Now that the Christmas and New Year celebrations are approaching many clubs, hotels and restaurants are thinking how they will accommodate the extra customers that these busy times should bring. It can be difficult storing and paying for enough extra conventional wooden dining chairs throughout the year and it is often not cost effective because although the revenue generated over this short time is substantial, it is of course only for one month of the year. One way of avoiding this problem is to hire in the extra furniture needed.
There are many Companies throughout the UK specialising in this, holding large stocks of banqueting furniture that can be hired on a short or medium term basis at reasonable cost. These Companies understand the importance of servicing these peak times and can offer banquet chairs or tables at daily, weekly or monthly rates. An average price for banquet chairs by the day is around £2 per chair, but often these Companies will have heavily discounted prices for weekly or monthly use because to them most of their overheads are generated in delivering and collecting the banquet chairs.
The price for a weeks rental is often only twice the daily rate and maybe 6 times the daily rate for a whole month. This sounds like great value, but recently Companies specialising in the sale of banquet furniture have been forced by the global economic downturn to considerably reduce the prices of their ranges in order to maintain their sales.
Right now, a quick search on Google under ‘stacking chairs’ or ‘banquet chairs’ will bring up a host of Companies offering banqueting furniture, with prices for upholstered steel framed banquet chairs under £12, which is half the lowest price available just a few years ago and is equal to the price that the hotelier would pay for the months rental. Many of these banquet chairs are imported from the far east so it is very important for the buyer to assure themselves that the frames have been tested for strength by an independent and preferably British testing Company, for e.g. FIRA (The Furniture Industry Research Association) and that the upholstery fabric and foam filling are flame retardant and comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) 1988 Regulations. These steel banquet chairs are attractive and functional and are offered with the additional advantage of being stackable so that one of the objections to buying quantities of furniture for short term ‘peak’ demand is overcome to some degree. These banquet chairs can be bought with gold frame colour which is the most popular for times of celebration or in other colours, silver and black being popular too. The frame design is available in a variety of shapes too, from the simple square back design to the more decorative ‘balloon’ back.
For a more upmarket look the same designs of banquet chairs can be found with an aluminum frame, usually in a thicker 25mm square section tubing, which although it looks more substantial than it’s steel counterpart, is actually approximately 25% lighter, making them easier to transport when not in use. As the aluminum tube is made by an extrusion process, it is possible to have an attractive fluted design on the frame tubes with little extra cost. The aluminum banquet chairs start around £20 including upholstery. Like the steel chairs these are available in standard British Standard colours and have recently been offered with a wood effect using a printed film process that is applied to the aluminum tube after the chair has been manufactured and then ‘baked’ on to the frame in a kiln. This can be very effective and makes the chairs fit in to interior decorations that have a more traditional look. The process gives a finish that is as hard wearing as powder coating.
Other very popular banquet chairs are the classic wooden designs originally manufactured in beechwood by the Thonet bentwood factories in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary. Until only a few years ago these were the only countries in which these chairs were made, but in the last few years price pressure has encouraged suppliers to find factories in China, Malaysia and Vietnam willing to produce these chairs as copies of original samples. These are often made from rubberwood by far eastern manufacturers. This timber is far less resilient than the European beechwood and when used on chairs as delicately framed as these the result is a chair that has a much shorter usable lifespan although the price is often 20 to 30% lower than the European manufactured banquet chairs.