Indoor vs. Outdoor Restaurant Furniture

This buying guide focuses on indoor restaurant furniture, but we also have great resources for shoppers looking to stock their outdoor patio.

Buying Bar and Restaurant Furniture 

Whether you’re opening a new restaurant or renovating an existing spot, there are a few things to consider when buying furniture for your restaurant or bar. After all, the way your bar or dining room looks will instantly make an impression on customers, good or bad. In order to leave a positive mark, your bar and restaurant furniture should make patrons feel comfortable and reflect your establishment’s style. Is your business casual or formal? Quirky or elegant? Similarly, the layout you select should optimize your dining room’s space and clear enough room for foot traffic from waitstaff and patrons.

Dining Room Space Planning

After you decide what type of dining experience suits your restaurant, the next step is to create a dining room layout that maximizes seating and space. Here is a list of steps you should take to make the most out of your dining room:

  1. Calculate how much square footage each diner will need. A good rule of thumb is that casual restaurants have 10-12 square feet per guest, and upscale eateries have 12-14 square feet per guest.
  2. Next you’ll want to account for the space needed for foot traffic. In general, waitstaff require 24-30 inches of space to maneuver between tables, while 18-36 inches should be set aside for a main thoroughfare that diners can use to enter and exit.
  3. Once all of the dining room space is mapped out, it’s time to decide which types of tables and chairs to purchase. The graph below shows how many diners can fit at traditional round and rectangular tables of varying sizes.

Booth seating is another option to consider. Though booths tend to be more expensive, they allow restaurants to seat more people in a smaller space. This makes booth seating perfect for eateries that service a large volume of customers, such as diners, fast food establishments, and fast-casual restaurants.

Typical Restaurant Furniture Styling

Seating  Tables  Good For 
Dining Chair  Small round or square  Intimate spaces, café setting 
Bar Height Chair  Bar height table  Bar/bub setting, mixed seating in casual restaurants 
Bar Stool  Bar height table  Bar/pub setting, fast casual restaurant 
Dining Chair with Arms  Square or rectangular table  Formal and family-style restaurants 

Restaurant Table Bases

Table bases are typically available in standard dining or bar heights, depending on the desired seating height. Bases also come in several styles that can match your restaurant décor. Table bases can add to your atmosphere and provide a sturdy place for customers to eat and drink.  

Tip: Before buying a table base, be sure to do your research on the types of table tops that are compatible. This will prevent you from buying a table top in the wrong size or style. 

The most popular types of table bases are listed below.

Restaurant Table Tops

The right table top will stand the test of time. There are several types, styles, and finishes of table tops. If you’re looking for a more custom configuration in your restaurant, buying separate table tops and bases is the way to go. Below are some common table top construction materials and their benefits in commercial use.

Wood Plank   wood plank table top


Durable, easy to clean, attractive 


Low heat-resistance

Butcher Block   butcherblock top


Durable, easy to clean, attractive 


Low heat-resistance

Wood Veneer   wood veneer top


Low maintenance, sturdy, easy to clean 


Less durable than solid wood

Laminate   laminate table top


Water resistant, multiple color choices, low maintenance 


Less suitable for fine dining decor

Granite/Quartz   quartz table top


Virtually unbreakable, attractive, sturdy 


Higher cost

Resin   resin table top


Can be used outdoors, low maintenance, durable 


More difficult to join smaller tables for large parties

Restaurant Chairs 

Selecting proper restaurant dining chairs has a huge impact on your customers’ comfort and happiness. Dining chairs come in a variety of styles and colors and are typically offered in dining and bar heights. The most common frame styles are listed below.

Wood  wood chair 


Sturdy, comfortable, attractive, low maintenance 

Metal   metal chair


Perfect for outdoors, more variety in styles, durable 

Seat Type

Seat types are a matter of preference, both in terms of comfort and style. Consider wood or leather seats if you’re looking to furnish an upscale dining room, or try metal or plastic for a more modern aesthetic.

Wood   wood chair
Vinyl   vinyl chair
Plastic   plastic chair
Fabric   fabric chair
Leather/Faux Leather   leather chair

Bar Stools

The height of the bar stools you select is key. Make sure to take precise measurements of the bar or table height before deciding on a bar stool to pair with it. Here’s a good rule of thumb to consider when picking bar stool heights: 10-12″ should be allotted between the stool seat and the underside of your table counter:

  • Short height: 28” to 30” counter height – choose 16” to 23” seat height
  • Counter height: 35” to 39” counter height – choose stools with 24” to 27” seat height
  • Bar height: 40” to 43” counter height – choose stools with 28” to 33” seat height
  • Extra tall: 44” to 47” counter height – choose stools with 34” seat height or taller

After selecting the right height, it’s time to choose the bar stool style that best suits your business. Here are some of the most popular options.


Children’s Seating

Don’t forget about the kids! We have a great selection of high chairs and booster seats in plenty of sizes, materials, and color options to match any restaurant setting.

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