seating

How To Choose The Right Restaurant Seating

Most restaurant patrons have no idea just how much thought goes into each and every detail of designing your restaurant. When it comes to seating, your chairs must be chosen with particular care. The decision of what kind of seating to put in your restaurant is a major one that will influence your customers’ overall experience.

To help you decide between the many possibilities, consult this guide to choose the right seating for your restaurant.

Reclaimed wood chairs

Types Of Chair Designs

Restaurant chairs will typically have four legs, straight backs, and be comfortable enough for a customer’s short-term use. There is no universal design for restaurant reclaimed wood chairs; rather, there are many variations on the central concept. Each variation can fit a certain restaurant style and work to complete the interior design of that restaurant. As you look for the perfect restaurant seating, these are some of the common chair types:

  • Reclaimed wood chairs: More and more restaurateurs are investing in sustainable materials, and reclaimed wood chairs are very much on trend right now. Not only do these chairs appeal to eco-conscious diners, but they also have a classic look that blends perfectly into a variety of interior design styles, from industrial to gothic.
  • Side chair: This is the most basic chair design and the one that you would most commonly see in restaurants across the country. With four legs, a straight back, and a slightly padded seat this design works well for any restaurant style.
  • Captain’s chair: The captain’s chair is very similar to the side chair, but it also includes chair arms. These reclaimed wood chairs often sit at the ends of a dining table and can work in restaurants that have longer tables.
  • Banquet chair: A very versatile chair, banquet chairs are lightweight, durable, and stackable. They often have a rounded top and padding on the seat and the back for extra comfort. If your restaurant also doubles as an entertainment space, this design makes it easy to store them out of the way when you need to clear the tables.
  • Mission/Shaker style: This style is based on the simple wooden designs of the Shakers, often found in early American furniture. In this style, the lines are simple and clean with no ornate details or finishing touches. Typically, the seatback consists of vertical thin wood slats and a thicker wood slat frame.
  • Parsons chair: As a variant of the side chair, the parsons chair also has a straight back and four legs. The difference between the two is that the seat and back of a parsons chair are covered and padded. This design works well if you want your reclaimed wood chairs to have a combination of colorful fabric and reclaimed wood chair legs.
  • Contemporary/Modern chair: For restaurants with a more modern or contemporary style, these chairs can bring the whole theme together. They typically feature metal legs and plastic or bent wood for the chair seat and back. With a reclaimed wood back, you can achieve a great mix of traditional and modern.
  • Windsor chair: Windsor chairs originated in early England and became the popular seating option in early America. Many restaurants still use these chairs today, as their bowed back framing spindles and spindle legs make for a stable and comfortable design. Restaurants and cafes in country styles tend to feature this homey style.
  • Ladderback chair: As the name implies, wooden slats that run horizontally define this chair design. With this ladder-like backing, the seating is often made of wicker, but can also feature more comfortable padding. Rustic and country restaurants also gravitate towards this design, as you can easily make them out of reclaimed wood.
  • Reclaimed wood benches: Benches are becoming quite popular, particularly when used with long community tables. If you want more of a homey, family-style feel to your restaurant, consider adding reclaimed wood benches. The more, the merrier!

How To Get The Right Seating Layout

In addition to reclaimed wood chairs, there are several restaurant seating options to choose from, such as booth seating and bar stools. Choosing the right one can make or break your restaurant’s design and cohesiveness.

The first consideration in choosing seating is the size of your restaurant. A large dining floor will, of course, call for different seating than a small dining floor. Small spaces succeed when they make use of as much of the space possible, meaning that combining counter seating with bar stools or bench seating along the walls with tables and chairs in the center of the floor is a great choice. Large dining rooms can typically accommodate booth seating and plenty of tables and chairs arranged into the center of the space. With a large dining room, you can also include community tables to make your restaurant feel more casual and cozy.

You will also need to consider the type of dining experience you want to offer. The seating of a fast-casual restaurant will differ drastically from that of a fine dining establishment. An easy way to see the difference is by doing your research on what other restaurants with similar experiences offer. While you may not want your restaurant’s seating to be an exact copy of your competition’s, having a frame of reference can be helpful. When you match the seating style with the intended experience, your guests will know exactly what to expect when they walk in.

Providing a mix of seating options is never a bad idea. Most customers will have a preference for a certain type of seating and will appreciate that your restaurant gave them the opportunity to choose their favorite. Guests who prefer privacy while they dine may gravitate more towards booth seating, while those who like to socialize may want to settle at a bar or counter. You want to provide a healthy balance between what benefits the functionality of your restaurant and what pleases your customers.

No matter the type of restaurant seating that you choose, be sure that it fits the vision for your restaurant. If you want your restaurant furniture to be in touch with nature, consider reclaimed wood chairs in a classic Shaker style. Forests cover about 30% of the Earth’s landmass, according to National Geographic, and there’s no better way to bring a natural feeling into your restaurant than with elements of those forests. If you want an industrial style for your restaurant, go for contemporary chairs that reflect a modern design sensibility. As long as the design matches your vision, you will have a cohesive and impressive restaurant.

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