Welcome to the World of Fix Restaurant Seating

Restaurant chairs and tables and people sitting in.

One of the many options restaurant owners have when designing their restaurant interior is to use fixed restaurant chairs and tables, as well as or instead of movable furniture. People tend to have strong opinions about fixed restaurant furniture – either they love it or they hate it. But what is fixed restaurant furniture, and could it benefit your eatery?

Definition of Fixed Restaurant Furniture or Banquette Seating

Fixed restaurant furniture is a  type of seating that is permanently attached to an interior surface of the space such as the floor, or wall. You may have heard the term “banquette seating”. Banquette originally referred to an upholstered bench along a wall, but it is now used as a general term when referring to fixed seating. The term comes from the Italian word, banchetta which is a diminutive word for banca,  the Italian word for bench. Fixed furniture can be fastened to the solid architectural surfaces of the space using glue, screws, bolts, and even special clips that can be attached and unattached when necessary. Examples of banquette seating include booths, wall benches, and corner seats. You can even have bar stools, chairs, and tables that are permanently bolted to the floor of the restaurant.

Types of FIxed Restaurant Furniture

  • Fixed Booths
  • Bolted chairs
  • Wall benches
  • Corner, circular, and half-circle booths
  • Bolted tables
  • Tables attached to the wall on one side

How Can a Restaurant Benefit From Fixed Seating

  • Add character – give the restaurant a variety of seating options and different seating heights. Having all the furniture at the same height is less attractive than a stylish combination of high-backed booths, regular chairs, and even bar stools. It gives customers more options and each customer can choose the type of seating they like. Fixed vinyl booths can give a diner a classic look, and plush upholstered booths or wall benches can make a high-end restaurant look more elegant.
  • Good use of otherwise wasted space.
  • Utilize attractive architectural features of the space. For example, you can fit a bench into an awkward alcove and turn it into a special feature. Or attach a circular bench around an immovable column. Suddenly the most useless corner of the restaurant becomes the most popular place to sit – and it gives the restaurant more seating.
  • Add fixed seating where there is no room to pull out regular chairs from the table. For example, if you have tables placed too close to a wall to fit chairs between the table and the wall, you can use a fixed wall bench.
  • Fill corners – add fixed corner seating into a niche or corner to create cozy seating.
  • Add privacy – in fixed booths, customers feel like they are in an enclosed space, separate from the rest of the restaurant. By adding booths with high backs, diners will be less disturbed by the noise coming from other tables.
  • Seating large groups in a circular booth or along a wall bench keeps the group together and prevents the group from disturbing the rest of the restaurant’s customers.
  • Fixed seating is great for children who tend to move around in their seats and can fall off!
  • Fixed restaurant furniture lasts longer. It is not subject to constant moving, every time a customer stands up or sits down.
  • Make the most of wall space.
  • Fixed seating can be used to divide the space into different areas, for example, the dining area and bar area or the family eating area, and a more private eating area.
  • When there is permanently fixed seating, it can denote the direction of foot traffic through the restaurant. This allows serving staff to come and go more easily with minimum disruption from customers walking around the restaurant.

The Cons of Fixed Restaurant Furniture

The obvious negative about fixed restaurant furniture is that it lacks flexibility. You can’t just rearrange the furniture when need be. If you have a large group of diners enter the restaurant, and if they want to sit together, you can’t just swing a table around to make a larger group table. There is a trade-off between flexibility and the positive aspects of using fixed seating. There are a few ways around the inflexibility issue. Fixed seating can be made in movable modules. You can also use a range of different fixed furniture options so that you have various types of seating for different groups of customers.

Talk to your commercial furniture supplier about the different types of restaurant furniture, and whether fixed seating would benefit your establishment.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.