A Guide to Selecting the Right Restaurant Furniture

Interior design is an essential element for any successful restaurant. The aesthetic needs to be warm and inviting, where it creates the ideal atmosphere for customers to enjoy their meals in complete comfort.

When it comes to crafting an appealing design, many different components need to be considered. There’s the wallpaper, lighting, general arrangement, and so much more. In that regard, one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle is the furniture.

Some may simply view the furniture as a functional necessity for a restaurant, a place for customers to sit while tucking into their food. However, the seating plays a vital role in the look and feel of your establishment. If you pick chairs that clash with the décor, it could spoil the rest of the story you’re trying to tell with your restaurant interior.

As a result, you need to get your furniture choices right. To help you make the big decisions, this guide will provide some key points to consider when buying your chairs and tables.

Match the theme of the restaurant

As a starting point, you should pay particular attention to the general theme of your restaurant. Is it a traditional fine dining establishment? Maybe it’s a causal diner? Perhaps it is a contemporary gastropub? Restaurants come in all different shapes and sizes, so there’s no universal choice when it comes to furniture.

Below are a few guidelines for general themes:

  • Modern: There is no set definition for modern furnishings. After all, they incorporate many different characteristics. Generally, modern chairs will feature clean straight lines, and make use of materials such as metal, modern resins, and fiberglass plexiglass.
  • Traditional and elegant: On the opposite end of the scale, traditional furniture replicates a specific style or period. It is known for being elegant, which is why you’ll find traditional chairs and tables in high-end restaurants.
  • Minimalist: As the name suggests, minimalist furniture goes for “less is more.” If your restaurant is contemporary in its concept, minimalist chairs will avoid excessive colors and textiles, as well as superfluous details like moldings.
  • Cozy and relaxed: While this one is self-explanatory, your restaurant could take a relaxed and cozy approach. In that case, you would want furniture that accentuates comfort. Think about plush armchairs and soft booths.

Just remember: even with the general guidelines outlined above, your furniture doesn’t have to exactly match your restaurant’s theme. Say you run a Caribbean restaurant. Now Caribbean food is known for being vibrant and colorful. Yet this doesn’t mean your chairs and tables have to resemble a rainbow. Instead, a single bold color – like red – could be the basis for your furniture.

Consider the space available

The size of your restaurant is an important facet when selecting furniture. If you only have a restricted amount of space, for example, you may opt to go with tables lined up against the walls with accompanying bar stools. Yet if you are fortunate enough to have ample room, this opens the door to many possibilities with your furniture. You can even spread out better and ensure everyone has enough personal space.

Regarding space, there’s also the aspect of how you will use it effectively. A standard seating plan is a given, but you should also be prepared for flexibility. If you receive a large group booking, you may need to rearrange the furniture. In this case, having your tables all the same size – so they can be pushed together – is a valuable attribute to possess.

Another space-related point is if the chairs can be stacked on one another. If they can, this makes cleaning and rearranging the furniture that much easier.

The practical aspect

When in the market for furniture, your main focus will be on its appearance. When you consider the importance of aesthetics as spotlighted above, this demeanor should come as no surprise.

Nevertheless, no furniture should be selected for simply looking nice. You need to take into account the material used for the upholstery. You want something that delivers the best of both worlds – a smart appearance alongside a tough, functional element. The more your furniture is up to the task of withstanding constant use, the longer it is going to last.

Longevity isn’t the only aspect to factor into the equation. You also want a material that is easy to clean. Rather than a fabric that is only going to attract spills and dirt, you could utilize leather to minimize the time required to clean your furniture.

As for the practical nature of your furniture, there’s one facet which sits above the others: comfort levels. If your chairs are low-quality in terms of ergonomics, it doesn’t matter about their versatility or how nice they look. This will quickly spoil the dining experience for customers, and they’re unlikely to return as a result. Because of this, your furniture needs to be well padded and upholstered or at least made from firm material that is shaped favorably for a seated person.

Don’t be scared to use different types of chairs

It’s likely you want to follow a specific theme with your restaurant design. However, don’t let this stop you from incorporating different types of furniture. A hodgepodge of chairs on each table won’t work, admittedly, but you can have varied seating in different areas of the restaurant.

In certain establishments, it’s only natural for them to have different chairs. For instance, a restaurant could have a bar area that includes bar stools. Yet you can still get more adventurous with your furniture arrangement.

For customers waiting to be seated, you may decide to have a lounge area at the restaurant entrance. This is the perfect space to differentiate from your standard restaurant furniture. You can install plump sofas and armchairs, the type that people wouldn’t mind sitting on for hours while sipping on a coffee or alcoholic beverage.  

You might even go with the idea of having themes in different areas of the restaurant. By doing this, you’re opening up the possibilities of implementing a diverse collection of furniture.

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