Dining chairs: they have to be comfortable!

Customers do not just want to feel well served in the gastronomy and to be served delicious food and drinks. They also want to feel comfortable and this includes armchairs, which furnish the lounge and bar area.

Sessel für die Gastronomie: Bequem müssen sie sein! ( Foto: Shutterstock-_ImageFlow )

Armchairs for catering: decision criteria for the purchase

If you want to set up a restaurant or a bar with a lounge, you have to find the right furniture. Simple chairs with a modern flair? Or would you prefer large wingback chairs with velvet covers? The fact is that the new Dining chairs it must necessarily match the rest of the interior and should also harmonize with the establishment itself.

This is mainly focused on the design of the furniture, but some practical aspects also need to be considered. Last but not least, prices certainly also play a role, because armchair models for the catering industry are expensive. Not every start-up can afford this. The following selection criteria can be used as a decision-making aid in finding and selecting the right armchairs.

If you want to set up a restaurant or a bar with a lounge, you have to find the right furniture. (Photo: Shutterstock sorbis)

Legal regulations: Observe fire protection

What the guests are sitting on in the restaurant is, in principle, irrelevant. You can sit on chairs or armchairs, on the sofa or even on the floor. In this regard, there are no legal regulations that would make it difficult for the restaurateur to choose. Instead of paying attention to legal requirements, he can therefore concentrate on design and prices. Nevertheless, there is one point that needs to be mentioned at this point and this concerns fire protection.

This is aimed at the object itself as well as at the development and the furnishings, which should be flame-retardant at best. When choosing armchairs for catering, care should be taken to ensure that the currently possible points regarding fire protection are observed or achieved. Flame-retardant fabrics are therefore preferable to materials that do not bear this marking.

In Germany, the DIN 66084 “Classification of the fire behavior of upholstered composites” applies, which is not a regulation when setting up a gastronomic business, but which should nevertheless be taken into account. And that’s for safety and insurance reasons alone! Furniture that has this classification has passed a so-called cigarette, match and paper cushion test and does not prove to be a fire accelerator in practice, as is unfortunately often the case. Tip: The prices for furniture tested in this way are no higher than for many other armchairs and chairs where the focus was solely on the design!

What the guests are sitting on in the restaurant is, in principle, irrelevant. ( Photo: Shutterstock-Ilija Erceg)

Buy cheap armchairs for gastronomy?

Especially those who want to open a bar with a lounge or a restaurant, look very carefully at the prices. What could be more obvious than looking for suitable furniture in the hardware store, for example? After all, there are always special offers for chairs and armchairs there, some of which have really unusual designs. However, this is not recommended, because the furniture available there has been manufactured for private use.

This means that they are not designed to carry a lot of people every day, some of whom have a very high body weight. Welds, trunnions, material thicknesses and other details do not last long and so the well-known saying “Who buys cheap, buys twice” proves to be true once again.

Pay attention to the material

When looking for furniture for the catering industry, the focus is often on the design, not the material. The choice is between metal and covered with artificial leather, some are set on wood. But with an armchair that is supposed to be used in the catering industry, the focus is much more on the material. After all, the good piece should not only look good right after the purchase, but also after many people have already sat on it, and should not show any material weaknesses.

To make the selection a little easier, here is a small material customer:

  • Velvet and fabric

    As a rule, synthetic fibers are used for fabric upholstery. On the one hand, these are cheaper than pure natural fibers, which is noticeable in the prices for the armchairs. In addition, synthetic fibers are easier to clean, are abrasion- and tear-resistant and more difficult to ignite. The armchairs and chairs made of synthetic fibers thus have a long service life. To clean the upholstery, a sponge moistened with mild soapy water is usually enough.

    By the way, velvet is much less resilient, this material rubs off faster and quickly shows brighter spots. Although this can contribute to the desired shabby chic, but if you don’t want to live it in your gastronomy, you should rather rely on normal fabric. Velvet is also significantly more light-sensitive, appropriate furniture is particularly suitable for areas that are frequented a little less often or that should radiate a special solidity.

    By the way, velvet is much less resilient, this material rubs off faster and quickly shows brighter spots. ( Photo: Shutterstock-YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV )

  • Leatherette

    Today, modern leatherette covers look almost like real leather, only the connoisseur sees differences. Artificial leather is made of synthetic fibers that have been coated with PVC on the surface. Artificial leather is particularly well suited for armchairs, because on the one hand, the corresponding pieces of furniture look noble, on the other hand, they are easy to clean. They can be simply wiped off, stains rarely remain. Especially in a bar with a lounge, where drinks are spilled more often, leatherette is a good option. To dry after cleaning, simply wipe with a wet cloth, that’s it!

  • Wood

    Pure wooden furniture is rather uncomfortable, but it can be combined with thick pillows. However, wooden surfaces are sensitive to moisture and quickly show stains from spilled liquids. Seating furniture made of rattan is often chosen, so-called wicker chairs have long been back in fashion. Here, too, it is true that the selected parts must necessarily match the style of the rest of the furniture, otherwise wooden furniture in particular looks a little strange in the respective environment.

Pay attention to disinfectant resistance

Even though the topic of disinfection has been on everyone’s lips especially since Corona, there have been calls from the catering industry even before the pandemic that pieces of furniture should definitely be disinfectable. With the use of special materials, the experts have succeeded in fulfilling exactly this wish and making the chairs, armchair models and couches disinfectable.

This ensures hygiene in any case and the pieces of furniture still do not suffer any damage when using the appropriate agent. If you want to buy a new armchair today, you should definitely pay attention to this point! Modern pieces of furniture made of artificial leather are usually also wipeable with disinfectants, so there should be no problems in this regard.

Today, modern leatherette covers look almost like real leather, only the connoisseur sees differences. (Photo: Shutterstock- ImageFlow)

Focus on quality

Even if it is a matter of finding furniture that is as cheap as possible for the catering industry, the quality of the furnishings must still be right. Unfortunately, this is where the problem of Internet shopping often manifests itself: at first glance, the products look good, seem to be resilient and high-quality. But at a second glance it turns out that they are not exactly that. Therefore, restaurateurs are better off buying on the spot or on Internet providers who have distinguished themselves in the past with their high-quality pieces of furniture and have become known for it.

Do you rely on special lounge furniture?

The term “lounge” has been used in gastronomy for many years. It refers to a quiet corner where guests can retreat and which is equipped with particularly comfortable furniture. Of course, the guests are also entertained here, but they have a little privacy and often feel at home. If you want to offer a lounge as a restaurateur, you should equip it with high-quality equipment accordingly.

A comfortable, thickly upholstered sofa, a table, a dimmable light and space for several people: the lounge is already ready. However, there is no need to rely on special lounge furniture, because there are no specifications for what a lounge should look like. It can be designed completely freely and should adapt to the rest of the interior in terms of design. A simultaneous take-off and harmonization is required.

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