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Restaurant Chairs – All You Need To Know

restaurant chairs
Bow Chair in Deep Walnut

There’s no getting away from the fact that the right restaurant chairs play an important part in the success of your establishment. Believe it or not, the right kind of seating matters!

Gone are the days when you could put any old furniture out and the crowds would flock for the food. Nowadays, with so much competition around, customers who are spending their hard-earned cash are looking for the whole dining experience. This means good food, good atmosphere and…yes you’ve guessed it…good seating.

With this in mind, what should you be looking out for? Here’s all you need to know…

Get the spacing right between your restaurant chairs 

While this doesn’t address the “what chairs should I buy?” problem, getting the right amount of furniture in your establishment is key. Naturally, you should be looking to hit that sweet spot between maximising your profit – the right amount of bums on seats and movable space – without overcrowding the restaurant, so that staff and customers can move around freely and comfortably.

As a rule of thumb, tables – and the restaurant chairs surrounding them – should be around 75 cms apart. It’s always best to draw a scale plan of your restaurant, calculating the square footage, and plot your tables and seating here. This way you get a scaled down overview of what works and what doesn’t.

Buy commercial grade

Buyers, beware that many internet companies and larger furniture retailers sell restaurant chairs that on paper appear appropriate, but they are different in three ways:

  • The joinery simply isn’t designed for heavy usage
  • The finish is residential grade and therefore isn’t designed for all the spills and heavy-duty cleaning a restaurant may inflict upon it and,
  • Most importantly – it hasn’t been tested for commercial use and therefore isn’t designed to withstand the rigours of a busy restaurant.

Commercial grade furniture, on the other hand, has! So always look for the sign; Or if in doubt, ask.

Buy restaurant chairs that complement your décor

When it boils down to it, restaurants are in fact entertainment venues. Of course, people come to enjoy the food, but are you a go-to foodie destination where they only come to eat – making any décor irrelevant – or are customers choosing your restaurant based on the whole package?

Normally – unless you’re a Mecca for food lovers, it’s probably the latter. This being the case, you should look to buy commercial grade restaurant chairs that complement your décor.

If for instance, you have an industrial theme, you might want to complement it with Tolix restaurant chairs

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something to fit in with a bistro-style, then how about a Santorini Parisian chair in blue and white?

Finally, if you’re going for the rich opulent look, then complement your decor with a Bow chair in rich walnut.

To arm or not to arm

While restaurant chairs with arms are often considered more luxurious, remember that they also take up valuable space. Where you might be able to safely squeeze a side chair onto the end of a table – say, for a table of 5 – it may be difficult to do when the chair in question is an armchair.

Perhaps something else to consider, especially if your chairs are being used outdoors is stackability. Side chairs will stack easily allowing for removal after service or when cleaning down. Conversely, armchairs can often be cumbersome to move about. So when considering armchairs, you might want to think about the trade-off between maximising customer comfort and practicality.

Understanding the glide effect

When a restaurant chair has the wrong glide for the flooring, any friction can cause vibration to travel up the product and cause excess stress to the joinery. That’s before we even get to the horrible screeching sound as it’s being moved across the floor.

While nickel-plated guides may be best on carpet, they can also be costly. Alternatively, felt glides are good for wood flooring but they will need replacing frequently. Nylon guides, on the other hand, offer the best of both worlds. They are adaptable to many types of flooring, they’re also hard wearing, yet, when they do need replacing, they’re relatively cheap to buy.

So there you have it… some (hopefully) useful hints and tips on restaurant chairs and what you need to know.

Here at Café Solutions, we’ve been supplying the restaurant industry with quality commercial-grade furniture at unbeatable prices for many years.  Don’t take our word for it, however, why not browse our catalogue online and see for yourself.