When it comes to creating a stylish and welcoming hospitality or restaurant space, the right furniture is essential. It is important to find a reputable manufacturer that can provide you with quality restaurant furniture.
We’ve created a guide to assist in the search for the ideal balance of form and function, so you can narrow down your options and locate the perfect pieces for your design. You’ll learn:
- Considerations to keep in mind when selecting restaurant and hospitality furniture
- How to find the best among hospitality and restaurant furniture manufacturers
- Tips for choosing and customizing hospitality/restaurant furniture for your project
What to Look for in Hospitality and Restaurant Furniture
When guests enter a new hospitality space or restaurant, they might not immediately consider the furniture — and yet, the furniture has a significant impact on their experience and satisfaction.
Furniture plays a part in the ambiance of a space, guests’ comfort level, and even how well staff are able to perform their essential roles. And although it may seem overwhelming to choose pieces for your space, taking an informed and organized approach will make a world of difference.
Whenever possible, budget for quality over quantity — because making a smart, long-term investment is key. There may be options with prices that seem too good to be true, and it can be tempting to try to stretch your budget as far as it will go. However, the most inexpensive furniture pieces are also the ones you’re likely to be replacing within the next year or two.
Instead, opt for pieces that balance affordability and quality construction. You may need to make minor adjustments to your initial design (for example, tweaks to material selections and finish specifications), but putting quality first will always be worth it.
There’s no question that quality and durability are connected, but the durability of restaurant and hospitality furniture is more than just a budget concern. In fact, durable, commercial-quality furniture pieces are crucial for the safety of your guests. The worst-case scenario is that a guest is injured when a chair or table breaks, and you end up fully liable because the furniture wasn’t intended for commercial use. It’s a costly mistake that you want to avoid.
You don’t simply need furniture that looks good; it’s equally important for the furniture to be safe to use. This means selecting pieces that can stand up to the demands of constant use, regular cleaning with commercial products, and the like. Furniture made for home use will fall short, which is why investing in commercial-grade options is the better choice.
Prioritizing quality and durability while balancing your budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. While there are plenty of commercial furniture manufacturers that only offer mass-market, generic products, you can absolutely find companies that are committed to style-forward design and craftsmanship.
More than likely, you have a clear vision in your mind for what your space will look and “feel” like — and you shouldn’t lose sight of that now. Different materials and designs can convey different messages to your guests, and the ambiance of a space can be dramatically shifted depending on the furniture. Are you aiming for a casual, laidback space? Or, are you hoping for a space that embodies luxury and elegance? Each type of design requires fitting furniture styles to execute the overall vision, so choose accordingly.
Simple Steps to Find Furniture for Your Restaurant or Hospitality Space
Now, you have a basic idea of what to look for in hospitality and restaurant furniture. And whether this is your first or fiftieth design project, following a series of steps can make the shopping process as easy and stress-free as possible.
Measure Your Space
Measuring the space you’re shopping for might sound overly obvious, but it’s a step that many people forget. Before you begin browsing furniture styles and products, make sure you’ve assembled an accurate and thorough documentation of measurements.
The type and amount of space you’re working with will determine virtually every characteristic of the furniture you buy: the size and shape of the tables and chairs, the number of pieces you need, and so on and so forth. You may find that a few inches difference completely alters your original design plan.
Consider Your Guest Experience
You already know how your guests will be using and moving within a space, but have you considered that in the context of the furniture you’ll be buying? For example, how do you want guests to be able to move from the entry area to their main seating space? Will guests need to be able to easily get up to retrieve their food and beverages, or will servers need to be able to comfortably navigate the room? Are there zones intended for small or large groups to assemble? These are all questions to ask yourself as you explore your furniture options.
In most cases, the profitability of a hospitality or restaurant space hinges on the optimal utilization of a space. At the same time, you want to be sure to craft an outstanding experience for each and every guest. So, it’s all about juggling your top priorities — and finding the right furniture pieces allow you to do exactly that.
Customize the Space
Above all, customizing your space is the key to achieving your design vision while also exceeding guest expectations. No two hospitality spaces or restaurants are alike, which makes it of paramount importance to have the flexibility to customize the style and functionality of the furniture. Something as seemingly simple as choosing round or square tables, or what type of wood is used for your tables, are decisions that have a major impact on your space.
In order for your space to be successful, it should stand out from other, similar spaces in your area. Customization makes it possible to perfect every last detail, so you can steer clear of generic and set a course straight to a unique, memorable design. Rather than being limited by standard-only options, working with a manufacturer that offers customization is imperative.What to Look for in a Hospitality and Restaurant Furniture Manufacturer
There may be no shortage of restaurant and hospitality furniture manufacturers to choose from, but not all are created equally. You’re choosing more than a retailer; you’re selecting a partner in the design execution process — and the decision is an incredibly important one.
What to Look for in a Hospitality and Restaurant Furniture Manufacturer
If you’re weighing your options and trying to choose between potential manufacturers and suppliers, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Customer service: When it comes to navigating the design process, the last thing you need is a manufacturer that never seems to be available to take your call. Instead, choose a company that makes it a point to provide the highest quality of customer service at every stage of the process. For example, at Old Dominion Furniture, we have an entire team available daily via phone, so our clients can reach us if and when they need us. We provide personalized service and support from the first sales conversation to the final delivery and installation, warranty service, and beyond.
- Quality and craftsmanship: What is the manufacturer’s approach to designing and building their furniture? For example, do they only offer mass-produced pieces made with cheap materials? The best manufacturers of hospitality and restaurant furniture are those that employ experienced, skilled craftspeople to create top-quality products. There can be massive variances in quality, so choose a manufacturer that is clearly committed to crafting exceptional pieces.
- Customization options: As mentioned earlier, you don’t want to be “stuck” with limited options, especially because stock furniture might not fit into your design plan. Even if you aren’t sure if you’ll want to order custom hospitality furniture, it’s usually wise to partner with a manufacturer that offers that as an available option. Custom upholstery, finishes, stains, and similar choices give you the freedom to design the perfect pieces for your space.
- Pricing: As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. However, that doesn’t mean you need to overpay for your furniture, either. A good manufacturer provides fair pricing that aligns with the quality of the product they are selling. If prices seem too good to be true, they probably are — but don’t assume that affordability is out of reach, either. Ultimately, you want to be making a solid investment in your restaurant or hospitality furniture.
- Product availability: Does the manufacturer have all of the pieces you need? It isn’t ideal to have to shop around to find different manufacturers for different pieces, so you’ll ideally be able to secure everything you need from a single manufacturer with an excellent selection.
Don’t hesitate to request the manufacturer’s portfolio and/or lookbook, so you can see more of their designs. In many cases, being able to view their pieces “in action” — that is, in a real-life setting — can help you decide if they are the right fit for your project.
Select the Right Furniture for You
You’ll have many different decisions to make during the furniture purchasing process, but careful consideration and the right manufacturing partner will make it all worth it. A few takeaways to keep at the front of your mind:
- Customization and a broad range of options make it much easier to find the furniture that flawlessly fits into your design vision. Don’t forget to consider elements such as:
- Shape (i.e. round, square, or rectangular table tops)
- Style (booths vs. chairs vs. bar stools)
- Woods (oak, walnut, mahogany, etc.)
- In addition to the furniture staples, such as tables and chairs, you may also need other basics, such as high chairs, booster seats, and tray stands. Find a manufacturer that offers these essentials in stylish but functional designs.
- Quality, style, and function can and should be equally prioritized. With the right manufacturer, it’s possible to get furniture that checks all these boxes and more.
By following these tips, you can find the perfect hospitality and restaurant furniture and manufacturer for your business.