It may seem obvious, but a lot of café owners choose their cafe chairs without considering comfort. Many choose their cafe furniture
based primarily on the look - especially if they are aiming for a certain aesthetic; others go by price; still, others look for environmentally-conscious elements, such as renewable materials, recycled or repurposed pieces, or some combination of all three. With all those considerations, it is easy to overlook comfort. But comfort matters, and here’s why:
Discomfort shows - If your customers are uncomfortable, it will show in their faces, even if they are having a great time socialising. This means that new customers or passers-by looking for somewhere to take a break will subconsciously be put off from even giving your establishment a chance. Some entrepreneurs might think that uncomfortable seats will put customers off from lingering over a single drink, and while this is true, it will also put off those who might come in, spend less than an hour in your premises and buy a full meal, plus drinks, for everyone in their party.
Set up a great ambience - Comfort shows. More or less the opposite of the above point, comfortable happy customers exude a positive mood that can spread through the whole café, from the chef to the cashier to the wait staff. And when everyone on the premises is happy and content, the ambience is warm and welcoming - exactly the sort of thing that new customers are tempted to try instead of walking on by.
Encourages spend - Comfortable customers will stay where they are, and they will keep ordering. So instead of just a quick sandwich lunch and a coffee before moving on, they will stay for a full lunch, linger over a dessert, perhaps try a glass of wine, and then decide to get a mid-afternoon snack too.
Returning customers - The memory of discomfort will stay with customers for a long time and they will actively avoid returning to a café that made their behinds painful. This means that by ignoring customer comfort, you might be doing yourself out of repeat visits. And it is those repeat customers who will bring in more business than just their own patronage: people tend to mention their favourite places to grab a coffee or a meal, and their friends will generally accept their recommendations – perhaps thereby gaining you another regular customer!
Customer comfort should never be ignored. Instead, it should join aesthetics, cost and sustainability as being of equal importance to you when furnishing your café. A little investment in comfort will ensure a big return on that investment.