One of the most efficient ways to seat lots of guests with a
minimum of expense and space is to invest in booths for restaurant seating.
And, while many people have a perception of booths as a bit tacky or dated,
nothing is further from the truth. It all comes down to how you set up your
booths, and how you design them.
Classy and Classic
Just because you choose to set up part of your restaurant
with booths doesn’t mean that both sides of the table have to include
booth-style seating. Having a banquette only on the wall allows you to seat
more people in the same amount of space, simply by sliding over tables so they
touch. Well matched tables are important for this trick to work properly.
Additionally, having stylish chairs facing the banquette gives you more design
Imagine having dark wooden tables set between well-upholstered,
matching chairs and a coordinated banquette. Covered in a light vinyl, the
chairs and banquette offer a stark contrast that speaks of a modern touch. A
dark, red vinyl would be a bold choice as well, and would give your place a
rich ambiance. Synthetic leather with a distressed appearance is easy to clean,
and is perfect for a steakhouse. It is hard to distinguish the new vinyl
products from actual leather.
Follow the Wood Trend
One thing we are really seeing in the restaurant industry
these days is the resurgence of wooden table tops. Thick slabs of wood, between
1 ¼” and 1 ½”, are really popular. The wood doesn’t need to be smooth and
varnished either. Streaked grain, wormholes and “character” is even hotter than
solid wood. Best of all, these tabletops can stand up to all sorts of abuse,
and can be personalized by being matched with a base that best suits your
If class is what you want, then consistency is important. A
unified color scheme is an easy way to add sophistication, if you want fun and
eclectic, use color. There is nothing wrong with picking a different,
complementary color for each booth, as long as the colors work together. If the
idea of having every booth a different shade scares you, pick three colors
and work with those.
One of the most interesting things about color is that you
can set the tone of your whole restaurant with it. Pastels are very 1950’s
while the 1960’s saw much brighter shades. In the 1970s we moved to avocado,
brown and yellow plaid, and gold. You can get just about any color in your
booths since vinyl is so easy to create.
Keep Some Chairs
When you do move to the less-costly option of booths for
restaurant seating, keep some tables set with normal chairs. Not everyone likes
having to slide into a seat, or being seated next to other people along the
same long banquette, even if they aren’t sharing an actual table. It is said
that variety is the spice of life, so be prepared to offer up a little spice to
be able to suit all of your guests.