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The best layout for your club

There is plenty to consider when buying club furniture. One area that is often overlooked is how furniture will impact the layout and flow of the club, says Robert Price, owner and Managing Director of Trent Furniture. Here he presents recommendations on planning the club’s layout.

Designing the layout of a club is tricky business. With so many options available, it can be easy to make tweaks as and when necessary, orsimply place the furnishings whereverseems fit. But you don’t need me to tell you that this isn’t the best practice. The layout is integral in any establishment’s success and impacts immensely on how effectively a venue operates. Putting the time into planning your club’s layout will pay dividends in the end.

Of course, size, design and uses will vary from club to club so while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, there are generic rules which can be followed.

The overall layout

As a starting point, think about how your club house flows as a whole. The goal is to ensure that visitors and staff alike use the building in a logical and efficient way.

This means that, for example, any changing/locker rooms, waiting areas, office and storage areas should all work together to create a natural flow. Think about where members arrive and – if applicable – where they change, how they access playing areas and where people meet before and after games. The better you understand this and arrange your areas to complement each other, the more custom will naturally gravitate towards the club’s social bar space.

Club bar layout

Once through the doors of the club’s bar, what layout would work best? Well, the focus should obviously be on creating a comfortable experience for members while ensuring staff can work efficiently. From our experience in furnishing clubs,the tried and tested layout for a club is a scattering of stools and poseur tables around the bar area for easy socialising and an arrangement of private seating as you gravitate further away from the bar.

Consideration should be given to the type of clientele and average number of people who visit This will give you an idea of how much space is needed around the bar area and how much private seating is necessary. Once you’ve decided how your space should be divided, draw up a floor plan. This should be created for every type of event you plan on managing. (How you lay out the bar on a day to day basis will be different to how it will be arranged when hosting private functions, as an obvious example.)

When crafting your plans, bear in mind that a mixture of table sizes and seating arrangements works best to add visual appeal and cater for different group sizes. As a general rule, the distance between each table should be around 130cm. This will allow for the spacing of seats and gives staff and customers enough room to move between tables.

What type of furniture is best?

A club’s social space takes on a lot of roles, from pre and post-match drinks and community events to functions, meetings and much more. As such, your space needs to be versatile in terms of manoeuvrability. It’s a difficult one. You want members to have an enjoyable experience but you also wantthe club to be easy to maintain. Having a variety of furniture to suit every type of event you host will be troublesome, not to mention costly.

So an ideal choice is stacking tables and chairs. Unlike heavy fixed items, these can be easily interchanged, making clearance and storage quick and easy. Depending on the event, the right amount of furniture can then be stored away or brought out with ease. And because the furniture is stackable or foldable, the storage space doesn’t need to be enormous. The one take away should be to think beyond the appearance when buying club furniture. Whilst this is important in creating the right theme for your club, careful consideration as to how it affects the club’s flow should carry equal weight.

Established in 1960, Trent Furniture supplies clubs throughout the UK, as well as to pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants. It makes and assembles much of its furniture at the company’s Leicestershire factory.

t. 0116 2986 866 or 0116 2984 791 

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