Designing and launching a restaurant requires time, patience, and strategy. Restaurants don’t succeed by chance. Owners put a lot of thought and effort into designing their space and planning their menus. One of the most important investments you’ll make is in your restaurant's furniture. The right furniture will make guests feel comfortable and create the impression you want to create.
But how do you find the right furniture? Let’s take a closer look at the types of furniture you may need and how to find the right options for your restaurant.
Furniture for a Restaurant: The Basics
When designing your restaurant, it’s important to understand your furniture options. There are many things to consider, from seating to tables and even the back office.
When it comes to restaurant furniture, seating is arguably the most important thing to consider. If you want guests to enjoy their stay, your seating must be comfortable and stylish.
While you can find dozens of seating options on the market, most will fit into one of three categories: booth-style seating, chairs, and bar stools.
If you want guests to be comfortable during their stay, booths are the ideal choice. They come in a range of sizes and styles:
- Single: These booths can comfortably fit two people sitting side by side.
- Double: Just as the name suggests, double booths are equivalent to two single booths.
- Wall benches: These types of booths are custom-made to fit your wall. They’re typically paired with tables and chairs on the other side.
- L-shape: Ideal for corner spaces, L-shaped booths are custom-made to fit your space.
- Circle: Both 1/2 and 3/4 circle booths are available, and they can accommodate larger groups. These booths add comfort and privacy.
You can also find booth-style waiting benches as well as booths that are bar-height. Bar height booths are especially popular at sports bars and restaurants.
Whether you run a fast-casual establishment or a fine-dining restaurant, you can find booths that will fit your budget and style.
Chairs are the most common type of furniture for restaurant seating, and for good reason – they're incredibly versatile.
If a large party shows up unexpectedly, you can push multiple tables and chairs together to accommodate everyone. The same can’t be said for booth seating.
Chairs allow for a more flexible layout in your restaurant, and they also allow guests to have their own personal space while eating.
Restaurant chairs come in a wide range of styles and sizes.
- Classic wood chairs can give a casual restaurant a more upscale look and complement virtually any theme.
- It’s not unusual to find armchairs used as high-end restaurant chairs.
- Folding or plastic chairs may be used in fast-food restaurants or establishments with limited space.
From mid-century modern to contemporary and traditional, you can find restaurant seating in virtually every style.
Bar stools have a higher-than-average seat height, making them ideal for bars and high-top seating. Like regular restaurant chairs, these seats come in a variety of styles and options.
Some stools are backless, while others have backrests. Some have cushioned seats, while others have a classic wood or metal design.
Heights vary, too.
- Short stool: 22”- 23”
- Counter stool: 24” - 28”
- Standard: 29” - 36”
- Extra-tall: 37” - 40”
Bar stools can be found in virtually every style and price range, making them an ideal option for restaurants.
A restaurant’s tables are just as important as its seating. The wrong-sized tables can sour a guest’s experience. The goal is to ensure that everyone has enough space to sit and eat comfortably.
Restaurant tables come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including:
- Booth: If you have booth seating, then you’ll need a table designed for this type of seating. These tables are typically rectangular in shape and are pedestal style to make it easy to enter and exit the booth.
- 2-4 person tables: The most common restaurant table size. These tables come in rectangular, square, or circular shapes and can be made from a wide range of materials, including metal, wood, laminate, and more.
- High-top or bar-height tables: These tables are designed for use with bar stools. They may be round or square and are typically designed for 2-3 people. Some restaurants have longer high-top tables that can accommodate bigger parties.
Restaurants often have a mix of tables to meet customer needs. The type of food you serve will likely dictate the size and shape of your tables.
Other Restaurant Furniture
- Outdoor Patio Furniture: If you offer outdoor dining, you’ll find a variety of options, including tables, chairs, bar stools, benches, and more.
- Wait station cabinets, stands, and podiums: Host stations are one of the first pieces of furniture that customers see when they enter your restaurant. You can find podiums, stands, and wait station cabinets in a range of sizes and styles to match your restaurant.
- Office chairs and desks: The back office will also need desks and chairs to ensure managers and other personnel can do their jobs more efficiently.
These are the most basic types of restaurant kitchen furniture, but you may also have unique needs that require specialized furniture. Understanding which factors to consider when choosing your furniture will help you determine what types of furniture you’ll need.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Restaurant’s Furniture
When patrons walk into your restaurant, you want them to feel welcome. You want your space to make them feel a certain way. The furniture and décor you choose will help you accomplish this goal.
It’s important to be thoughtful and strategic about the furniture you place in your restaurant. Here are some important things to consider.
Sitting Space Rules
If you want guests to be comfortable, you need to give them an appropriate amount of seating space.
Following the standard sitting space rules will help you create a layout that works well for customers and staff alike.
- As a general rule of thumb, there should be 24” of space between guests to allow them to get in and out of the table comfortably.
- Standard chairs should have a seat height of 18” for proper use with the standard restaurant table height of 30.”
- High-top tables and bars should be paired with bar stools.
The distance between tables in a restaurant and chairs will also depend on the type of restaurant you run. For example, fast-casual restaurants aim for 24” for every person at the table. However, fine dining restaurants aim for 30” for every person.
If you serve full-course meals, expect to have fewer people per table compared to a café or a fast-casual restaurant.
Your Restaurant’s Theme
The furniture you choose should match the theme of your restaurant. If you run a fine dining establishment, make sure that you’re purchasing high-end restaurant furniture that matches the vision for your restaurant.
Everything from the cuisine you serve to the type of restaurant you run will affect the theme of your décor and the furniture you choose.
Quality and Durability
Restaurant dining tables and chairs are an investment, and you want yours to provide a good return. For this reason, it’s important not to skimp on quality when purchasing tables, chairs, and other furniture for your establishment.
The best restaurant tables and chairs may have a higher upfront cost, but you’ll save money in the long run because you won’t be repairing or replacing items as often.
The best restaurant furniture will make your establishment feel welcoming and comfortable. But it’s important to ensure your furniture is high-quality, meets customer needs, and matches the theme of your restaurant. Whether you’re in need of fine dining restaurant chairs or tables for a bar, you’re sure to find options that fit your style and budget.