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What to Consider When Furnishing a New Restaurant

by Paul Petersen

Opening a new restaurant takes an incredible amount of dedication and attention to detail. It’s best for entrepreneurs to divide their tasks up and tackle them one at a time. In the spirit of divide and conquer, this article will focus on one important but often overlooked aspect of restaurant design: furnishing the dining room.

Why Furniture Really Matters

A restaurant’s furnishings provide more than a comfortable space for patrons to relax and enjoy their meals. They also contribute to the establishment’s overall ambiance and character and suggest to diners what they should expect when they walk through the door.

Don’t believe furniture is really that important? Just consider the difference between the hard, uncomfortable booths at fast-food establishments and the luxurious, cushioned seats found in fine dining restaurants. Potential customers will also recognize the difference.

Consider the Theme

Every successful restaurant has a theme, and that theme affects what options are available to restaurant owners. Upscale Italian restaurants tend to be furnished differently from traditional diners, and even within each type of cuisine, every restaurant has a different decor. The furniture should match that decor in terms of not just color scheme but also overall visual appeal.

For traditional diners, cafes, and any restaurant that features an on-site bar, Restaurant Bar Stools are a great option. They can also be incorporated into overall dining room floor plans that include additional table or booth seating. Just make sure to choose stools that match the restaurant’s theme and decor.

Ask and Answer Essential Questions

Before looking for furniture, restaurant owners should ask themselves a few essential questions. Those questions should include:

  • What kind of cuisine will the restaurant serve?
  • Who will its most frequent patrons be?
  • Will patrons expect a casual or upscale dining experience?
  • How much of the budget can be devoted to furniture and interior design?
  • Is there a bar?
  • How large is the dining room?

Answering these questions will help entrepreneurs get an idea of which furniture options will be the best fit.

Forget About Personal Taste

One of the most common mistakes novice restaurant owners make is furnishing or decorating their dining rooms to meet their personal tastes instead of their intended audience’s needs. Of course, purchasing decisions always require a personal touch. That said, restaurant owners must consider what will draw in customers and keep them comfortable throughout their dining experiences, not how much their restaurants reflect their own personalities.

Getting the Layout Right

Getting the layout right is about more than just fitting as many tables and chairs as possible into the dining room. A good floor layout will offer plenty of room for servers to move and make patrons feel comfortable, not cramped. Try to strike a balance between maximizing potential profits through increased seating capacity and ensuring patrons’ comfort by leaving enough space to relax and enjoy a good meal.

The Bottom Line

Choosing restaurant furniture can be tough. Before even looking into options, restaurant owners should have a clear idea of their establishments’ themes, intended audiences, color schemes, and floor layouts. Nailing down these essential factors first makes it easier to choose stools, chairs, and tables that will form a perfect complement to the food, decorations, and overall ambiance of the restaurant.