Restaurants are a place you go to for enjoyment, relaxation, to eat, to drink and to laugh. Nothing beats getting out of your home and your normal environments to go to a location that has been specifically built for good times. There’s no stress, there’s no worries and there’s nothing you have to do other than sit back and professionals cook and clean for you… great!
There are many things that make for a great restaurants. Some of the key factors are: 1. Enjoyable food. If you can’t enjoy the food, you’d never go back! 2. Great drinks. If you can’t find something on the menu you love to drink then you probably won’t be coming back from that either! Okay number 3. Great staff. If the staff aren’t welcoming, you won’t want to return as you… weren’t made to feel welcome.
These are all well and good and fairly obvious, but it essentially leads us to why we wrote the article. We’ve had some new additions to the Red Lion and why they have made our environment really transform. Believe it or not, and no, it’s not new doors, it’s not new tables, menus ceilings, floors, food, staff or anything like that… it’s our… windows! Specifically, our sash windows created by sash windows Cambridge company named 'Sashcraft Restoration'. It’s quite incredible how much you can improve on the scenery of your restaurant just through windows and really goes to show that almost every single part of the restaurant can be improved on and have massive effect if done correctly.
So we had sash windows that were old and in desperate need of replacement and or repair. We really mean desperate. The windows were old, decaying, broken, didn’t close properly, let a draught through and made the whole place look tacky. The hinges looked like they would break any minute. The safety child lock had broken so anyone could unlock the windows from the inside at any given moment. Someone even commented on how old the windows looked, this was really embarrassing for us!
If you run a restaurant already, you probably think you have a million priorities over something like sash windows, but really, they’ve made a huge difference. You should look to make time to improve the look of your restaurant during your quiet times as it can have a brilliant impact on customer retention, customer attraction and generally increasing the perceived and actual value of your venue.
The key benefits of how amazing the sash windows have made our restaurant are as followed.
Firstly, the light that gets let through into the restaurant is now glaringly obvious. Before, the windows were dimming, dirty and had broken parts of sash that would block light from coming through. Not a pretty site. Now the light beams through on the freshly cleaned and restored windows. The whole ambience of the room has lifted as it’s so much brighter! Perfect for the Summer time that we’re experiencing right now.
Secondly is a nicer ‘feel’ to the room. When you look at the windows you don’t see dirty old stained glass with broken hinges and faded casement, you see brand new, freshly painted casement with beautiful glass filling it and looking incredible with a combination of classic but somehow looking totally new.
Thirdly is that the windows are now secure. Before, the windows were totally unsafe and easy to open. Kids could climb up onto the window sill and simply unlatch the window and leave the restaurant. Thankfully no child ever did this and escaped or got harmed, but it’s not a good thing to have stupid little things like this on your mind when you’re trying to run a successful restaurant. The other way the windows became secure was from draught proofing. We haven’t had many problems recently what with the weather being so hot in July, in fact we could do with the draught back! But in all honesty, it’s given us peace of mind for after the Summer for when we want to keep all the heat and smell within our main dining room without a draft just blowing the whole vibe of the room out of the window and into the Soham air.
Fourthly is that the windows themselves are beautiful. We ended up paying a decent amount for the windows, certainly more than we would have if we ended up buying cheaper alternatives, but when running a rustic, classy restaurant like the Red Lion in a place like Cambridgeshire, you can’t just get cheap rubbish. We had to maintain the old and rustic feel of the place and not go for the worse alternative.
Thankfully, we’ve had more comments on how nice the dining room looks (and a few for the sash windows in particular) that override the comments we had before about the windows not looking good.
What with the Lion being a remake of a pub over 400 years old, we knew that we just had to stay with keeping the cottage feel of the place and sticking with timber and anything classic looking rather than going with something just because of the price being low. We’re sure that the windows will pay for themselves as people appreciate the restaurant.. a place where they come to eat drink and enjoy themselves… in a lovely environment! If you aren’t reinvesting back into the building, people are going to stop coming. If you’d also like to use Sashcraft Restoration, you can find them on Checkatrade to see their exemplary record and probably get a feel for why we chose them. We would also highly recommend their service if you need your sash windows doing in a restaurant or even a home or any place like that even. They came in, assessed the work, went away and made the windows and came back within a week to install the windows and voila, as good as new… if not better! Thanks again and highly recommended.
That’s it from The Red Lion for now, we’ll write about more topics in the future with anything related to restaurants. Thank you.
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