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Restaurant Tables and Chairs Buyers Guide

restaurant  tables and chairs

Furniture is a vital ingredient in the recipe determining the look and feel of your restaurant. Choosing appropriate styles and materials is essential in achieving the desired ambience and its effectiveness.

How many covers are appropriate for the space?

To calculate how many covers will fit in a restaurant, The Metric Handbook suggests each diner requires an area between 1 and 2 square metres (and a minimum width of 580mm). A crowded restaurant using small square tables might be at the bottom of this range, with 'fine-dining' restaurants being at the top end. Using small tables - and even arranging them at 45° angles - can increase the number of covers. View the restaurant table size guide below to see standard table sizes and the corresponding number of chairs. 

restaurant table size guide diagram

How much space is needed for restaurant chairs?

A restaurant chair in use extends around 450mm from a table and another 450mm between the backs of chairs should avoid customers being bumped by serving staff. Take care that the back legs of chairs do not extend beyond the back of the chair.

What furniture style is best?

If you want your restaurant chairs to make an impact, opt for high backs; if not, or if your ceilings are low, go for backs that are not much higher than the tables. Consider some armchairs, although check that the arms of the chairs fit comfortably under your table tops. We regularly scan the market for the latest trends and put together a Furniture Style Guide every few months, highlighting the latest trends. To get your hands on one don't hesitate to get in touch.

What materials are available & what should we choose?

Most restaurant chairs that we sell are a combination of wood and upholstery, although alternative materials are becoming increasingly popular. Fully upholstered chairs will tend to muffle echoes, particularly important if your restaurant has wooden floors. Glides on the bottom of wooden legs should also be specified to cut down noise, as appropriate.

Obviously comfort is an important consideration, but we find that restaurants that choose chairs with hard seats do not regret their decision.

We have a wealth of experience supplying tables and chairs for hospitality settings and would be delighted to give you advice on your project. Our Hospitality Furniture Knowledge Book is full of tips and tricks of the trade and is a great resource if you're looking to learn more about specifying furniture for hospitality settings. Download the book for free, browse our Knowledge Base and extensive online range or get in touch with our friendly and helpful team by calling freephone 0800 8494 135.

Restaurant Furniture Projects

Below is a selection of restaurant furniture we've supplied in the past. You can also view more recent restaurant projects or browse the full range of restaurant furniture here.

avobar destinational design

Avobar London

Bentwood chairs in honey-rich stains, rattan chairs & stools with brightly striped woven upholstery pair with scaffold board table tops and clean white bases. This is sun-soaked, sand-swept California cool at its best. Furniture that makes you think, chilled times, healthy vibes & a great quality of life.

Hawksmoor Restaurant Edinburgh

Hawksmoor Edinburgh

As with other Hawksmoor sites we have worked on with Macaulay Sinclair, their design team sought a bespoke armchair to sit synonymously alongside the other reclaimed and vintage furniture.

Omar's Place

Omar's Place London

Sella Concept has transformed a Victorian corner pub in Pimlico into a curvaceous Mediterranean restaurant inspired by the warm sun and earthy colours of the region.

Cinnamon Kitchen Oxford

Cinnamon Kitchen Oxford

Blending modern Indian cuisine with traditional spices, the Cinnamon Kitchen experience is a culinary exploration across India which has been breaking ground and winning awards along the way.


Mash Copenhagen

The Copenhagen restaurant has a dark wood interior with a mid-century modern aesthetic accentuated by our Eileen Armchairs in a burgundy leather.


Manicomio Chelsea

The Lana Barstools we supplied provide a diversified space with casual counter seating below hanging pendant lights; perfect for sharing antipasti and intimate drinks with a friend or grabbing a coffee and breakfast on the way to work.

Topics: Tables, Restaurant furniture, Specification tips

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 01/08/17 09:10
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Hospitality Furniture Knowledge book

Searching for table sizes, wood finishes, researching chair materials or simply wondering what furniture will work best in a restaurant or hotel space? This book is packed with over 10 years of knowledge from the contract furniture industry.

What you'll learn:

  • Furniture specification tips
  • Space planning
  • Materials & considerations
  • Table top finishes & edge profiles
  • Chair robustness, testing & more

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