Why Seating Plays an Important Role in Restaurant Design

Jan 16th 2024

Seating in a Restaurant

Designing a restaurant that provides an enjoyable experience for guests while maximizing your revenue can be challenging. Your seating options affect your establishment’s overall design aesthetic, functionality, and ambiance. Suitable seating facilitates conversation and allows servers easy access when looking after guests. Meanwhile, poor seating can disrupt your restaurant’s workflow, slow turnover, and ultimately reduce profitability.

If you want to upgrade your dining area or outfit your space for the first time, you need to consider several important factors to help you choose the best seating for your restaurant.

Connecting the Frontend and Backend of the Restaurant

Your restaurant seating can help connect your front house with your kitchen operations. This frequently overlooked link is vital for promoting maximum staff efficiency and ensuring your customers leave satisfied.

Your establishment’s seating type impacts your restaurant’s guest capacity and workflow. For example, booths accommodate more guests than individual chairs, but they also require more space and can limit the flexibility of your layout.

Movable chairs and tables offer versatility to adapt to different group sizes or event types to help front-end staff manage the dining area more efficiently. Knowing the size of each table group also communicates the potential volume and pace of orders to the kitchen.

Balanced Aesthetic

The layout of seating influences the ease of service. When your seating plan creates enough space to move around, your waitstaff can reduce the time it takes to take and serve orders. Improving your servers’ efficiency can take the pressure off the kitchen staff so they can maintain the quality of food and better manage their workload.

Comfort is another aspect of seating that connects a restaurant’s front and back ends. Comfortable seating encourages guests to linger, potentially increasing food and beverage sales. However, it also means that tables turn over more slowly, and the kitchen staff needs to be aware of pacing their work.

Less comfortable seating might lead to quicker turnover, which can increase the pressure on the kitchen and the front-end staff to keep up with the faster pace.

Create a Balanced Aesthetic

Your choice of seating impacts how your restaurant appears to your guests and helps communicate your brand identity and aesthetic. For example, a restaurant focusing on organic, farm-to-table food might choose natural wood seating, which visually and conceptually connects the customer’s dining experience with the kitchen’s culinary ethos. For a modern restaurant specializing in innovative gastronomy techniques, sleek, designer chairs made from materials like chrome-plated steel are an excellent choice.

For instance, choosing a Jade Open Back Dining Chair with a wood frame finish can complement a range of restaurant themes and décor styles. The open back design creates an airy and spacious ambiance. Choosing wood-framed chairs might resonate with the cultural background and preferences of the restaurant’s clientele.

Jade Open Back Dining Chair

Branding and Identity

Seating can be a powerful branding tool. Iconic seating options, like the classic diner booth or high bar stools in a cocktail lounge, can become synonymous with your restaurant’s identity. This branding extends beyond the physical restaurant to menus, advertisements, and social media, making the seating a recognizable element contributing to your restaurant’s unique personality.

We can provide that personal touch if you want help to create a one-of-a-kind design for your custom counter stools. Our logo stools are tailor-made for your business, featuring your name, logo, or product image on each stool's front, back, or side.

Each logo bar stool offers a 360° swivel for added convenience. Your custom bar stools are highly durable since your logo and background color are printed on the underside of clear, high-quality vinyl.

Custom Logo Chairs

Ergonomics and Comfort

The seating you choose for your restaurant can affect how your guests interact with the space. Comfortable seating with supportive backrests and plush upholstery can encourage your guests to relax, while uncomfortable seats may mean your guests are less likely to linger over a meal.

Mid-century modern-style Breuer Cesca chairs are known for their comfortable design due to the flexible tubular steel frames. The frame flexibility offers a gentle bounce that adapts to the sitter’s movements. The molded wooden or upholstered seat and backrests provide ergonomic support, ensuring comfortable and relaxed seating.

Designing your personalized chair at Seats and Stools is a breeze – simply select your preferred Breuer frame type and choose from the following options: wood with cane, wood insert with vinyl or fabric, or vinyl or fabric upholstery. You can also tailor your Breuer chair’s wood finish with natural, honey oak, walnut, and black or white options. Plus, floor glides are included with your chair to protect your floors.

Space Optimization

Maximizing your customer turnover can help you reach your revenue goals. So, you have to select seating you can configure to accommodate the most people possible without compromising their comfort or your staff’s access to the tables.

If you have a compact dining area, you need functional and comfortable chairs with a small footprint. Opt for slim-profile chairs and tables that can be easily moved or reconfigured.

Breuer Cesca chairs

Consider wall-mounted tables or bar counters, which can provide additional dining space without occupying the central area. In these settings, furniture that can serve multiple purposes, like stools that can be tucked under counters, becomes invaluable.

For a spacious, open-plan space, your seating choices should help establish distinct dining areas and create spaces that promote intimacy and conversation. Try padded armchairs and expansive round tables to promote a luxurious dining experience.

Or invest in booth seating along the restaurant’s perimeter to create ample space in the central part of the dining areas while also giving your guests a cozy dining environment. In the central areas, a mix of standard tables and communal dining options can cater to different group sizes and dining preferences.

For example, the Square Bar Stool Base with Nikel-Spaced Nail Trim offers a space-efficient and comfortable seating solution. Its compact design optimizes floor space, making it suitable for smaller or crowded environments.

Despite its smaller footprint, the square base provides stability and features a strategically positioned footrest for added comfort. The nickel-spaced nail trim not only adds a touch of elegance but also reinforces the stool’s edges, enhancing durability and aesthetics.

Social Dynamics

The spatial arrangement of seating can influence the level of intimacy in a dining experience. Private booths or secluded corners create intimate settings for couples or those seeking a quiet atmosphere. Whereas, open layouts with closer table spacing can encourage more social interaction among patrons and a livelier ambiance.

Your bar seating should promote conversation with both the bartender and other patrons. Swivel stools are ideal for bars, allowing bar-goers to switch directions according to who they are speaking to or even towards the TV if they are watching sports events.

Square Bar Stool

The Tufted Mid Height Bucket Stool is ideal for bars, lounges, or restaurants. The mid-height backrest supports the lower back, while the lack of armrests means diners can interact with those around them. The tufted vinyl upholstery adds a touch of sophistication to your dining area while enabling easy cleaning.

Noise Levels

Your restaurant’s acoustics can impact how your guests enjoy their dining experience. Because furniture occupies a lot of space in your dining room, it can influence how sound travels around the restaurant.

Hard materials, like metal and solid wood, can create echoes and allow sound to reverb, making your restaurant louder. Seating with cushioning and plush upholstery absorbs and dampens soundwaves for a calmer, less noisy environment. Strategically place seating in different materials to control noise levels, enabling your guests to enjoy conversation without excessive background noise.

At Seats and Stools, our seating options are available in a wide selection of upholstery choices, ranging from fabric to vinyl to Naugahyde.

Revenue Generation

Carefully placing your seating can maximize the number of patrons your space can accommodate during peak hours, potentially increasing your revenue.

Your seating configuration should match your branding as well as your target demographic. For example, if you have a rustic, farmhouse-style space, long rectangular tables can help you make the most of your space by eliminating the need for clearance between tables while promoting a more communal dining vibe.

You also need to balance dining room seating with the seating available in waiting areas. This can help you more efficiently manage your reservations to promote seamless turnover. For instance, standing tables or bar seating are ideal for guests who want a quick bite or those waiting for a table in the dining area.

Create a Welcoming and Memorable Dining Experience

Your seating plan and choices significantly impact your guests’ comfort and how they experience and perceive your restaurant. Make a lasting impression on your patrons with high-quality commercial seating from Seats and Stools.

Explore our complete collection of restaurant seating, including designer Breuer chairs, to discover the ideal seats and stools to complement your space.

read more