Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Furnishing a Coffee Shop

Coffee Shop Counter and Menu

What do you want your customers to see when they walk into your coffee shop? Plush couch seating where they can enjoy a latte, while watching morning rain hit your front windows? A no-nonsense interior that is serves the utilitarian purpose of getting them in, out, and off to their work day?

Furniture may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when opening a coffee shop but it’s a necessary step that can set the tone for your business! Creating the atmosphere of one of your customers’ first stop of the day is surely an important task.

1. What kind of seating should I have?

The great thing about coffee shop seating is that it can be an eclectic mixture of seating: some bar stools here, chairs there, a loveseat by the window, the options are endless! So, if you’re focusing on which type of furniture you should get, consider the lifestyles of your target audience. Are you located on a bustling city corner where suits stroll in to grab their morning cup, or are you in a college town where students come to study and socialize Central Perk-style? If you have a portion of your menu dedicated to food, try out some booths, tables, and chairs. Or, go with a more bookish approach that oozes academia with couches, coffee tables, and a few bar stools at the counter.

2. How can I get extra storage space?

Use your space wisely! Get furniture that can pull double duty and have built-in storage areas that are hidden from your customers. For example, having a hostess station that is equipped with storage shelves underneath the surface can save your staff trips to your back area and make refilling stirrers, napkins, and sugar more convenient. If you’re investing in booth seating, select models that have removable seats for some extra space. With lusher seating like love seats or couches, you can find coordinating ottomans that can be used for silverware or menu storage. The right furniture can help cure your lack of closet space and shelves in your coffee shop.

3. Are these tables durable enough?

There’s no use crying over spilt coffee but there’s more to be said for the coffee cup. Many coffee shop owners forget to think about the effect their glassware will have on their table tops. Certain woods and finishes can be prone to scratching – especially since many ceramic coffee cups have a glazed bottom. Choose laminate, melamine, or Werzalit tops that are more resistant to scratches and the daily wear and tear of commercial environments. It also doesn’t hurt to select tables that are easy to wipe down and clean.

4. Should I have outdoor seating?

Outdoor seating can be a great advertisement for your business, and even better, you don’t need much of it. Just having a couple sets of tables and chairs by your entrance can call out to passersby’s that didn’t know they needed a cup of joe until now. Have your dollar stretch farther by choosing lightweight aluminum outdoor furniture that is easily stored for cooler temperatures.

Coffee Shop

Now that you’ve asked yourself these questions, you’re ready to pick out your coffee shop furniture! For more information about choosing the best furniture possible for your coffee shop, give our customer care specialists a call at 800-986-5352.

The Arrogant Bean Shops Local and Loves It

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As an e-commerce company we deal with people from all over the United States. But we love being able to visit local customers and support their businesses whenever we can. The Arrogant Bean is a coffee shop that opened along Pittsburgh Road in Butler, PA, this May, not that far from our very own warehouse. So we took some time a few months after their initial purchase to see how things were going for them.

While talking with Shana, the owner, she expressed her passion for buying local. All of her fresh ingredients are purchased locally (except, of course for her Peruvian fair trade coffee beans). But it isn’t just her delicious ingredients that are local, almost all of the products she uses are, too. Including some of our furniture!

Shana says that her love of local started from her own childhood in a small West Virginia town. “We always bought local,” said Shana. The small business owner feels strongly about supporting the community in which you live. She seeks to continue that feel in her very own shop. “The girls that work here are wonderful. They know people by name and when they come through here they have their drinks ready. It gives them a personalized experience.”

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Shana wanted to support a local business and when she found us online she felt that it would be a good fit for her and her coffee shop. She and her husband were close enough to visit our showroom and were able to find the perfect fit for their store. They knew that they wanted black and orange chairs but weren’t sure if they were going to be able to find such a specific item. Fortunately we had some black Gladiator bar stools with orange vinyl seats and high top tables in stock. Upon reflecting on her experience, Shana said, “We were pleasantly surprised to see you had what we were looking for in stock! We’ve already shared you with friends!”

We love being able to make our customers happy and The Arrogant Bean has definitely made us happy with their delicious cannoli and easy access drive thru. So stop in and try their specials. Everything is baked fresh daily, and they post their next day’s menu on their Facebook page. While you’re there try out the furniture and give it a review here.

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Coffeehouses: How to design a great coffee shop layout

Are you opening a new coffeehouse?  You know your beans, you’ve got a supply of flavored syrups, you’ve rented out a great coffee shop location, and now…you need to lay out your overall look and design.  Here are some pointers for your coffeehouse design.

Coffeehouse espresso1. Plan an efficient service area. When your guests walk through that door, you want them to instinctively know where they order their lattes.  Make your menu easy-to-spot and read, and always staff a friendly associate who can greet them, take their order, and process their payment quickly.  Also make it really obvious where your customer will wait for their order and where they’ll be picking it up at (usually the other end of the counter).  Great signage will aid in the customer’s overall ordering experience.  Think out the placement of your behind-the-counter equipment and supplies, so your coffee baristas are as efficient as possible.  Is there an area with napkins nearby?  What about hot cup sleeves?  While there are a lot of reasons why someone may walk into your coffee shop, everyone who does expects great and efficient service.

2.  Know your brand, and set the mood accordingly. Do you want to be the cheerful coffee shop business folk stop on their way to work to wake up every morning?  Do you want to offer a chill place for writers and creatives to come and spend hours doing work?  Do you want to be the social hangout for young coffee connoisseurs, or a great place for college students to come to study?  Maybe you are mom-friendly and targeting families with young kids along.  Choose what niche in the market you’re going to serve and know what mood you want to set for your coffee guzzling guests.  This is the most important part of choosing a design layout. It will also help you with your overall coffeehouse marketing once you launch.

3. Colors and lighting need to match the mood. If you’re aiming to be the spot people go to wake up, then you may want to try bright lighting against yellow or orange walls.  If you’re going for the laid back environment, you may want dimmer lights and darker burgundy and green walls for a more cozy feel.  Let your brand dictate the mood of your accessories and artwork, too.

4. Look at the space’s unique features. Do you have a fireplace?  How about a bay window?  Are you setting up a stage area for local musicians?  Or showing off some large screen TVs?  Where are your electrical outlets for guests to charge laptops?  Looking at the different areas or focal features of your particular room will help define where your guests will want to sit.  You will also need to decide where you will place your wireless router and if you want to offer free Wi-Fi that is unsecured or require a password.

5.  Choose the right furniture layout. Once you know what your mood is and have picked out all the unique features to your space, it’s time to shop for the right coffee shop seating for your new place!  Most coffeehouses choose a mixture of restaurant tables and chairs, along with lounge seating for a more comfortable feel.  We recommend setting up conversational clusters of furniture around your designated unique features, then filling in extra space with the tables and chairs.  For more variation, try mixing some high top bar tables with your standard tables.  While most coffee drinkers will need just a small 18″ or 24″ table top for their mug and muffin, don’t forget to use at least one or two large tables to accommodate business meetings or study groups in your place – maybe these are set toward the back or in an out-of-the-way section of the room.  By thinking about your seating in groups or clusters, you can provide separate areas to create a quiet coffeehouse vibe for people working on their computers but also offer a social space for groups of friends trying to catch up after a long day of work.  Once you have a layout in mind, consider the seating count and make sure it’s a number you like.  If you want fewer or more seats, then revise your plan until it’s just right.

6. Decide if you will offer outdoor seating. Sidewalk cafes are quite popular, so if you have the room and can get a permit, try adding some small outdoor tables to your overall design, or forgo the cafe tables and simply offer some relaxing Adirondack chairs.  These chairs have a wide enough arm to make sipping coffee and reading the morning news easy and comfortable.  Outdoor seating can increase the total number of people you can serve at a time and also create another cluster of seats to give your guests the great conversational space they’re looking for from their local coffee shop.

When designing your space, just ask yourself if you would be comfortable grabbing your morning espresso at your new place.  Most likely, if you get a great feeling walking through the doors, your guests will, too!