Setting up a new hotel is a big project in every way. And the financing and purchase of the furniture to completely supply every possible need of the guests who will stay in your hotel is a huge part of the planning process.
So it might help to know some tricks of the trade about how to buy great hotel chairs so you not only get chairs you will be happy with but chairs that will serve your customers well. After all, of all the different furniture types, chairs will probably be the largest single furniture expense you will have in setting up your hotel. You need chairs for the lobby, for the bar, for the continental breakfast room, for the multi-purpose rooms, for the guest rooms and even for the offices for management and staff. So to get hotel chairs you are confident in and get a good deal as well, here are a few guidelines.
Tip #1 – Don’t Cut Quality for Economy.
Because of the large number of hotel chairs you are going to have to buy to get every aspect of your hotel up and running, you or your accountant may suggest that you consider cutting costs by purchasing chairs of a lesser quality than you are inclined to get. But this is a cost cutting decision that is worth reconsidering.
The chairs you provide your customers to use in your hotel are the silent work horses of your business. A hotel chair is the type of thing that the guests rarely notice or comment about except when there is a problem. But in every room in the hotel, chairs are there to provide comfort for your guests. This is especially true in the hotel rooms where the lounge chairs may serve for a granddad to tell a story to his granddaughter or where a businessman may pass hours in working on a proposal for his big presentation the next day.
These chairs are the most highly used items in the hotel room next to the bed. They need to be sturdy, look great and stay in continuous service week after week without interruption. You depend on those chairs so its best to buy quality up front so you can feel confident every day that the chairs in your hotel are top notch. You might be able to save a little on the pictures on the wall or on other lesser used items in you hotel. But chairs should be taken out of that category.
Tip #2 – You Better Shop Around.
With the quality issue taken off the table as an area of cost savings, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have ways of economizing while keeping your high standards for high quality hotel chairs. Once you have done your homework and know what hotel chairs are the ones that will provide you with the highest performance and which manufacturers to look to for buying your high quality chairs, there are options for cutting that total cost down and giving your budget a break without compromising quality.
One option is just good old fashioned negotiating. By identifying perhaps two or three hotel furniture suppliers that could provide good solid quality chairs, you can open discussions with their representatives and let them know that price could make a big difference in who you buy from. If your initial order for hotel chairs is a substantial one, they should be able to offer you a discount if one supplier can fill the whole order. But by letting them know that you are entertaining bids, you can let the law of competition drive the price down.
The after market or alterative suppliers of that same high quality chair may be another option. Many times hotels go out of business and the owners are looking to sell a lot of just the chair you want. Be careful that you inspect the chairs to make sure they are in good shape. But by finding hotel auctions, you can many times get great deals. The internet and alternative suppliers also are out there who can find you the very chair made by the manufacturer you like but find those chairs at a vasty reduced cost to you. So be a savvy customer and shop around.
Tip #3 – You Call the Shots
The negotiation process that we spoke of is tricky business. Salesmen are very good at helping you define what you want. The problem is if you let the chair supplier set your standards, they are going to influence you to buy what they want you to buy. That may be a fine choice but it’s best if it is you who sets the standards and it is you that calls the shots on what kind of hotel chairs you buy.
Before you contact any suppliers at all, take the time to think through exactly what you want. That means laying out the floor plan of your new hotel and getting an exact count of each kind of chair that will make up your order. You have several chair types to buy including room chairs, dining room chairs, bar stools and chairs and more elegant chairs for formal rooms and the lobby. Get a firm count on what you need.
Then do your shopping to understand the characteristics of a good hotel chair and where to look for quality. The internet is a great way to look closely at the various hotel furniture suppliers to get an orientation for who you want to talk to about your order. By doing all of this preliminary thinking and research, by the time you sit down with a hotel chair supplier, you know what you are taking about and you know what you want. That keeps you in charge so you call the shots during the entire negotiating process.
Tip #4 – Think Multi Use
You may be able to reduce your order of chairs if you identify some chairs that can serve more than one use. Chairs for setting up a lecture or meeting are often stackable armless chairs that require storage when not in use. Those chairs are not being utilized well while they are stacked in storage so you may be able to use those chairs for your continental breakfast room or for other purposes where you need a lot of chairs for short duration.
You may also be able to rent out those chairs to church or civic groups who need to hold an event but don’t need a large quantity of chairs every day like you do. By networking and finding ways to get more mileage out of the chair inventory you keep, you save money and maybe even generate a little revenue from chairs that serve your customers well every day.
Tip #5 – Try Before you Buy
Whatever method you use to find the perfect hotel chairs for your hotel, its really best that you do not make this big purchase sight unseen. It would be easy to do that when buying over the internet or from a suppler who you found through a source like ebay or Craig’s List because they may be able to offer you a great deal on a lot of chairs. But go back to tip #1. Never sacrifice quality for economy.
Even if you are buying chairs from the manufacturer you like and in the models and colors you want, you don’t have absolute assurance of quality until you inspect the lot. So be fussy, be stubborn but be flexible and smart as you shop for great hotel chairs. In that way you let the marketplace work for you to get a great deal. But you do so without giving up the one thing that is not negotiable and that is the comfort and great service you will give to the customers of your hotel.