Restaurateurs – You Only Get One Chance To Make a First Impression

“You Never Get a Second Chance To Make a First Impression”

Restaurateurs, take heed!

What do customers notice the most? What qualifies as a make-it-or-break-it detail that you need do correctly, from the start?

The restaurant business is one we know well, so we’ll share our insights and thoughts along with those of Brian Duffy, who is a chef and restaurant consultant. Continue reading Restaurateurs – You Only Get One Chance To Make a First Impression


Resort and Poolside Furniture Video – Prepare to Be Inspired!

View our video to see how some of the hottest resorts, hotels, and waterparks are choosing to design their poolside space.

Resort and Poolside Furniture Design by Contract Furniture Company

Resort and Poolside Furniture - Contract Furniture Company

Tell us, how would you describe your ideal poolside or resort location?  C’mon, you know you’ve thought about it …


Obtaining Useful Customer Feedback in Your Restaurant

Just had to share this valuable advice: “Asking people what you can do better before there is a reason to complain demonstrates your commitment to integrity and excellence.”
Read Jim Balis’ article for more insights and advice.

Jim Balis' Blog

Customer satisfaction means everything to a restaurant business. Fortunately, the easiest way to ensure that your customers are satisfied is to quite simply ask them for their feedback. Most people are happy to share their opinions—especially if they know that you will actually take action on the feedback they provide.

Asking people what you can do better before there is a reason to complain demonstrates your commitment to integrity and excellence. It makes your customers feel valued and underscores that you are committed to creating an enjoyable experience for them. Plus, you might be surprised at some of the good ideas your customers will offer! Here are the three main areas in which you can obtain useful customer feedback for your restaurant business.

Getting Feedback for Your Restaurant In-House

There’s no better time to ask for feedback on your customer’s experience with your restaurant than when they are…

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Outdoor Restaurant Furniture Video – Get Ideas About Your Outdoor Restaurant Furniture Planning

Watch our video to see some of the most stylish selections in outdoor restaurant furniture today.

Video Tour: Outdoor Restaurant Furniture by Contract Furniture Company

Outdoor Restaurant Furniture

Contract Furniture Company Will Exhibit At the 2014 Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality, and Foodservice Expo

July 9 – 10 we will exhibit at the “largest trade exposition in the State.”

Come visit us in Booth 234

Below is a preview of our show pieces … visit us online to see our extensive collection of commercial grade, custom made furniture.

Gif File of 2014 Show Offerings
Our 2014 Expo Offerings

Continue reading Contract Furniture Company Will Exhibit At the 2014 Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality, and Foodservice Expo

Contract Furniture Company Will Exhibit At the 2014 #TRAMarketplace

June 22 – 23 we will attend and exhibit at the Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace.

Come visit us in Booth 2037

Below is a preview of our show pieces … visit us online to see our extensive collection of commercial grade, bespoke furniture.

Our 2014 TRA Marketplace Offerings
Our 2014 #TRAMarketplace Offerings

Continue reading Contract Furniture Company Will Exhibit At the 2014 #TRAMarketplace

7 Ways Booth Seating Can Make Your Restaurant Even Better

Booth seating can boost your profit margin, and make your restaurant a more inviting place for all types of customers. 

Read on to discover seven ways that restaurant booths and banquettes may entice your clientele:

Continue reading 7 Ways Booth Seating Can Make Your Restaurant Even Better

7 Things You Might Not Know About Assisted Living Facilities

You may not yet be familiar with what assisted living is, or how it differs from other forms of senior communities.

Read on to learn …

“Assisted Living Federation of America poll finds that residents are satisfied with their Assisted Living experience.”


Assisted living communities are the result of senior care designers and professionals seeking to liven up the institutional feeling common to traditional nursing homes. Their brainchild, the “assisted living community” was born about 30 years ago.


The Assisted Living Federation of America defines assisted living as a long-term care option that combines housing, support services and health care, as needed. Assisted living is designed for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities such as meals, medication management or assistance, bathing, dressing and transportation. Some residents may have memory disorders including Alzheimer’s, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence or other challenges. Residents are assessed upon move in, or any time there is a change in condition. The assessment is used to develop an Individualized Service Plan.


Here are some facts about the assisted living experience that may be new to you: Continue reading 7 Things You Might Not Know About Assisted Living Facilities

Anson 11 Restaurant – Client Showcase & Installation Photos

“Good things come to those who wait.”

If Anson 11 restaurant in El Paso, Texas is any indication, this time-worn adage couldn’t ring truer. According to Contract Furniture Company’s Project Manager, Carrie Sharer, “after working closely with the restaurateurs for nearly two years, their vision for this timeless yet contemporary restaurant space has finally come to fruition.”

Recently featured in an Online Exclusive article for Hospitality Design magazine, Anson 11’s interior serves as a prime example of how the treasures of the past can be seamlessly integrated with modern-day furnishings.

The following installation photos are borrowed from HD’s article, which goes in-depth about the design firm responsible for the restaurant’s overall look and feel. Contract Furniture Company was pleased to be a part of this historic project. Continue reading Anson 11 Restaurant – Client Showcase & Installation Photos

The Beverly Hills Hotel – A Client Retrospective

“A company with no history may be one with no future.”

In this age of recession, where an estimated 660,900 businesses closed their doors in 2009 alone, we at Contract Furniture Company are humbled by and proud of our continued success.
This year as we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we decided to take a look back at one of our most notable clients – The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. In December of 1992 the landmark hotel closed for a complete renovation. The project lasted two and a half years, with the hotel reopening in June of 1995. We were a part of these site improvements, providing arm chairs, chaise lounge cushions, umbrellas, and umbrella bases.

The following is excerpted from a Los Angeles Times Magazine article entitled The Cabana King, by Martin Booe. We hope you enjoy the blast from the past.

Beverly Hills Hotel Cabana King

“The hotel above is pink as a flamingo, with a gentle breeze tickling the surrounding palm trees and the pool water as deep blue as the cloudless Southern California sky. Two tiers of cabanas give the area the look of an inverted wedding cake, and the air is fragrant from nearby lemon trees. What could be closer to paradise than a cabana at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Svend Petersen for nearly 45 years strove to put you in touch with your inner celebrity.

“The colors seem almost preternaturally enhanced. The eyes must be protected. Read what you will into the fact that when Petersen dons sunglasses, the lenses are rose-colored.

“Though Petersen retired nearly three years ago from active duty as the hotel’s pool manager, he still can be found poolside several days a week. At 73, he’s a living, breathing vessel of Hollywood history–barrel-chested, muscular and vigorous, his white shock of once-blond hair full as ever, his skin astonishingly undamaged by years of solar assault. More important, he retains the sort of sunny disposition necessary to survive and thrive in the orbit of those who assume themselves to be the sun itself. And, thus, his semiofficial title now is ‘Hotel Ambassador.’

“He grew up in the frigidity of Denmark, mentally escaping the Nazi occupation by watching American movies featuring such stars as Buster Crabbe, Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller. From his youth, Petersen was attracted to water and sunshine. At 17 he joined the Danish swimming team. He put in two years at the American Embassy in Copenhagen as a waiter in the ambassador’s private residence, found an emigration sponsor, and in 1959 lit out for California, where he was hired as a lifeguard at the Beverly Hills Hotel pool. Three years later he was promoted to pool manager and made headmaster of a squad of white-clad cabana boys.

“During the ’60s, the hotel and the pool were the domain of the movie folk–actors and actresses and “starlets,” a word whose passing from common usage Petersen rather laments. He made cameos in the movies “The Prize” and “Torn Curtain” and also nabbed roles in a few soap operas and commercials; he was not opposed to a career in Hollywood, though he eventually let go of that aspiration.

“Over the years, the pool waters frothed with the grand celebrities, icons all: Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor. Petersen recalls a sweaty Katharine Hepburn, fresh from the tennis courts, doing a back flip into the pool, tennis clothes and all. The Beatles were sneaked in for a private dip. In the ’70s, the pool’s denizens were more likely to be from the music industry than the movie business, Michael Jackson and Dionne Warwick among them.

“He encountered his share of eccentrics, such as the absent-minded movie mogul who walked into the pool area stark naked, so absorbed was he reading the trade papers. (‘Mr. Schlafer, excuse me, but you’re not wearing any clothes.’) The ’60s and ’70s presented their own challenges, as Petersen was required to announce as diplomatically as possible that the smoking of marijuana around the pool could not be tolerated.

“You spend that much time around the pool and you notice things, bodies not being the least of them. Petersen would rank Raquel Welch, who was discovered by the pool, as the finest specimen of feminine physique he ever beheld. ‘She had the most incredible body! She was just, like, incredible. Anita Ekberg! And Jane Russell! And in those days they were real!’

“Silicone notwithstanding, a few other things have changed. Petersen, for one, reckons the cellphone has taken a lot of the fun out of things. Back then, it was more about being seen, that unending square dance of drawing the attention of cigar-chomping moguls and people more important than you. In those days, there was a lot of paging done. “Paging Elizabeth Taylor! Paging Cary Grant! Whether they were there or not. It made things more exciting.” Now, the glitterati work their contacts over the cell while sipping their Fiji water in seclusion.

“‘Back then, you could talk to them like family, though you always respected their privacy,’ Petersen reflects. ‘Then in the past few years it changed. It’s different now. You go to say hello and you’ve got three bodyguards saying, ‘Hey, what do you want?’ It used to be friendlier and more glamorous.’

“Ultimately, it always comes down to pleasing people, and this involves more than providing fluffy terrycloth towels, sun shields and the crackly frozen towels he began using to cool off guests a few years ago. Petersen recalls the day he learned this lesson, when he greeted a man with the standard, ‘How are you today?’ only to be told that it was none of his business.

“‘So I said to myself, ‘Svend, you’ve got to count to 10 before you blow your top! Every half hour, I asked him if I could get him anything. And after the day was over, he came over and said, ‘I have to thank you because you were so nice and I was [a jerk] to you! And that made me happy! That I could make him happy! From that day on, I said, ‘Svend, you’ve got to do nice to people because it benefits you in the long run.’

“‘How did this happen? It’s like a fairly tale,’ he says. ‘In Denmark I thought, ‘Svend, one day you have to meet all these people.’ And I did.’

“And there’s one question begging to be asked: Does Petersen have a pool of his own? At this, he breaks out laughing. ‘Of course not! This is my pool!’

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