4 Important Tips on Restaurant Chairs

restaurant furnitureAll restaurant chairs are not created equal, as there can be major differences between chairs.  Looking at a restaurant chair picture can be deceptive, as two chairs that are seemingly identical in pictures on a website may not be constructed in the same way or same quality at all.  Anyone who is not in the restaurant chair business may have a difficult time telling the quality of the chair just by looking at a picture or a sample.  There is more to consider before buying a restaurant chair than the price.  Below are some tips on what to look for when considering buying restaurant chairs.

1. Materials

Chairs are made from many materials, like wood, metal and plastic.  These materials are separated into subcategories, like the type of wood, such as oak or beech.  Metal chairs are generally made of aluminum or steel, and can be modified with paint and fabric to achieve different looks.  Chairs made from combinations of wood and metal are also available, such as a wood seat and a metal frame.  The take away tip here is that chairs can be found to match the style of any restaurant, and at the same time have the necessary durability, so do not give up easily if a chair with the required specifications is not found right away.

2.Manufactured wood chairs

Although wood chairs can be made of almost any type of wood, the best wood restaurant chairs are made from hardwoods.  A softwood chair tends to break when pressure is applied to the backs or legs, and the joints tend to loosen easier than when hardwoods are used.  The most important factor in a quality chair is what cannot be seen, and that is the chair joints.  Two chairs can look identical, but one may last one year and the other 10 years, just because of how the joints are made.  The tighter the joint, the longer the life.  For example, a compressed mortise and tenon joint in a chair leg is one of the best joints for chairs.  It is made by taking a stretcher (the board that goes from one leg to another), and compressing the stretcher with a machine into the leg using pressure and glue.  So a chair that costs $160 with a compressed mortise and tenon joint may last 5 times longer than an $80 chair without this feature.  The first question after asking the price of a chair is to ask how the chair’s joints are made.

3. Manufactured metal chairs

Metal chairs are made with all metal or a combination of wood and metal.  The frame of a metal restaurant chair is generally all metal, while the seat or part of the back rest may be another type of material.  It is important to know that there are two main ways that the metal frame is assembled.  The first type is an all welded joint chair, which is a superior way to make a metal chair.  A good weld will enable the chair to last the lifetime of the restaurant.  The second way to manufacture a metal chair is to use a nut and bolt on the joints.  The price of this chair is generally lower, and can ship unassembled for less cost.  Many times, though, that is where the advantage of using a nut and bolt stops.  The restaurant owner will still need to pay for assembly.  The biggest negative of a bolted metal chair is that even with lock washers, the joints tend to loosen over time.  As with wood chairs the first question to ask is how the chair’s joints are made.

4. Size, application, and cost

With the joints of wood and metal restaurant chairs being the most important factors in purchasing, there are other considerations too.  For example, the size of the seat, back and height are important too, because increased dimensions may come with a higher price.  The cost increase may be worth it, though, if the larger chair fits the target customer.  The application of where the chair will be used is another consideration.  For example, steel chairs may rust outside and aluminum chairs may be too light to be used indoors.  The cost of the chair is derived from a mixture of all of the above, from how the joints are made to the materials used.  Try to find a chair with the required features, and eliminate those features not required, to get the most benefit for the cost of the chair.

In summary, know the details of a restaurant chair before purchasing and save money over the long term.  Keep searching until the right one is found, which may not have the lowest price.