The importance of a high quality and sturdy table cannot be overstated, especially when you think about the level of wear and tear typical of a restaurant setting. Any commercial environment is harsh, and seating must be durable and long-lived enough to withstand it all. Spilt drinks, smudged food, reckless customers – all of these can damage the table unless it is a high quality item.
Seating can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the type of restaurant you run. Thus, your restaurant table supplier can provide fixed, dining or coffee tables; tops and bases are the most important elements, since you can combine them to get different styles.
Tops can be veneer, laminate or solid wood, ABS and PVC, whereas bases are typically made from aluminium, stainless steel, or chrome. Bases can be single or twin, 3 or 4-leg, and come in various heights and styles, such as refectory, fixed to the floor or on wheels, fliptop, or pedestal (flat or with a round column leg). Choosing one over the other depends on the purpose of the table, whether it serves for dining or having coffee, or both. Either way, all tables must be stable.
Setting up a restaurant room
Tables that can be moved around the room are the best option for small restaurants; since there isn’t a lot of floor space available, it is always helpful to be able to move tables together when you host a large group of people, or to set them up individually when smaller parties come to your restaurant. In a small restaurant setting, the smallest table for two should be a minimum of 650mm x 750mm.
Nonetheless, if you have enough space, and want to make sure the table won’t wobble, a small one fixed to the floor may be a better choice, particularly for the bar section of your restaurant. On the other hand, since most dining at restaurants is formal, it becomes obvious you will need a larger table than you would if you owned a bar or café. Therefore, large tables can also be fixed to the floor for the added safety this brings.
When organizing your restaurant dining room, keep in mind that it must also be about comfort and maintaining a certain level of customer service, which you cannot achieve in an overly crowded room. Typically, any restaurant dining room, no matter how large or small, should include seating (tables and chairs), wait stations and storage. Smaller dining rooms ensure a cozier ambiance, but they also make navigating between tables more difficult. There should be at least 24 – 30 inches between tables if customers are to enjoy their meals or coffee break, and waiting staff to do their job properly; this minimum distance also provides a path between tables that is clearly visible.
It can help if you design an exact floor plan of your restaurant, where you can play with a whole range of table – chairs configurations until you find the most suitable one. Make sure to consider the available room, as well as your budget, since restaurant seating can be quite expensive given its durability.