Create the Right Dining Space with Restaurant Furniture

Have you ever tried to get into a busy restaurant on a Friday evening, but upon seeing the crowd in the heavily packed waiting area, decided to dine at another restaurant instead?  Did you visit the hostess stand, call the restaurant to find out the wait time, or just drive away?  Waiting areas that aren’t properly planned for can create a bottleneck or traffic jam area for a restaurant that may not actually be busy.  Proper planning for the areas of a restaurant, and the restaurant furniture used, will maximize your return on investment.  This blog discusses the two main parts of the front of the house, and covers a few basics for restaurant furniture that will create a more comfortable atmosphere for your customers that will have them wanting to return.

1. Waiting Area

Many types of restaurants feature a waiting area and/or hostess stand which is very useful at peak restaurant dining times.  Customers typically check in with the hostess stand, find out the wait time, and stand or sit in the waiting area while waiting for their table.  Proper planning needs to go into creating this space, though.  A poorly designed waiting area can cause a bottleneck in the entrance to the restaurant, possibly even forcing some customers to wait outdoors in bad weather.  The entry to the restaurant may become full of waiting customers, making it hard for new customers to get inside, and even cause frustration for finished diners trying to leave and open up tables for the next customers in line.

How do you avoid this waiting area fiasco?  Of course, the waiting area must be near the entry, but place it far enough away that it doesn’t block the doors or entryway.  Use a minimal amount of restaurant furniture in this area, perhaps just a few backless booth benches for patrons who need to sit down.  Sparsely placed furniture will increase the capacity of the waiting area as most customers will stand.  You want to make the waiting area just comfortable enough that customers would prefer to be moved to the dining area.

2. Dining Area

In the dining area, the first consideration is creating the right comfortable atmosphere for your type of customers.  Do you want the dining area to have a very formal feeling, or do you want to achieve a more laid back vibe?  Why does this matter in the type of restaurant furniture you select?  Just as with the layout of the furniture of the restaurant, the placement of the furniture and furnishings will give the restaurant a certain feeling.  If you place your restaurant tables and chairs in a regular layout, or line them up in perfectly straight rows, this creates a formal restaurant atmosphere.  Placing furniture randomly or haphazardly in a dining area creates a relaxed feeling.

When selecting your restaurant tables and chairs, also consider the style of restaurant.  Using rich toned wood restaurant chairs and tables gives a warm, more formal feeling in your dining area.  Another great choice for a more formal dining area is gorgeous granite dining tables.  Conversely, for a more laid back atmosphere, metal chairs with vinyl seats in fun colors, and resin tables available in a myriad of vibrant color options will help you achieve this look.

A final consideration in the dining area is layout of the restaurant furniture.  Placing tables and chairs too closely together can cause problems with movement through the dining area by your customers, and also your staff who may be carrying many drinks or large trays of food.  The walkways between seating areas should be clear and easy to navigate so people move smoothly through your restaurant.  Search for “restaurant seating chart” on the internet to find useful seating diagrams with the proper restaurant seating layout and spacing.