Every business essentially boils down to a numbers game, which means that anything that makes the numbers move in a positive direction is likely going to be a good idea. In terms of restaurant requirements and business strategies, most of your decisions will be based around whether or not they would impact your bottom line. The only reason to create a specific menu, be it ethnic, continental, fast food or anything else in that vein, is to maximize profit by stimulating as many orders as you need to help your earnings outpace your expenses.
This creates a few complications during the early stages of your planning process. After all, you probably started your restaurant because you wanted to earn lots of money. While offering a high quality menu and premium, plush furniture will likely boost revenues by justifying higher markups, this requires a much more significant initial injection of capital. That’s why so many eatery owners struggle to balance the need for top notch restaurant furniture with their desire to minimize their expenses to avoid incurring a short term loss.
However, this supposed dichotomy is more a byproduct of assumptions that business owners make rather than concrete facts. There are plenty of ways to buy the best furniture that money can buy without making it an overbearing burden on your restaurant’s finances. The first, and arguably most important, thing to remember about this is that expensive furniture usually falls cheaper after a few years.
It’s understandable that you might be hesitant to spend so much money on furniture because you might assume that investing this money into human capital such as professional chefs would be much better. We’re not saying that those things don’t matter, all we are saying is that diverting some of your funds to better furniture will actually help you save money as long as you realize that this is a long term thing.
The primary cost saving advantage of expensive furniture comes from its durability. The wood that’s used in premium furniture for restaurants is so durable that it can take a lot more weight than you’d expect. What’s more is it is relatively soft on top, which means that any nicks or scratches won’t result in the wood getting unsightly chips or other blemishes. Instead, these marks would look like patterns in the wood grain itself.
Cheap wood furniture is by no means a decidedly inferior alternative, of course. It is more than suitable for restaurants that are starting on a shoestring budget. Food trucks and takeaway places use cheaper furniture options to great effect, because customers aren’t coming there for the furniture in the first place. However, if you are trying to start a reputable eatery that is meant to function as a sit-down place, cheap furniture can prove to be more costly because of its tendency to break apart.
This can create unexpected costs for you over the years. If a table or chair breaks, you would need to pay for a replacement immediately because you can’t afford to be short on furniture. The longer you go with a limited furniture stock, the less pleased your customers would be with you because they might feel like you aren’t doing as much as you can to service them. With expensive furniture, breakage is a rather remote possibility that wouldn’t factor into your day to day affairs. Everything breaks eventually of course, but something that would break in at least ten years and at most twenty is obviously better than an object that might break at any moment.
The potential replacement costs of cheaper furniture cancels out any savings you’d been hoping to avail. There is also a reputational aspect of this matter that you should think about. Customers that are paying top dollar for a meal at a haute cuisine eatery are not just paying for the food. Everything that they interact with during their meal will form a component of their desire to pay the bill they receive. Being made to sit on cheap looking chairs will detract from their enjoyment, leading to some pretty bad reviews online and a decline in your restaurant’s popularity.
It is also important to address other furniture options other than wood. Metal and plastic furniture is excellent for eateries that aren’t trying to give off an upper class vibe. Metal is by far the most durable option, and plastic doesn’t fall that far behind either. What all of this means is that buying the sturdiest furniture is the only way to save money on it, so you need to break out of this short term thinking that might lead to you pinching pennies and buying stuff that will collapse under the slightest bit of excess weight.
The great thing about splurging on the best furniture available is that you can lay your fears to rest for quite a long while. You would feel relaxed in the knowledge that your furniture has been crafted by artisans and masters of the field of carpentry. A bit of extra spending in this regard offers benefits that extend far beyond reducing future expenses, too. It offers aesthetic advantages that are necessary if you want your eatery to compete with other high class institutions.
It might seem counterintuitive to you, but spending more in the beginning is the most effective way to keep more of your revenue as profit. This can let you hire some better staff later on as well, and replacing staff is usually a lot more convenient than replacing furniture. Furniture should be your first priority because sorting that out early on makes the rest of your career as a restaurateur far more successful.