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Common mistakes to avoid while buying furniture for your restaurant

Whether you are launching a brand-new restaurant or redoing your existing one, choosing the perfect restaurant furniture can be a game changer in your restaurant’s success. After all, furniture is the highlight of any dining room and helps create a brand image. However, most restaurant owners tend to overlook finer details while buying commercial furniture. The result? They have to settle for sub-prime restaurant furniture that either lacks functionality or looks out of place in the ambiance.

1. Don’t Avoid a Layout Plan for your restaurant

Before heading out shopping for your restaurant furniture like restaurant tables & chairs, ensure you have a clear idea of your requirements, space-wise and budget-wise. Having a layout plan for your restaurant helps you make the most of the available space. More importantly, this practice ensures that you leave sufficient room for all utilities like a reception desk, waiting zone, washrooms, bar, etc.

While creating your restaurant layout plan, don’t forget to leave sufficient space between the restaurant tables. Another benefit of having a layout plan is that it helps you balance aesthetics, practicality, and functionality while evaluating options.

For example, if you want to have partitions or an exclusive area, you can think of a lightweight metallic frame table separator that complements any ambiance.

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2. Consider space for diners

As an owner, it might appear tempting to maximize your restaurant’s seating capacity by increasing tables and chairs. However, rather than cramming your dining area with restaurant furniture, try to create an airy space that facilitates an effortless flow of your staff and guests. In particular:

  • Leave sufficient space for moving chairs back as your guests get in or out of them.
  • Keep at least 6-feet spacing between tables to allow your staff to serve food without bumping into each other or with other guests.
  • Go for space-efficient chair designs whose arms can slide underneath the tables.
  • In the post-Covid-19 era, it is sensible to opt for a one-way flow of guests between entrance and exit.

3. Don’t forget customer comfort

No matter how extravagant your ambiance is or how lip-smacking your food might be, the guests are less likely to revisit if your restaurant chairs lack comfort. Before they can experience service or taste food in your restaurant, restaurant furniture forms the crucial first impression and sets the tone of their dining experience. However, you don’t have to splurge always to offer a comfortable dining experience as customers’ expectations often depend on the type of restaurant. For example,

  • Quicker table turnover and prompt cleaning is preferable over padded seats in food courts or fast food outlets.
  • On the other hand, a fine-dining restaurant must have lounge furniture with luxurious cushions that are comfortable for prolonged seating.
  • Similarly, larger tables for six guests or booths are perfect for family restaurants.

4. Getting the measurement right

Many restaurant owners order furniture only to realize that it doesn’t fit into their dining area as they had hoped. Therefore, you must double-check the dimensions of your dining room and furniture before ordering.

Generally, the space requirements of any restaurant depend on its type and target customers. For example, a high-end cafe would definitely need more space between tables than a fast food outlet. As your guests spend longer time over their meals, they obviously expect extra space. As a thumb rule, spacing guidelines between tables for different restaurant types are:

  • Bars: 12-15 feet
  • Casual or family restaurants: 15-18 feet
  • Fine-dining restaurants: 16-20 feet

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5. Don’t Ignore Durability

Furniture in any busy restaurant undergoes a lot of wear and tear and must be durable. Many restaurant owners commit the mistake of choosing style over strength and practicality. Durable restaurant furniture is hassle-free in operation, requires minimal maintenance, and can withstand rough use over the years. Before you finalize the restaurant furniture, understand the material-specific maintenance requirements from the supplier.

  • With wooden furniture, water absorption is your main enemy.
  • Plastic furniture is pretty easy to clean and maintain.
  • Metal furniture is prone to corrosion and rusting due to moisture absorption.
  • Generally, outdoor furniture requires extra care due to exposure to harsh outdoor elements like rain, wind, heat, etc.
  • Avoid furniture with intricate detailing or carvings as they are cumbersome to clean.

6. Avoid buying noncommercial furniture

Restaurant furniture requires a significant investment. It might be tempting for a restaurant owner to select regular or residential furniture over a commercial one. However, rather than looking for only the upfront cost, consider repairing, maintenance, or replacement charges over time as well.

  • Noncommercial furniture might cost you less money initially, but you will have to spend time and money frequently to maintain it.
  • On the other hand, a commercial furniture manufacturer follows the best practices and uses the best materials resulting in durable and long-lasting products.
  • Further, commercial furniture reduces the chance of any mishaps or accidents.

In a nutshell, commercial furniture offers unparalleled durability and complete peace of mind.

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Summing it up

Buying restaurant furniture might look like an intimidating task in the beginning. However, you can find the perfect furniture for your restaurant with proper planning and careful preparation.

This article discusses the top mistakes to avoid while buying commercial furniture for your restaurant. Hopefully, these points will guide you in finding the perfect restaurant furniture that is durable yet appealing, stylish yet functional, and comfortable yet affordable.