4 Reasons Not to Buy Residential for Restaurant Chairs and Tables

wood restaurant furnitureMany potential restaurant owners are overwhelmed by the amount of information and planning that goes into opening a new restaurant.  There are many different aspects of planning for a new restaurant, including designing the menu, and purchasing all of the equipment for the back of the house, and furniture and decorative furnishings for the front of the house.  The new restaurant owner may not realize when considering purchasing restaurant chairs and tables that there are differences between dining sets for home use and the commercial furniture that is designed specifically for the restaurant and hospitality industry.  This blog covers some of the important reasons to consider purchasing commercial restaurant furniture from the beginning.

1. Design

When purchasing tables and chairs for residential use, the main design qualifications are whether the chairs and tables fit in the space and look great.  It would appear the same would be true for chairs and tables in a restaurant, but that is not the case.  Why is there a difference?  Well, consider entering a restaurant where there are many tables in a seating area, or a bar area with multiple barstools.  While a single dining set may look great in a home, that same set may look awful if placed with 10 or 20 additional dining sets.  Commercial seating is designed differently to create a great overall look.  Restaurant chairs are generally designed lower in height for example, so you do not observe a sea of chair backs.  Widths of chairs, table heights and supporting bases are examples of custom design that usually goes into each restaurant.

2. Durability

In general, residential furniture will not be as durable as commercial chairs and tables, and doesn’t need to be.  Consider that a home dining set may be used a couple times a day for families eating lunch or dinner.  Commercial tables and chairs may be used all day long with multiple diners.  Also, the homeowner who has purchased tables and chairs is more likely to clean and maintain them, than a restaurant customer would who has no vested interested in the furniture.  This is why residential furniture will have more parts that would fail in commercial use.  For example, commercial patio chairs are usually welded, but for a home they may have bolts holding the joints together.

3. Materials

Many bold cotton fabrics are found in home dining sets and they look fantastic!  But commercial seating would not be manufactured with these same fabrics, as they are less durable and harder to maintain.  Vinyl is frequently used in commercial seating applications because vinyl is very easy to maintain, clean and repair.  Table tops and chairs in a restaurant will more likely have a durable, high traffic finish on the wood parts like polyurethane, but a lacquer or a conversion varnish may be successfully used on a table designed for home use.  Better materials are typically found in a commercial application due to the higher use in a restaurant, so the expense of maintenance can be put off longer.

4. Budget

When a homeowner considers purchasing a dining set, they may have planned and saved for this purchase or may be buying furniture for a new home.  A homeowner’s budget and needs vary widely from a restaurant owners.  The homeowners’ main requirements for dining sets are that they accommodate a certain number of diners and fit their personal style.  A restaurant owner will want the restaurant tables and chairs to fit their personal style, but they must also consider the overall cost of the furniture and if it fits the necessities of the restaurants’ diners.  Restaurant owners almost always have to consider the cost of every purchase, including seating, which is typically not the case in a home.  The durability of commercial restaurant furniture is usually commensurate with the cost.  Residential chairs and tables that will have to be replaced more quickly will cost the restaurant owner more in the long run.