Choose the Perfect Restaurant Seating With 5 Simple Steps

Achieve restaurant seating that looks fantastic, functions well and even encourages your customers to spend more with these 5 simple steps.

1) Ensure you have flexibility in your seating plan

Fixed seating is great. You won’t find bigger advocates of it than us, but we know it’s limitations and are honest enough to admit them. Fixed seating limits flexibility. You need to have enough table and chair configurations so that if a large party arrives without a booking, for example, you can find room for them by pushing tables together. You can, however, still achieve a degree of flexibility with fixed seating by having straight run along a wall with tables and chairs opposite that can be configured to form 2-person tables or 12-person tables, but just make sure you have enough flexibility.

2) Have an exclusive collection of booths
It’s a really good idea to have a small amount of booth seating in your restaurant. Booths give us this sense that we are isolated from the rest of the restaurant, that we are in some way privileged. Studies have even proved that customers, on average, spend more in booths, but be careful… install too many booths and you lose that exclusivity, and your restaurant ends up looking like an American highway diner.

3) Choose a layout that leaves ample room between tables and enough room for walkways
We’ve talked about this before – it’s one of our big pet peeves. Make certain there is enough room in between tables (ideally no less than 500mm) and enough room behind chairs (800mm or more) so that your customers can enjoy their meals with a bit of privacy and comfort. There is nothing worse than cramming customers in purely to seat more people. In fact, this ends up being counter productive as it puts customers off coming back.

4) Consider your customer base when planning the sizes of your fixed seating
Know your customers. Know your positioning within the market. Your seating must reflect your brand and must cater for your customers and their intended use. For example, if you run a fast-food restaurant, you can opt for slightly smaller booths and fit more people in as your customers will be in and out relatively quickly, therefore comfort is not of paramount importance. If, however, you run a fine-dining establishment, comfort is key and you also want your customers to have plenty of room. Consider your customers and plan your seating accordingly.

5) Choose your theme and design carefully
The theme and design of your restaurant greatly influences how your customers perceive your restaurant, and seating is one of the biggest aspects of your interior design, therefore you need to ensure you choose the right design. These are the things you need to consider: seating shape (e.g. straight runs, back-to-back booths, circular booths), back style (e.g. plain backs, fluted backs, deep buttoning), colour, material (e.g. fabric, vinyl or leather), and even the finer details like kickboards and cappings. That’s where the fun begins, crafting seating to represent you and portray the image you want your restaurant to have.

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Head over to now to view our portfolio of restaurant seating and get some ideas.

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How to Impress Customers with Your Restaurant Seating

Making a great first impression is important in any setting, not least the service industry. In today’s world, customers want products and services to not only meet their expectations, but exceed them. Therefore, we thought we’d share with you 5 ways in which you can really wow guests with your restaurant seating and instantly put them in a positive frame of mind about your establishment.

1) Seating Designs & Patterns
The extent to which you can go to customise your seating and create a unique style is almost endless with fixed seating. You can choose from different back heights, back styles and even back shapes (like curves) to come up with a combination that really grabs people’s attention. So, whether you are going for a classic vintage look or something wacky and themed like space-aged seating, back designs, patterns and shapes can help you go a long way to create something that stands out.

2) Fabrics and Colours
Grand deep button back seating may not be within every restaurant owner’s budget, so fabrics and colours can be a key factor in creating a piece of seating that truly bedazzles guests. We’ve seen (and made) everything from chic cappuccinos to luminous limes in restaurants throughout the UK, and what we can safely say is, colour influences people’s thoughts and perceptions massively. We all form certain connotations with certain colours, so you should choose colours that send the desired messages to your customers about your restaurant and brand.

3) Seating Layouts/ Arrangements
Seating layouts definitely play a part in what your customers think of your restaurant. We’ve spoken before about how booth seating can create a sense of luxury and privilege in the minds of customers and that can actually induce positive feelings in customers given that they feel they are somewhat lucky or special to have been given booth seats. Aside from booths, different seating layouts can also determine the atmosphere of a restaurant or be used to create cool segments or divides.

4) Style vs Comfort vs Practicality
The way to solve this problem is to simply consider who your customers are and what they want or expect when they come into your restaurant. If you are a fast food restaurant, your seating is likely to lean more towards the practicality element and possibly even style seeing as comfort is likely the least of your customers worries given that they will not be waiting or dining for very long. Of course, possessing seating that is stylish, comfortable and practical all in one is ideal, but these are often conflicting elements.

5) Cleanliness & Hygiene
There is no excuse for not maintaining and cleaning banquette seating. Cleanliness and hygiene are of paramount importance to customers of restaurants, so make sure your seating is looking pristine, and don’t forget about the kickboards or folds in between flutes either. Choosing faux leather seating is a wise move and a very popular one at that seeing as it can be cleaned ever so easily with merely the wipe of a damp cloth.

If you have all of the above in check, you’ll consistently make a great impression on your customers. Offer great service and even better food and you’ll find your customer base becoming increasingly loyal.

Cube Company

Booth Seating Really Does Make Your Restaurant More Profitable

Look at the picture below… if you were given the choice between a table and chair configuration or one of those booths, which would you take? You’d take the booth seating, right? Well, so would almost everyone.

You see, booth seating creates a win-win situation for you and your customers. Not only will your restaurant look better and seat more customers, it will ensure customers enjoy their dining experience that little bit more and actually increase the amount they spend in your establishment.

Here are 6 reasons to choose booth seating for your restaurant:

1) Comfortable and cosy
Most booth seating is made up of upholstered seats with foam padding which makes them much cosier than a hard wooden-back chair and comfort is a big part of the dining experience for most people. Therefore, comfortable customers often equal happy customers.

2) Private dining, VIP-feel
We all mainly like booths because they create a feeling that we are separate from the rest of the restaurant, that we are in some way special or lucky. Even though we’re out in public, most of us still like a bit of personal space to en joy our time with our family and friends, and booth seating enables us to do this like no other.

3) Seat more guests per square foot
Booths can go back-to-back so take up less room than table and chair configurations. With booths you don’t need to worry about leaving ample room for guests and waiting staff to be able to walk in between tables and chairs.

4) Booths bring in more revenue
Research from the United States shows that customers who sat in booths spent an average of $17.75 more than those who sat at free-standing tables and chairs. Fact. Some customers spent longer in their booths thus bought more courses and more drinks, whilst others tended to go for more expensive dishes fitting with their more ‘expensive feeling’ seats.

5) Creative layouts
The great thing about booths is they can be laid out in various different ways to segment a restaurant, create different atmospheres and, of course, form great interior design. As well as the traditional method of lining booths up back-to-back, ‘floating’ booths can create a great look in the centre of a restaurant too.

6) Custom designs
The design options with booths are almost endless. You can create beautiful booths by choosing from upholstery styles,  kickboards, wood finishes, trims, cappings and other accessories like booth partitions.

So there you have it, 6 great reasons why booth seating can improve your restaurant, make it more profitable and also make your customers’ dining experience that much better.

Click here to have a look at our booth seating and other banquette seating styles.

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The Big 6 Banquette Seating Blunders to Avoid

We’ve had enough experience over the years to know what works and what doesn’t with banquette seating, so we’ve put together this list to help you avoid making those costly mistakes.

Take heed of our advice to achieve beautiful and practical banquette seating like this

Take heed of our advice to achieve beautiful and functional banquette seating like this

(1) Choosing the Wrong Fabric
Slip up here and you could be breaking the law. Did you know ALL seating in public areas must be upholstered with Crib 5 certified fabrics? You do now!

Aside from the legal stuff, you also want to ensure you choose the right fabric to stand up to the rigours of your environment. You probably want to avoid choosing delicate fabrics in restaurants and bars, or anywhere they could come into contact with food and drink . Our customers often go for hard-wearing and easy-to-clean Faux Leathers that are resilient against stains, scuffs and scratches.

(2) Choosing the Wrong Seat Depth and Height
Failing to take time and consideration over these crucial dimensions could lead to your banquette seating being a disaster. Opting for insufficient seat depth is likely to make your seating uncomfortable, whilst going for the opposite is bad for space-efficiency (if that is of concern to you).

In terms of seat height, opting for lavish, grand backs may look stunning in some environments, but in others could be too domineering and may also detract from an open atmosphere – if that’s what you’re aiming for. We tend to design standard backs at a height of 960mm and tall backs between 1 and 1.2 metres, but we are happy to design to custom specifications.

(3) Booths Designed/ Made the Wrong Size
This probably goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many customers set out with plans for booths that are way off the mark. Don’t worry, we’re not trying to put you off small booths and up-sell you to bigger ones. We simply encourage you to consider your environment, customer base and intended use before deciding on sizes.

For example, if you run a fine-dining restaurant in the centre of London, you are likely to opt for grand booths with lots of room and extra comfort all of which add value to dining at your establishment. One the other hand, the owner of a fast-food outlet which has a high turnover of customers per hour is more likely to select basic, smaller booths that enable him/ her to seat more customers in his/ her restaurant.

Knowing your environment, customer base and intended use is absolutely key.

(4) Opting for Cheap or  Thin Kickboards
This is another area where people often look to cut costs, but we really cannot speak highly enough about the importance of having good, solid kickboards. 

Kickboards come in for a fair amount of contact with all kinds of tough and sharp objects over the course of their lifetimes. Whether it be high-heeled shoes, mops or vacuum cleaners, cheap boards can scratch, scuff, crack and even dent. This does not look pretty to your customers or clients and isn’t the sort of image you want to project as a business. So, we strongly advise you go for nothing less than 12mm boarding.

(5)  Poor Positioning/ Layout of Banquette Seating
While it is popular belief that lighting and music sets the mood or atmosphere like nothing else, we believe it is actually people who ultimately create and determine an atmosphere, and seating which acts as the platform for people to interact and socialise.

With that said, poor banquette seating layouts can seriously damage the atmosphere of a restaurant, bar or nightclub. We’ve also seen instances of seating obstructing the walkway to the bar… the very place a business intends to make its money!

We cannot suggest a universal solution here as every room is different and every customer has different desires. But that’s why we offer a comprehensive layout planning service to ensure you not only create the best atmosphere possible, but also maximise space-efficiency.

(6) Not Enough Time Allowance for Installations
Underestimating the amount of time it takes to carefully craft a piece of banquette seating is a sin. Well, it is to us manufacturers! It takes a sufficient amount of wood, fabric and time to make this type of seating and no manufacturer keeps an aircraft hangor full of stock, so it is best to plan your project with plenty of time before your grand opening. We typically work to a schedule of 3-4 weeks from project initiation to install in case you were wondering.

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That’s it! You now have the knowledge and expertise to be able to avoid making any of these crucial mistakes. So, when you come to ordering banquette seating in the future, make sure you remember all of the above.

Cube Company

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