When should I order furniture for my restaurant opening?
So you are opening up a restaurant. Congratulations! You now have a million things to do and one of them is to select and purchase chairs, tables, table bases, bar stools, and booths. Yes, you need a lot of new front of the house items. The problem is that your floor isn't even installed yet. Where are you going to store tables, chairs, etc? This is a problem for most new restaurant owners. All of your various vendors have different lead times and ship from different locations. Some of them require prepayment. Some will take a credit card. Some won't sell to you because they sell through dealers. It makes it really complicated for a new restaurant owner to find all of the products that they need.
I can't help with everything but I can help with furniture. If you are planning for an August 1st opening, you should have all of your domestic furniture ordered by mid may except for custom booths. For custom booths, you may want to add an extra month.
If you are ordering products that are shipping from Europe or shipping from China, you will need to order 4 months before opening. This is going to cause a potential problem. What is the furniture arrives early. You will need to arrange somewhere to store the furniture while you finish up your place.
You might want to consider ordering exclusively products that are stocked in the United States. With domestic suppliers, you can send them an email saying you need to delay shipment for a week and everyone will be able to accommodate you. Buying domestic makes it much easier to time your shipments.
You can also work with a company like us. We can make most of the furniture that you need. If there is something that you need that we don't manufacture, we can work with one of our partners to have it made. We can store it for you too if needed. We can even take all of your shipments into our warehouse and ship it all together. Just let us know what you need and we can get it done.