It’s hard to believe that we are three months into 2014. Already,
we can see certain trends emerging. For those who own a restaurant, it is
imperative to stay up with the trends in order to be successful. In this
industry, standing out is what it takes to get to the head of the line. One
place to start is with the right seating for restaurants.
Seating? How Important is THAT?
Many newbies in the restaurant industry don’t think that seating is of any importance. After all,
chairs don’t seem that critical, as long as they work. It’s just not true. I can tell you right now that I never eat
in at my favorite fast-casual Mexican place because their chairs are so
uncomfortable. I would rather skip the meal than have to sit in one. Give me
comfort any day! Comfort, however, doesn’t need to be
Things to Look for This Year
If this is the year in which you will change out your
restaurant furniture, you will appreciate one of the biggest trends; mix and
match. You don’t have to stick to one style of chair and table. The hot
spots are upping visual interest by getting all sorts of chairs, stools and
easy chairs for their guests. They are also adding a couple of “statement pieces” to bring a pop of color or style to the space.
Speaking of color, many restaurants are abandoning browns,
blacks and metallic finish for colorful pieces. Yellow, bright blues, red and
other bright shades are being combined with neutrals. This gives you a bit of
excitement without overwhelming the guests.
Contrast and Comfort
One of the trends we are seeing in restaurant furniture
this year is the pairing of contrasting materials. For example, you might find
an easy chair that features a roughhewn timber frame with soft leather, or
chrome with plush cotton. Also increasingly popular is copper. Used in lighting
fixtures and on walls, the patina is attractive and the material long lasting.
Keep in mind that all the contrasting materials haven’t ignored an increasing interest in comfort among guests.
You can get as bold and as beautiful as you like, as long as you make the space
welcoming and easy to enjoy. Few things will drive away repeat business as
quickly as uncomfortable seating.
Finding the Right Combination
Take a look around your restaurant. What kind of experience
do you want your guests to have? Ask your restaurant supplier to take a look too.
What does he have that will fit in with your theme and offer guests the kind of
comfort and style you want to incorporate? If you can’t
get a person on site, consider taking some photographs and sending them by
You may opt to keep some areas traditional, while changing
others to accommodate newer seating preferences. After you make your new
seating arrangements, track the results. With some in-house numbers on which
area is most profitable, you can make the best decisions on how to proceed.