Commercial, Cafe, Hospitality & Office Furniture – Have a Seat

creating a bar or pub layout your customer will love

If we ask you to envision your favorite bar or pub, what come to mind? What is it that calls you back to that location over any other time and again? While it may be the killer nachos or the insane happy hour drink specials, odds are high that the layout of the establishment also plays a role. After all, no one likes to squeeze their way into cramped pub and try to order a drink while dodging busy bar staff. And who wants to stand under glaring lights that make you feel as if you’re on display when you only want to enjoy your beverage in peace.

The truth is the layout and design of your space is going to determine whether guests sit and linger or down their drink and move on to the next establishment. And, as one of Sydney’s premiere purveyors of wholesale hospitality furniture, we thought we’d help by sharing our top 4 tips for creating a bar or pub layout your customers are sure to love.

1. Take Staff into Consideration

To be honest, there’s much debate among bar designers over who should be prioritised when it comes to layout—staff or customers. And, while a case can be made for either to take the top seat on our list, we’re giving a slight advantage to staff because a happy, comfortable team makes for happy, comfortable guests.

As you plan the layout of your bar or pub, take into consideration the needs of your staff. Make sure your bartenders have plenty of room to spread out and mix cocktails without getting in the way of one another, and your barbacks have space to change out kegs without difficulty.

If you have a dining area in your establishment, do your staff a favor and carve out space for a dedicated service bar area where bar staff can leave prepared drinks to be picked up by waitstaff.

2. Good Seating is Key

Balance is key when it comes to seating. You want barstools and chairs that are comfortable, easy to get into and out of, and easy for staff to move when it comes time to clean.

For barstools, consider something with a cushioned seat and supportive back. Guests are much more likely to stay for an extra drink when they have a stool with back compared to one with a seat only.

For tables, it’s nice to have a few four- and two-tops scattered about in a style that fits the aesthetic of your place. This could be traditional wood tables and chairs, or you could mix galvanised metal chairs with wood tables for a more industrial look.

3. Leave Plenty of Space

Avoid the temptation to cram as many seats as possible into the space you have. You may think more seats will lead to more sales, but the truth is having to navigate a crowded bar or pub is unpleasant for both your customers and your wait staff.

Depending on the size of your stools, plan to leave anywhere from 15 – 25 cm of space between each stool (and you may need more if your stools have swivel seats).

When it comes to tables and chairs, plan to leave between 137 – 152 cm of space between tables. This ensures guests and staff have room to navigate even when chairs are pulled out.

4. Don’t Forget About the Lighting

It may seem like a small detail, but the lighting you choose can make or break your business. But choosing the right lighting can be tricky—too bright and your guests feel uncomfortably exposed…too dim and your establishment can come across as dingy and dirty.

Track or pendant lighting is perfect to use directly over the bar as it provides adequate lighting for bar tenders. Track lights can be pointed in various directions, showcasing the liquor behind the bar without blinding guests who are also seated there.

Elsewhere, you may choose to use dimmable recessed or wall lighting that allow you to adjust the lighting to compliment the mood. You may also want to have a statement piece like a chandelier hanging in the center of your establishment to evoke a sense of luxury.

Regardless of the type of lighting you use, plan to use bulbs that give off warm rather than cool light…your guests and staff will thank you for it.

And so…

If you are ready to change up the layout of your restaurant or pub, we hope you’ll stop by the Have a Seat showroom where we have a variety of commercial furniture available for purchase. But, if an in-person visit isn’t an option you can always shop with us online.

Here’s to creating a layout for your bar or pub that is as functional as it lovely!

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