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The Next Generation of Mobile Folding Tables is Here

It’s only fitting that our first Product Showcase post features a product from one of the very first manufacturers that we partnered with almost 43 years ago. Sico has been the industry leader in mobile folding cafeteria tables since 1951, and with the complete redesign of their tables, they are still leading the way for innovative, easy to maintain and long lasting products.

Why the New Design? 

Like most Sico dealers across the country, we spend a great deal of time talking with Child Nutrition Directors, Managers and cafeteria staff. The biggest problems that we hear time and time again with any mobile table, regardless of manufacturer are:

  1. Tables get harder and harder to lift over time,
  2. Students breaking the stools, and
  3. Gum under the table and seats

The first two issues, can be major safety concerns for the students and the faculty, and lets not fail to mention that each of these issues leads to increased costs whether it’s purchasing replacement stools, fulfilling workman’s comp claims caused by heavy tables, or increased labor time to scrape gum.

Sico decided to redesign their table to address these issues and more while adding some style.

So What’s New?

There are many new features with Sico’s new table, but we are primarily going to address the ones that have the most significance to our customers.

New Lifting Mechanism

  • No Loss of Power
  • No Maintenance Required
  • Tables NEVER Get Heavier to Lift

The new lifting mechanism exclusively offered by Sico NEVER loses lifting power.  What does that mean?  Well, basically it means you can lift the table easily by yourself the first day you get it.  It also means, 20 years down the road, if you’re still working at the school, or just want to visit the school to see if I’m telling the truth, it will lift just as easily as it did on day 1.  You also don’t have to take my word for it because Sico backs this up with a limited LIFETIME WARRANTY. Sico is the only manufacturer that offers this warranty on their lifting mechanism. Most other tables only offer a 5 year warranty on their torsion bar lifting mechanism because the torsion bar will wear out over time, and as many that work in a cafeteria can attest, once that torsion bar wears out the table becomes extremely hard to lift.

One other note about torsion bar lift assist mechanisms is that they are fully “stressed” or torqued when the table is in the down position.  Leaving the tables down all day and overnight causes the torsion bars to wear out even faster.  Most manufacturers with torsion bars will have fine print recommending that the tables be left in the up position when not in use.  This is inconvenient at best for cafeterias serving breakfast, lunch and in some cases dinner.  With Sico’s new mechanical strut, this is not an issue and the tables can be left down once cleaning is finished for the day, so that the tables are ready for breakfast service the next morning.

New Comfort Stool with Optional Accent Guard

  • 20% More Surface Area
  • Patented Square Support Post to Prevent Rotational Movement and Breakage
  • ABS Plastic for Strength and Durability
  • Optional Accent Guard for Easier Cleanup and Added Style

The name “Comfort Stool” says it all.  With the stool’s exclusive curvature shape providing 20% more surface area, it’s simply more comfortable for students and adults to sit on for longer periods of time.

One of the biggest issues that we’ve seen time and time again is the breaking of stools.  To resolve this issue, Sico has squared off the support post on the frame and made the hole on the stool square.  This prevents any rotational movement and “wiggle” which is what causes the plastic to weaken and break over time.  The lower portion of the post retains the round shape, preserving the look of the table.

Also, with the new optional Accent Guard you can cover the bottom of the stool for easier clean-up and gum removal while adding color for a flawless look.

High Pressure Laminate on Underside of Table

  • Easier to Clean (Including Gum Removal)
  • Increased Moisture Control and Stain Resistance
  • Balanced Construction

You may be asking yourself why in the world you would care about what’s on the underside of the table.  Well, to answer that question with a question, what one task associated with cafeteria tables takes more time than any other.  The answer: scraping gum. A high pressure laminate backer is not only far superior to all types of paper backers for moisture control and stain resistance, it is also much easier to clean and remove gum.

New Color Palette

  • Brighter Colors
  • Color Coordinate Stools, Accent Guard, Casters and Armor Edge
  • Over 200 Standard High Pressure Laminates

There’s been an increasing trend for school cafeterias to update and transform their look in order to look less institutional and increase participation.  In fact, we have an upcoming post just about that very trend. While this trend started with lots of booth and bistro type seating to mimic fast food restaurants, our customers quickly realized that lots of booths, tables and chairs was problematic for such a high volume and heavily trafficked dining space.  Cleaning times increased significantly.  Logistics was a nightmare, and furniture designed for restaurants weren’t holding up to the demanding use in a school setting with kids of varying sizes and maturity levels.

What we realized is that while booths and bistro seating has its place in a school cafeteria, you just can’t beat the functionality and durability of a mobile folding cafeteria table.  Sico realized this too, and created a new, brighter color palette to dramatically improve the aesthetics of their table.  Not only are these colors available on the stools, but also the Armor Edge, casters and stool Accent Guards to compliment the table and the cafeteria.  There are also over 200 high pressure laminates available for a custom look.

Lightest and Strongest Table in the Industry

Aside from the new lifting mechanism, Sico has also decreased the weight of their tables while increasing it’s strength.  They have done this by using a High Strength, Low Alloy steel that is lighter but yields double the strength of most steel used on competitive tables.  This new frame is also designed to incorporate the flexibility of a rocking motion for the way students move today.  This rocking motion enables the whole post to move instead of rocking just the stool, which causes friction between the metal pin and the plastic stool which can ultimately lead to the stool breaking.

Conclusion

When dealing with furniture for your school, we often say it’s more about what you can’t see that really makes a difference in how the furniture will hold up over time in a school setting.  Aside from the new stool shape and new colors, the new table from Sico is a perfect example of this.  For the most part a Sico table may look like many of the other tables out there, but as mentioned already in this post, its the things like the lifting mechanism, the frame, the underside top backer, and many other factors that make Sico the most durable, easiest to maintain, and the only table that will NEVER get heavier to lift.  Cafeteria tables are an investment, so make sure you make and investment that lasts.  This table could possibly be the last one you need to purchase.

Contact Us today for pricing or if you’d like us to bring our sample table for you to try out yourself.

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