The Ultimate Guide to Planning and Buying Restaurant Seating

Mar 11, 2020

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There are many things that a restaurant needs and one thing that it can’t open without is a functioning dining space. Restaurant seating needs to be comfortable and ideally look good while also being practical. It should be solid and easy to clean, and it should help you to make the best use of the space that you have available in your restaurant. When you need to buy seating for your restaurant, you first should plan out your restaurant seating before purchasing it. You need to be sure that you have enough seating and that it will fit and create the right image in your dining space.

There are many things that a restaurant needs and one thing that it can’t open without is a functioning dining space. Restaurant seating needs to be comfortable and ideally look good while also being practical. It should be solid and easy to clean, and it should help you to make the best use of the space that you have available in your restaurant. When you need to buy seating for your restaurant, you first should plan out your restaurant seating before purchasing it. You need to be sure that you have enough seating and that it will fit and create the right image in your dining space.

This guide is designed to tell you everything that you need to know about planning and buying restaurant seating. Find the right seating for your restaurant by following the advice laid out below.

Planning Your Restaurant Seating

Before purchasing your restaurant seating, you should have a plan that helps you to understand what you need from your seating. You should consider a number of different factors, including the size of your restaurant and the number of people you are capable of serving at once. You also need to think about your restaurant’s brand and interior design to find the right style for your seating. A seating layout is a must before you place an order for your chosen seating too.

How Many Covers?

The first thing to consider is the size of your restaurant and how many covers you expect to have in each sitting. This is important to think about in a couple of ways. Firstly, how many people do you need to have come into your restaurant each day in order to make a profit? Secondly, how many people are you capable of serving, both in terms of space and staff capacity, without having to rush people out of the door as soon as their plates are clean? Of course, you also need to know how many customers you will be able to bring in. You don’t want to have too much seating, which could leave your restaurant looking half empty and wasting space.

Types of Restaurant Seating

The different types of restaurant seating are a crucial factor to consider when planning your seating.

Some of the seating styles that you might want to include in your restaurant are:

  • Standard dining chairs – banquet chairs, side chairs, bistro chairs, etc.
  • Barstools
  • Booth seating
  • Benches

These different seating styles can work for different dining styles and even different areas of the restaurant. When you are planning your restaurant seating, you need to consider how casual your setup is going to be, how intimately your diners will be sitting, and whether you want to offer a variety of seating types. You might want to have bar stools for diners who want to have a drink and appetizers before their meal (or if you need to have them wait until a table is free). Booths and benches can provide seating for groups, especially if you want to create a warmer and more intimate atmosphere.

Consider whether you want to have some exclusive seating, such as some booths. They can create a more isolated type of seating that might make customers feel just that little bit more special. However, the other option is to have all of your seating on an equal footing. You might not want to create the illusion that some tables are better than others.

Your Brand and Interior Design

It’s also necessary to think about your restaurant’s branding and the interior design style that you have chosen. These factors will obviously influence the style of seating that you choose, from the colors and materials to the type of seating you want to use. A more formal restaurant might use individual dining chairs, whereas a more relaxed and informal restaurant might use benches to create a more intimate feeling. If your restaurant is modern and trendy, you will want contemporary seating to match. If it’s more traditional or you even want to create a retro feel, appropriate seating will help you to get the look that you want.

Your seating should fit in with the rest of your restaurant design. It makes sense to think about seating together with tables and anywhere else you might need to add seating, such as at a bar.

Creating a Comfortable Layout

Creating a layout for your restaurant seating will help you to choose and buy the seating that you need. It will help you to determine how best to use the space that you have available and understand just how much seating you can comfortably fit in your restaurant. There are various things that you should keep in mind when working on a seating layout.

First of all, there should be enough space to get between tables safely. This needs to be true for your staff and customers. Consider how to make your restaurant accessible for people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids or might need more space for other reasons. You might also want to avoid using some spaces for seating, such as right by the bathrooms or the entrance to the kitchen. Another thing to think about for your restaurant seating layout is flexibility. It’s useful if you can move your seating around to adapt to different bookings or even just to refresh your restaurant layout if you think that it’s necessary.

The right layout can be especially important if you don’t have much space to work with. You don’t want to overcrowd your restaurant, but you might need to have a certain number of seats just to get enough diners through the door. If you want to save on space, you might plan to have straight-backed chairs, which take up less space and can be moved around easily too. Although you might not settle on exactly what seating you want for your restaurant at this stage, it is smart to take a look at some restaurant seating dimensions to see how much space different chairs require.

Buying Seating for Your Restaurant

When you are ready to buy seating for your restaurant, you need to find exactly the right products and the right supplier to buy them from. You might have a good idea of the type of seating that you are searching for and the layout that you want, but you also need to consider the specifics of what you’re looking for.

Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing Seating

There are some key factors to take into account when you are choosing restaurant seating. Some of them relate to the needs of your customers, while others are more about the needs of your restaurant.

When you think about what your customers want in seating, comfort needs to come first. They need to be able to sit comfortably during their meal so that they can focus on the food and drink, rather than how uncomfortable their chair is. Upholstered chairs and booths can be a comfortable option, but you also need to weigh this against how practical they are. Upholstered chairs may be a little more difficult to keep clean if they can’t be simply wiped clean when necessary.

As well as how easy your seating is to clean, some other practicalities are worth considering. If you’re looking for outdoor restaurant seating, you will want it to be able to weather the sun and perhaps get a little wet sometimes too. Any restaurant seating, both indoor and outdoor, should be durable. You don’t want to have to replace it too often, so ensure you choose something hard-wearing that will survive hundreds of customers sitting down and standing up hundreds of times.

Choosing a few different seating types can be useful in some restaurants. It will help to make the space more flexible and welcoming to different types of diner, from individuals to couples or families and other groups. If you use your restaurant for other purposes, such as events, you might want to look for the most flexible options, such as chairs that will neatly stack on top of each other.

Finding the Right Supplier

It’s not just choosing what type of seating you want that matters. It’s also important to find the right supplier. Before you do this, you will need to give some thought to your budget so that you know how much you can spend on your restaurant seating. It will make it much easier to find a supplier that meets your needs if you know your budget. When you first open a restaurant, you might be limited on how much you can spend on seating. If there are more important things that your startup budget is needed for, you might have to limit what you spend on seating and perhaps rethink it later when it’s time for refurbishment or some updates.

When you’re looking at suppliers, you will find that you are able to choose from available seating options, but many suppliers will also offer a custom product service. This is ideal if you are unable to find something that meets your needs. It allows you to have products designed that are perfect for your restaurant, matching your requirements in terms of size, style, and more. Custom seating will cost more, but it’s worth it if you want to have the perfect seating solution for your restaurant.

Take a look at the products that different suppliers offer, as well as their portfolio of previous clients. This will show you what they have to offer so that you can see if they have any products that meet your requirements. You might not be able to see prices straight away, as you will often need to create an account on their website or get in touch for a quote to find out their prices. They should have good quality images of their products to help you see what they have to offer, as well as product descriptions that let you know information such as materials and finishes.

Remember to read about the company too. It’s always useful to find out information about their background. How long have they been in the business? Do they specialize in restaurant furniture or do sell other commercial or even domestic furniture? Do they make furniture or just sell products from other manufacturers? Take a look at their history and their mission and values to find out more about the company, their experience, and how they operate. Another important thing to check is their location and contact details. It’s important to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate business that can quickly respond to emails, phone calls, and other forms of contact.

It’s a good idea to check out reviews and ratings for the suppliers that you consider too. This is a good way to assess whether a supplier is reliable and is selling quality products. Previous customers will leave reviews to let others know whether they have had a good experience and whether they are happy with the products that they ordered. You can check that these reviews are real, especially if people leave their business name. Many suppliers will also have testimonials on their sites or reviews on their social media pages.

Don’t forget to look at information about delivery before you choose your supplier. If there is no delivery information on the website, get in touch to ask them about how they get their products to their customers. It’s worth knowing what delivery options exist and how quickly you will be able to get the products that you want. Of course, you can expect to wait longer if you want to buy custom products. These will need to be designed and manufactured before they can be sent out for delivery.

When you are planning and buying your restaurant seating, keep Waco Manufacturing in mind to help you out. Benefiting from three generations of experience in the industry, we can help you to find the perfect seating for your restaurant.