Planning the opening of a brand new restaurant involves keeping tabs on numerous moving pieces that can sometimes behave rather erratically. Despite your best efforts at planning things out as best you can, there is always a chance that you might have missed out on something that you would regret later on. One of the most common regrets that restaurant owners have in the long run involves the furniture that they chose to buy, as well as how they decided to lay this furniture out in their dining space.
Choosing restaurant furniture is a lot like choosing an insurance provider in that you won’t realize if you made the wrong decision until it’s too late. It’s best to figure out what your best options are from the get-go so that you can avoid going through these types of situations. When it comes to buying furniture in the first place, perhaps the most important consideration is its durability. Sturdy furniture is the best choice for new restaurants. Not only will it help you avoid repair and maintenance costs, but it will also create a premium ambiance that your customers would love and want to keep coming back for.
However, it’s also important to remember the correlation between furniture durability and how heavy it might be. The more durable a piece of furniture is, the more it is going to weigh, and that means that you will have a harder time moving it around. Extremely light furniture helps make matters easier in that respect, but you would be trading off durability if you prioritize lightweight options, so it’s best to strike a balance between the two.
Overly heavy furniture can be a nightmare if you need to frequently customize seating arrangements based on foot traffic. On the other hand, furniture that is very light is notorious for being fragile as well. Restaurants that usually get heavy foot traffic might want to avoid lighter options, lest they break after the third or fourth customer places their weight on them. Some restaurants would be better off with lighter furniture if they see fewer customers on a day-to-day basis, and easy reshuffling is an important factor for their smooth functioning. Generally speaking, though, furniture that finds the happy medium and gives appreciable durability without being too heavy to move is the ideal option because it serves the widest range of restaurant types.
Now, buying your furniture is only the first step in this journey. After you make these purchases, you would need to figure out where this furniture will go and how it will be arranged. There are some tips that can help you lay the furniture out efficiently. For example, a good way to judge whether or not your table placement is suitable for paying customers is to see how noisy that area is. Situating your tables too close to the kitchen might make them too noisy and uncomfortable for customers to sit in.
Another area that you might want to keep your tables and chairs away from is the bathroom. This creates two spheres that you should avoid placing your furniture in. Create a reasonable perimeter around the kitchen and bathroom areas and ensure that your tables are not placed in proximity to either of those circles. This allows every customer to get a good experience rather than having this experience hampered by unpleasant odors from your bathroom, steam, and smoke from your kitchen, as well as the noise that each of these areas usually creates.
Leaving some space outside of the bathroom also helps your customers fulfill their needs with a bit of privacy. There is also a chance that a queue could form outside of the bathroom, and any tables that are situated too close to it might get crowded, which would ruin the meal that your patrons are paying for. You should also keep this area relatively dim to maximize privacy and illuminate the bathroom’s interior brightly to compensate for that.
A great way to figure out if all of your seating options meet reasonable standards is to sit in all of them. Pick up a notepad and jot down any observations that you might make while sitting at each of these tables. Some things to keep in mind are breezes and drafts from open windows or air conditioning units because some customers might feel chilly when you take their coat as they sit down. It’s not just your furniture that needs to be placed optimally. Other aspects of your restaurant’s interior décor should be considered just as carefully as well.
It’s usually not a good idea to place a table directly in front of an air conditioner. This might create an uncomfortably cold environment that most customers would not be happy with. That said, be careful not to keep any tables too far away from the AC units either, since they would likely go too far to the warmer side of things which might be even worse. This works well with our previous tips because your air conditioning probably wouldn’t reach the kitchen or bathroom areas, so you’re left with spaces where your furniture would work well in.
Your main takeaway from what we are saying here is that figuring out where you shouldn’t put your furniture is better than trying to think of where you should. There are some clear parts of your eatery that furniture should never be placed in, and marking these areas leaves you with only those options that are suitable. This advice works best for larger restaurants, although smaller eateries can also implement some of these techniques because good seating arrangements are just as important for them, if not more so.