies?
–>We also recommend some contemporary tables, chairs, or barstools!  In keeping with the less is more idea, how about an aluminum table and base set, our simple cross back metal restaurant chair, and/or the new Z stainless steel bar stool.

2. Nutrition is important. While not everyone who goes out to eat cares about the number of calories they are over-indulging in, the fact remains – some people do care.  And that number is growing.  Balance your menu with the “I’ve been good all week, so I deserve to stuff my face” items with the “I want to keep my jeans buttoned on the ride home” items.  Make it easy for smart eaters to find your healthy menu items, and be sure to make all the label-readers happy by listing out nutrition/caloric information by those menu items.  It’s good practice to be transparent, and your health-conscience consumers will feel at ease knowing exactly what they are putting in their mouths.  A growing trend is also creating more healthy side options for children.  Don’t just give them chips or fries; offer their choice of a salad, vegetable, or fruit.  Don’t forget to list the kind of milk you serve (is it skim or whole?), and be sure to choose juices with low sugar content.  If your kids’ menu is filled with fried finger foods, consider adding some healthier options or creating smaller portions of your regular, adult menu items, like many restaurants do for senior citizens. As long as you don’t expect the children dining at your restaurant to eat liver and onions, you should be able to make both child and parent happy by finding that intersection of nutritious and delicious.

3. Minimize your desserts.  Think about the dessert shooters at Applebee’s or the collection of mini desserts at PF Chang’s.  Everyone loves a burst of sweetness at the end of the meal, but if you’ve already served them an appetizer, salad, and main course, they are probably close to skipping dessert.  If you can offer them a small but satisfying treat, you are more likely to make that up-sale, and they are less likely to feel guilty about ordering dessert.  It might not be so much about nutrition for your “I’m so full, I don’t know if I can walk to the car” guests, but creating a few mini-sized desserts on your menu will pay off for you in the long run.

4. Buy local. When possible, buy local produce, fresh ingredients, and otherwise support local business by using local vendors for your purchases.  Then, don’t forget to tell your customers that the tomato on their sandwich was grown at Farmer Bob’s down the street, that the buffalo-turned-bison-burger was raised on the outskirts of town, and that you support the local fishing industry.  Consumers love to feel good about frequenting a business that cares about the same things (and people) that they do.  So if you are supporting other local commerce, they feel as if everyone is doing their part to boost the local economy and help their neighbors out.  You many consider adding a local or regional section to your menu, as well, and feature foods that are staples in your neck of the woods.  For example, where I come from, it’s not uncommon to see ox roast, pepperoni balls, Lake Erie perch, or Pittsburgh-style slaw sandwiches on a restaurant’s menu.

5. But when it comes to menu, don’t be afraid to go global. While consumers, who are still shell-shocked from the recession, are not going to want to take a lot of risks in 2012, offering some exotic-but-not-too-exotic menu choices to show off your global culinary expertise will help you compete with your fellow restauranteurs.  But don’t go too daring.  Just add a little Asian or Indian influence in your cooking, or try some borderline unique ingredients, such as coconut, pistachio, or mango.

6. Cook, don’t just heat. Chain restaurants, especially, are notorious for ‘heating’, ‘unfreezing’, and ‘scooping’ their pre-packaged meals (sent from a faraway headquarters) onto their guests’ plates.  Adding just a few homemade items, made-to-order menu choices, or house favorites can go a long way with meeting consumer expectations.  As cooks and foodies alike get more savvy, bringing more of the prep and cooking in-house will prove to be a wise choice this coming year and into the future. Empowering your kitchen staff and training them to make some of your signature dishes can prove to be a successful HR strategy, too.

7. Promote sustainability. Have you gone green?  Do you use recycled paper for your menus?  Can you grow your own herbs for cooking at your establishment?  Are your light bulbs and appliances all energy-saving products?   This is a trend that we will continue to see grow in 2012, so being able to not only market your restaurant as such but to reap the economic advantages of being sustainable will be beneficial for your own business’s growth and prospering.
–>Looking for some furniture that shows off your sustainable values?  I recommend our poly lumber tables, made 100% of recycled materials, which are good for indoor or outdoor use!

8. Listen to your customers more/better. In the age of social media, customer reviews, online surveys, and let’s face it – a lot of chatter about where people go, how they spend their money, and what they expect, it’s crucial that every business owner or marketer listen and respond in the form of improvement and action.  You may even want to jump on the bandwagon of giving discounts to customers who complete surveys, start your own restaurant Facebook page, offer a social deal of the day, or start tweeting your restaurant news and events.  Whether you want to join the online conversation or not, you should at least listen in when people are talking about you.  Be prepared; you may hear some complaints.  Don’t let that discourage you, anger you, or turn you away from those conversations.  Instead, use your customers’ advice to create a better product, atmosphere, and well-liked restaurant.  More than ever, it’s easy to collect customer feedback, so take advantage of those channels and listen closely!  Savvy marketers, like mega pizza makers at Domino’s, can take hard-heard truths and turn them around into positive marketing…and better pizza!

Facing 2012 head on by making a few adjustments to keep up with these restaurant trends is a great new year’s resolution for any restaurant, whether you are a casual family diner, formal fine dining restaurant, or small cafe.

Your friends at East Coast Chair & Barstool wish you a very happy new year!

Welcome to East Coast Chair & Barstool!

Who is East Coast Chair & Barstool? We are a dynamic group of people with our own hobbies and interests, but when we’re not hunting, fly fishing, scrapbooking, running our kids to and from after-school activities, playing Bunco, walking our doggies, or hanging out with friends and family, we are working together in our office/warehouse. Here, we help bars, restaurants, resorts, hotels, conference/banquet centers, social clubs, and churches find the tables, chairs, and barstools to fill their businesses – and fit their brands. To us, furniture is exciting. Along with a lot of other things.

East Coast Chair & Barstool, an authorized dealer of many manufacturers, started in the basement of our owners’ home in 2002. We’ve grown a lot since then. Today, we have multi-million dollars in annual sales, have accounts that range from small corner bars to huge theme park resorts, and employ a team of talented and passionate staff. In addition to being an authorized dealer of many national, made-in-the-USA vendors, we also import from manufacturers in China, with whom we directly collaborate with on design and quality standards, making sure we can pass along the best products at low prices.

Our products are available on our three Web sites: www.TablesChairsBarstools.com, www.RestaurantFurniture4Sale.com, and www.OutdoorRestaurantFurniture4Sale.com.

As I type, there is snow falling outside our Grove City, Pennsylvania, headquarters, but we deliver to all 48 continental states. So if you are opening a restaurant in Pittsburgh, ordering chairs for your temple in Boise, or remodeling a spa and resort in Phoenix, we can help you find the indoor and/or outdoor commercial furniture your business needs! With an array of products in various sizes, shapes, colors, and styles, we are confident we can help you find what you’re looking for.

We know purchasing furniture for your business isn’t always easy. There are a lot of questions. What is the benefit to offering church chairs instead of pew seating? Should I choose a swivel barstool or a stationary one? Would tables and chairs fit better in my restaurant than booth seating? How many banquet chairs will fit comfortably around this size of table? What base goes best with my commercial cafe table umbrellas? We know tables, chairs, and barstools. That’s why we are starting this blog! Because you know what you do best – whether it’s preparing the tastiest, juiciest, and most delicious filet mignon in your restaurant, bringing together a community of ministry in your church or temple, or accommodating your guests in your resort/hotel – we can help make your commercial furniture purchases a little easier. (We know how busy you are!)

Plus, you might hear some humorous, cute, heartwarming, or just plain quirky anecdotes about the people behind the tables, chairs, and barstools! While most of the blogging will be written by Emily, the web coordinator (that’s me!), the content will be borrowed from the collective knowledge, experience, and imaginations of our entire team of East Coasters. I hope this compilation of articles will be interesting, resourceful, helpful, and even a little fun – for both of us!

I invite you to follow me on this journey into all things chair and barstool. Learn with me. Learn from me. And learn to love reading me (so I hope)!

If you ever want to read an article about a certain topic, please just ask! I’ll see what I can do for you. Because any of my friends will tell you, I aim to please!

Until the next entry, welcome and happy furniture pondering.