Archive for November, 2013

How to Buy a Bucket Seat Bar Stool

***This blog was updated in December 2017 to reflect current information.

Are you shopping with your customers’ wellbeing in mind? If you’re researching bucket bar stools, you probably are! You’ve already made up your mind to create a bar area where guests can socialize, watch the big game, and play bar top games late into the night, all on comfortable bar stools.

A bucket seat bar stool could be just what your establishment needs to keep patrons at the bar for longer, creating a higher per person sales average for your bar’s bottom line. If your bar’s marketing strategy revolves around patrons purchasing multiple drinks, then you are probably aware of the direct correlation between the right seating and a steady flow of nightly revenue.

But how exactly do you pick out the bar stool that’s the best fit for your bar in terms of patron comfort and how it effects your return on investment?

Regardless of the price point your targeting, there are some criteria you should keep in mind when deciding on a bucket bar stool. These factors will help you sift through the range of bucket bar stools that are out there and can aid in showing the difference of a bar stool that will last years versus one that might only last you a few months.

  • Seat and back structure- Some manufacturers only use a cardboard-like material to reinforce their bucket seats. This kind of material obviously does not lend itself well to a comfortable seat and does not stand up to the daily wear and tear of the commercial food industry. To make a bucket sturdy, the back and seat should be strengthened with a plywood core. For added comfort, some bucket bar stools have flex backs, which allow for a more natural seating position.
  • Type of seat edge- The edge of your bucket bar stool can be subjected to major wear because of the way people get in and out of their seat. Many bar owners choose bucket bar stools with a waterfall edge for this reason. This type of edging allows for less wear on the edge seam because of its fluid, smooth curve.
  • Padding- The beauty of bucket bar stools is that they are typically more comfortable than traditional bar stools because of the cushioning. A good bucket bar stool will have padding on the seat and back that is a minimum of 2.5 lb high density foam. Actual seat thickness can vary from there, but this is an important standard for a good foundation.
  • Vinyl quality- Not all vinyl is created equal. Many vinyl producers can grade their own vinyl, which can lead to inconsistencies in the strength of the material. Restaurant and bar owners should invest in durable, commercial grade vinyl that is up to the challenge of constant use. If you are concerned about the strength of a vinyl, look at the weight (listed in ounces). The higher the number, the heavier and tougher the vinyl is. In addition to a properly weighted vinyl, check and see if the bucket uses welting cord to strengthen the seams. Seams structured with welt cords or, even better, PVC edging can reinforce points that may have greater stress over time.
  • Design- Finally, you need to think about how a certain bucket will look in your restaurant or bar. To make this decision, consider the aesthetics: color, seat shape, or added accessories like buttons or tufting. But don’t get bogged down by the options; sometimes a classic-looking bucket bar stool makes the best statement. Keep your restaurant’s theme in mind to create a look with your furniture unique to you.

The above criteria can help you make a better purchase decision when selecting a bucket bar stool but we can break it down even further by classifying our bucket bar stools into good, better, and best tiers.

The Good

When deciding on bucket bar stools for your restaurant, it can be intimidating- there are so many choices! Even though these categories are called good, better, and best, these names refer to how the bucket bar stools will perform over a certain time. Just because a bucket is in the “good” category, does not mean it’s mediocre. Good bucket bar stools get the job done and are great for your budget! In our experience, these bucket bar stools are popular in VFW’s, Elk Clubs, and similar organizations because they are cost-friendly and can keep customers comfortable for extended sitting.

  • Seat and back structure
    • Solid plywood construction
  • Type of seat edge
    • Waterfall edge
  • Padding
    • 5 lb high density foam
    • Overall, the seats have a thickness of 4”
    • The back has an extra inch of padding
  • Vinyl quality
    • 25-ounce vinyl with a fabric backing
  • Design
    • The timeless, curved shape of this bucket make it an easy fit for any restaurant or bar. The seams are joined with a welting cord to help reinforce stress points. Choose between black, brown, and wine vinyl color to complete your bucket and celebrate- no breaking the bank here!

Good Bucket Bar Stool Features

The Better
For the “better” section of bucket bar stools, we took the perks of the “good” models and made them even better! Our better bucket offer some added benefits that you and your customers will appreciate. These bucket bar stools offer PVC-edged seams and thicker padded seats, as well as an extra inch of padding added to the back of the bucket to keep customers comfortable for longer. Unlike a traditional metal swivel bar stool, this bucket has PVC edging that soften the blows to your bar top if a customer swivels a little too far.

  • Seat and back structure
    • Solid plywood construction
    • Added seam strength with black PVC edging
  • Type of seat edge
    • Waterfall edge
  • Padding
    • 5 lb high density foam
    • Overall, the seats have a thickness of 5”
    • The back has an extra inch of padding
  • Vinyl quality
    • 27-ounce vinyl with a fabric backing
  • Design
    • It’s all in the details for the “better” category. This bucket bar stool recalls a casino-style bar stool look with its PVC edging- designed to let guests feel content, regardless of how long they have sat there.

Better Bucket Bar Stool Features

The Best
For top-of-the-line bucket seat bar stools, you’ll pay a slightly increased price but be rewarded with excellent quality, style, and comfort, backed by long-lasting durability. We don’t call it the best for nothing! Without the worry of changing out a swivel mechanism, these bar stools have a slight bend and a little give for optimal comfort levels with the added flex back. Details like the rounded edges will make this bucket bar stool your customers’ favorite place to sit.

  • Seat and back structure
    • Solid plywood construction
    • Heavy duty flex back construction
  • Type of seat edge
    • Waterfall edge
    • Vinyl PVC apron
  • Padding
    • 5 lb high density foam
    • Premium molded foam ergonomic seat and back
    • Overall, the seats have a range of thicknesses between 5.3” and 6.5”
    • The back has an extra inch of padding
  • Vinyl quality
    • 27-ounce vinyl with a fabric backing.
  • Design
    • In the “best” category, it is evident that only the highest quality material and sleekest look are used to create quite literally the best bucket bar stools. Both models sport very contemporary looks to make sure your bar is the trendiest spot, all the way down to its furniture.

Best Bucket Bar Stool Features

The Base
Once you decide on the level of comfort you want your bucket to have, it’s time to choose a base.  Especially for the better and best models, you’ll want to look for a fully-welded, 16-gauge steel base, which will offer the most strength over a long lifetime.  The gauges of steel get stronger as the gauge numbers decrease, so a 16-gauge is better than an 18- or 20-gauge steel frame.  Because bucket seats tend to be top-heavy compared to other stool seats, the base needs to have a wide enough footprint to safely support the shape and weight of the bucket.

Additional Considerations
When shopping for a bucket bar stool, you should evaluate the quality of the swivel mechanism.  On the good and better buckets, we usually include a tilted swivel to produce a reclined feel for a more comfortable position.  When assembling this type of swivel on your bar stool, make sure the higher point is facing toward the front of the stool, or otherwise, patrons will feel as if they’re falling out of the seat.  On the more luxurious buckets, the design already features a slightly reclined seat, so most vendors will use a flat swivel, whereas you don’t have to worry about assembling it to the right degree of tilt.

In addition, we offer two kinds of swivels: an imported version and a domestic version.  The imported swivel comes with no warranty and utilizes ball bearings, which can be known to fall out with daily wear and tear or rough handling. A domestic swivel is available at an upgraded price because it includes a longer warranty of up to 10 years and uses nylon threads to swivel instead of ball bearings. Not only is the domestic swivel more comfortable, it makes for a quieter, smoother movement, as well.

Before purchasing any bar stool for your restaurant, you should measure the height of your bar.  You will want to leave 10-12″ between the top of the seat and the bottom of the bar for legroom.  Some of our best bucket bar stools have a seat height of 31.5″, which may be too tall for your bar. Keeping this measurement and the average height of your clientele in mind can save you from purchasing too tall or too short bar stools.

Interior design is, of course, always a consideration when buying restaurant furniture. Our standard bucket colors are brown, black, and wine, and we offer black, silver, rust, and clear coat finishes in most frames, so you can choose a color combination that works best for your decor! In the future, we are looking towards creating a custom upholstery program for some of our bucket bar stools so that your restaurant’s look is truly unique and comfortable.

Now that you know what to look for in your commercial bucket seat bar stools, you can offer a comfortable place for guests to sit and relax a while – and order up another drink.

Get Found Fast Online: The Importance of Google Knowledge Graph Carousel and Google Plus for Restaurants

As a restaurant owner, you know how important it is to attract customers through online efforts, including an attractive website, testimonials and reviews, online menus and specials, and a blog.  You work hard to build a strong online portfolio in order to drive patrons to your tables and chairs.

Now, it’s time to turn your attention to important Google products that will increase your search rankings. In return, these products provide some helpful information to both current and potential customers.

Google Changes the Search Game Again

You’ve probably typed your restaurant’s or bar’s name into Google to see where you rank, but try a slightly modified search:  enter in the words “restaurant” or “bar” and then your city. This search produces a results page that looks a bit different. Now, you’re going to see a list of establishments, plus pictures or maps, that runs across the top of the page. You can scroll through this list to see what businesses show up. When you click on one, you’ll see their business hours, contact information, the address, a price list, and even a menu and reviews. Because restaurant goers may be searching in this manner for a Google recommendation, you need to know where your restaurant falls.

Below the main search results page is a map that shows the general location that you entered with locations of restaurants in the area, and a list of search results. These results are pushed down the page because of the information at the top, forcing searchers to scroll down.  In other words, you should make sure that your business information shows at the top of the page to make it easy to find—right away.

If you’re not showing up where you’d like to, there are a few things you can do to improve your search engine optimization, or SEO.

A Google Plus Account Is Your Friend

Google Plus for RestaurantsSo make sure that this visual search works in your favor:

  • Create a Google Plus account for yourself and one for your business. Google loves ranking its own products, so a social media and networking product like Google Plus (sign up here for free) is a must have. It allows you to connect to others and categorize them in different groups, called ‘Circles’, that you create using terms like “customers,” “employees,” “suppliers,” “marketing” and more. Just like any form of social media, it’s most effective when it’s updated frequently and shared with others.
  • Make sure you have updated content and images. Your Google Plus account should have great content. That includes interior and exterior pictures of your business, pictures of your food, new and daily menus, information about your chef or staff, coupons, and specials. If you’ve read a great article or blog, share it with others in your circles. Better yet, write a great article or blog that you know others would find interesting, then link your content to your Google Plus profile or Google Plus business page. As your Circles grow, your byline will define you as an expert in your field.

A Blog Means Business

Make sure that your website has a blog! Why? A blog can be updated frequently—some restaurants update theirs three times a week—and it creates fresh content that can be searched and shared.  Google likes to see new content on your domain, and a blog can be an excellent PR tool to sharing interesting information to your social media channels, customers, and community members.  To take it another step further, link your blog to your Google Plus account through what Google calls authorship.  Quality blogging may help your restaurant get found more quickly in online searches.

Keeping your content fresh and your site updated is time consuming—but it’s a very important factor in your search results.

Patio Heaters Extend Outdoor Restaurant Patio Season

Even as the first snowfalls dust the Northeast with blankets of white glitter, there are plenty of reasons to keep your bar and restaurant guests outside during the fall and winter months, even if it’s to provide a safe and cozy smoking area.  With commercial patio heaters, you can create year-round appeal and function for your outside patio.  Providing a source of added heat for those cooler days and nights ahead can be done so in style, with heaters that are fashionable and blend in with your exterior decor.

Many of the heat lamps that are on the market now, such as those offered by Lava Heat Italia, are energy-efficient, safe to touch, and easy to adjust for the correct temperature.  Whether you’re searching for a tabletop heater or a tower of warmth, today’s products are safer and more convenient than ever!  You can choose between electric, propane, or natural gas models, and many are also approved for indoor use in case it tends to get a little drafty inside your dining room or banquet hall.  Plus, the finish colors and design styles vary to match every bar or restaurant design.

Be sure to read all the specifics of the particular model you’re shopping for before making a purchase, and keep the following items in mind for picking the best heater for your patio.

Benefits to Look for When Shopping for a Restaurant Patio Heater

Minimum Assembly Required – Most commercial heat towers will ship fully assembled or only take a few minutes to get put together.  This will save you from the added costs of having someone assemble and install at your property and minimizes the risks that the heater will be incorrectly assembled, and therefore, dangerous to use.

Protected Burner Unit – By featuring an enclose the burner unit, a patio heater is less likely to experience malfunction from carbon build-up, corrosion, pests, spider webs, dirt, dust, rust and more. You will want to look for units that protect their mechanical parts and ignition, which also makes for a more efficient heat lamp and can extend its life compared to other heater models.

Balanced Flame Distribution – The well-crafted Ceramic Honeycomb insert found in the Lava Heat patio heater models allows for an even flame distribution, resulting in an even heat, eliminating hot spots. The balanced mount centers the flame within the glass tube, reducing the chance of carbon build-up, while also allowing the flame to move freely, creating an attractive “dancing” look.

Balanced Weight Distribution – Most tower style heaters are designed with even weight distribution, so they are not top-heavy and will not easily tip or fall.

Easy-to-Ignite Functionality – In addition to searching for heaters designed to provide the highest in energy-efficiency standards, you want a burner that will ignite easily, quickly, and without trouble.   Whether it’s through a switch on the device or a remote control, you can depend on simple igniting that your bar, restaurant, or resort staff can use to quickly turn on to please patio visitors and then get right back to serving other guest needs.

Electrostatic Powder Coating – Professionally applied electrostatic powder coating finishes last many times longer than dipped or painted finishes and resist scratches, chips, and peeling.  This special type of powder coating has proven to be highly weather and rust resistant, as well, giving you the confidence that it will be a long lasting addition to your property.

Portability – Many heaters come with optional wheel kits, allowing you to easily move around, in and out, depending on your location’s needs. This also adds functionality to the unit, giving you more flexibility in where and how you use your patio heaters.

Anti-Tilt Safety Switch – If the unit should tilt or fall, the heater will automatically turn off due to how the mercury completes, or if bumped disconnects, the electrical circuit.  Interrupting the circuit will not emit a spark that can ignite flammable gasses, making this safety feature a huge benefit when shopping for patio heaters.

Borosilicate Glass Tube – Borosilicate glass (aka Pyrex) is a type of glass that includes at least 5% boric oxide, which makes the glass resistant to extreme temperatures, and also improves its resistance to chemical corrosion. The glass is more likely to crack or snap rather than to shatter, so it is safer to have around in a situation where breakage is a concern. In the event that products made with the glass do crack, it is generally easier and safer to clean up than shattered glass.

Warranty – As with any product or restaurant furniture item, you will want to consider warranty with purchase.  Lava Heat Italia warrants to the original consumer purchaser that all aspects of this product will be free of defects in material and workmanship for 3-10 years from the date of purchase, depending on which model you choose. You should always ask to see the full warranty policy before placing your order

Now that you know what to look for in a restaurant patio heater, you’ll be able to heat up your deck or outside dining with the best unit for your property.