Common Questions About Banquet Tables
What can folding tables be used for?
Banquet or folding tables are versatile pieces of furniture that can expand seating or serving capacity quickly and then be put away without taking up excessive storage space. Since they fold up flat, these tables can be stacked together in a storage closet or against a back wall, taking up only a fraction of the space a stationary table would. Temporary tables enable you to host guests outside of your normal establishment without needing to tote heavy tables to and from the event. Instead of spending money on a moving truck and several helpers, two people can move most folding tables easily. Farmers' markets, county fairs, concerts, and local expos are opportunities to get your product and your brand out in the public sphere.
Catering operations also make great use of portable tables. With the addition of a fine tablecloth, a folding table becomes an elegant place to serve food or seat guests. Rectangular tables are typically used for serving and seating, while round folding tables are used only for seating.
How do I cover a folding table?
Depending on the type of event the tables are being used for, you might want to cover them to provide an air of class. An appropriately sized tablecloth should fall six to twelve inches below the table surface—no further than the diners' laps. The type of tablecloth you should use depends on the event. If you're serving a buffet where food will be scooped from across the table, use something stain resistant and washable. If you're serving at a fancy dinner party, a nicer tablecloth will add a touch of elegance.
How many people will a banquet table seat?
Guests need a certain amount of personal space between them so that they don't bump elbows and get in each other's way. Allow at least 24 inches—but no more than 36 inches—between the center of each chair. Too much distance can make it hard to speak to neighbors in a conversational tone. A good starting point for formal dining events is 30 inches.
What is a seminar table?
Seminar tables are typically used for presentations or lectures. Usually not wide enough to seat people on both sides, seminar tables are designed to have one or more people sitting on the same side of the table so that they can face an audience. Presenters have space to write, type, keep notes, and set their water or other accessories while they are engaged in the presentation. Most seminar tables are foldable, so they can be stored away when not in use.
What is an activity table?
Activity tables are typically used in school settings to give students a place to draw, write, or practice crafts. Reinforced with extra supports, activity tables are safer and sturdier than standard round banquet tables, and they come in a variety of shapes. Activity tables are usually not foldable, as their reinforced legs require them to be attached firmly to the tabletop itself.
What folding table surface should I choose?
The three most common surfaces for folding tables are blow-molded plastic, melamine, and high-pressure (also known as composite) wood. Blow-molded plastic tops are very durable and scratch resistant. These are the white, hard plastic folding tables you might be familiar with. Melamine is also a plastic composite but can be finished to look like walnut or other wood types. High-pressure tops are dense particle board, which is made of real wood and then finished to produce the final aesthetic. High-pressure tops are tough and provide a more realistic wooden feel than plastic options.