4 Crucial Tips to Avoid Mistakes When Buying Restaurant Tables

wood restaurant tablesWhen trying to find just the right restaurant table for your business take the time to think about your needs as a restaurant owner, and what the customers’ would like to see when dining at your establishment.  Below are 3 reasons why it’s valuable to take this time.

1. Find the right table for your target customers

One of the worst mistakes is to buy a table top that does not match up with the customer you are trying to attract. Cost is on the mind of every restaurant owner, from the portions of food and drink to utilities, so why not get the best priced table for you and your customer? An important factor in purchasing restaurant tables is the desire to offer different table tops than your restaurant competition.  Table tops are priced from the less expensive melamine reversible table tops to more expensive live edge wood tables.   The first step in creating a table top that distinguishes you from your competition is to forget about the table top cost and ask for material samples from vendors. Pick the best looking samples and toss the rest. Preview the samples in your restaurant to get an idea for how the tables will look to your customers while dining.  Use your favorite sample to select the acceptable table tops. Now you are ready to contact various vendors to check price, durability and delivery times

If the restaurant table you like seems too expensive, a suggestion may be to purchase a table made of mixed materials. For example, suppose your target customers would like a granite table top. You could purchase a few granite tables as show pieces, place them where they would be highly visible to customers, and also scattered a few more throughout the restaurant.   The rest of your restaurant tables could be matching laminate tables that would blend in with the real granite. Customers are not usually going to see the entire kitchen, for example, but they see what is in front of them, and that is the restaurant furniture and their immediate surroundings. Match the table top cost to the customer’s expectations.

2. Find the right table bases for your tables

It is a mistake to choose a table base that does not match the size and weight of the table top. Table tops need to be correctly matched to the bases that support them. Bases generally are able to support 10 pounds per square foot, so be especially careful on choosing bases where the table tops are heavier than that rating.   A table base that can handle just the weight of the table is not good enough, because the base needs to support extra weight, such as people using the table top as a work bench, or customers using the table top as support to push off to get out of their seat. A proper fit base will also help prevent the table top from tipping over.

3. Find the right table for your application

Another common mistake is choosing a restaurant table top that is not right for the application. For example, wood tables require regular maintenance, and as a general rule are not used outdoors. Sunlight and the weather breaks down glue joints and the finish on regular wood like maple, oak and ash. Teak table tops can go outdoors, but to make them look good, regular oiling is required. Indoors, table tops without the right finish can also become an issue. For example, restaurants that continually have liquids spilled or are wiped off with a solution will break down if the proper finish is not applied. Lacquer or catalyzed lacquer may not be the right choice in a humid or wet environment: a better finish choice would be 2 part polyurethane.

4. Find the right vendor for your tables

Most restaurant owners search on the Internet for table tops. After looking the wide variety of commercial furniture vendors, it can become very confusing. Don’t make the mistake of just picking a vendor at random. Rather, picking a vendor should be treated like hiring a manager for your restaurant. Select the vendor for your restaurant tables, and other restaurant furniture, after you have interviewed them, gotten their references and compared their prices to that of other competition. Remember, pictures on the Internet can look exactly the same, but the devil is in the details. A good vendor will be able to assist you with all of the details about the construction of your tables, the proper finish, or any other information applicable to your specific desired restaurant table.

Putting some advance thinking into purchasing restaurant tables saves time and money, and ultimately creates a great customer dining experience.