Choosing the Best Restaurant Furniture

Restaurants of all sizes and budgets, except for those that only offer take-out, will need to invest in some chairs and tables. Restaurant furniture affects the appearance, comfort, and accessibility of your establishment, making it one of the most important buying decisions you will make. This guide will cover the basics of restaurant tables and seating options for indoor and outdoor applications to help you make an educated decision on which options are best for your business.

Restaurant Seating

When you set out to determine what kind of seating you need in your restaurant, you will first need to have an idea of your layout. Will you be serving at a bar, bistro tables, booths, or standard tables? Each of these requires different seating options, with each seat type available in a variety of materials. Below are the categories of restaurant seating KaTom offers.

  • Commercial bar stools are available with metal and wooden frames, in a variety of different finishes to fit in with your restaurant's or bar's décor. The seat can have a bottom only, or can also have a back, and the seat might be stationary or set up to swivel. Most bar stools have vinyl, metal, or wooden seats, all of which are easy to wipe clean. Some less-common options, like wicker and mesh seats, can fit in well with some décor, but are harder to clean. Bar stool seats and bases are available separately as well, to help you create a unique look for your dining room or bar. These can be used at bar counter areas, as well as with tall pub and bar tables.
  • Restaurant chairs will have metal or wooden frames, and might have vinyl, wooden, or plastic seats that are usually easy to wipe clean. High-volume restaurants may want to consider stackable chairs, which can be easily stored out of the way when they are not in use. These can be used at standard tables, or in conjunction with an end booth or a set of booths that run along a wall where you only want a booth on one side of the table.
  • Booths and benches are common options in restaurants where space is at a premium. These seats are most often upholstered, meaning they are available in a wide range of colors and can often be customized with a fabric of your choice. Vinyl is a common choice on booth seats and backs due to its ease of cleaning. Booths and benches can be configured back-to-back along a wall, or you can have a series of seats running lengthwise along the wall with tables and chairs positioned in front of them.
  • Booster seats and high chairs make your restaurant more welcoming to families with small children. Booster seats, made of plastic or wood, can be used in the existing chairs and booths. Wooden booster seats have one height, while plastic models may be single- or dual-height. Some booster seats include straps that secure the booster to the chair or that help secure the child into the seat. High chairs are made out of either wood or plastic, and most have straps to help keep children safely secured. Some high chairs come on casters for easy mobility, and many are stackable to help conserve storage space.

Restaurant Tables

Restaurant tables are available as all-in-one sets or as separate bases and tops. Purchasing the components separately gives you the option of replacing either, should one become damaged, without having to buy a whole new table.

Table tops are available in round, square, and rectangular shapes in a variety of sizes, made out of a range of materials including wood, laminate, and granite. Table bases are available in pedestal styles with disk, square, and T-shaped bases, which are durable and easy to clean around.

Tables that are sold as preconfigured combinations of tops and bases include small bistro tables, larger dining tables, and tall bar tables. The tops of these tables can be made of melamine, wood, or glass, and some bar tables are made completely out of aluminum.

Easy-to-store folding tables are also available for restaurants that may require extra seating only occasionally. The tops of these tables are usually made of melamine or molded plastic, while their legs and frames are made of aluminum or steel.

Commercial Patio Furniture

Any furniture that will be used outdoors needs to be especially strong and weather-resistant in order to withstand the conditions it will face. Outdoor tables are available with laminate, metal, stone, or wood tops, with some of the metal tables having a mesh top, which can be harder to clean but allows water and spilled drinks to drain through easily. Some tables have holes in their centers to allow for the placement of a patio umbrella, which can greatly enhance the comfort of your guests on sunny days.

A variety of outdoor seating options are available to meet your restaurant's needs. Outdoor benches are available to give customers a place to sit while waiting for their tables, and can be made of metal or wooden slats, or metal mesh. These are available with and without a back, and some come with cushions for additional comfort. Outdoor chairs made out of metal, wicker, plastic, and wood are also available, as are folding and stacking chairs that are ideal for restaurants that may need to store outdoor furniture in the off-season. Outdoor bar stools are available in the same materials as the chairs, and can be purchased with or without backs.

If you plan to keep your patio area open year-round, patio heaters can help keep your customers comfortable through the winter months. Floor models and wall-mounted heaters are available, with options for locations that need to heat with gas or electricity.

Specialty Furniture

Commercial restaurant furniture goes beyond just chairs and tables, with specialty furniture available to make restaurant operations and storage easier. Below are some furniture options you may want to consider.

  • Commercial coat racks can be rolled across the floor or mounted on a wall. Reusable and disposable coat check tickets are also available to enable you to keep track of everyone's outerwear.
  • Tray stands are available to make serving large groups easier. These can be lightweight models that fold for easy carrying and storing, or stand on casters for easy transportation.
  • Commercial office furniture includes desks, coffee tables, chairs, bookcases, and mobile carts for furnishing offices and waiting rooms.
  • Crowd control barriers provide the easiest, most efficient way to handle large crowds of people and create orderly lines. KaTom sells two types of these crowd control systems. One has retractable belts that hook into the base units, which are called stanchions. These are handy because the lines are stored out of the way and they can be configured as needed. They can also be extended to a fixed point with wall-mounted retractable lines. This type of system is available with durable black plastic or stainless steel stanchions. Some units use ropes strung between stanchions; the rope is often covered in velvet or other attractive fabric for a touch of elegance.
  • Hostess stands can be stationary or on casters, and usually have a surface for writing on and shelves for storing menus and cutlery. Some models also have drawers for storing smaller items.
  • Kitchen countertops are available in stainless steel, with or without backsplashes and cutouts.
  • Coca-Cola furniture includes chairs, stools, tables, and booths branded with the iconic brand's colors and logo.