When it comes to choosing furniture for food and beverage (F&B) establishments, having the right pieces of furniture matter. After all, it is the furniture that sets the scene for the café, restaurant or bar. It tells the story of whether the space is meant to offer a casual or formal dining environment, and is the difference between a good first impression or otherwise.
The concerns that an F&B operator might have when choosing furniture will differ vastly from a home owner who’s redecorating. Home furniture is not always suitable for an F&B environment where sturdiness, functionality and ease of use are just as important as style. If you’re struggling to find the right furniture for your new F&B outlet, here are nine stylish ideas that you can gain some inspiration from.
1. Classic Wooden Tables
A classic choice for most F&B establishments, wooden tables are extremely popular because they are sturdy yet versatile enough to fit into most interior styles.
Wooden pieces designed by Kansas-born designer Sean Dix, for instance, are popular choices with commercial food concepts, thanks to the designer’s ability to offer bespoke, detail-oriented designs that are stylish yet functional.
His Copine Pedestal Table is a great example. Featuring a veneer top, solid wood post, and steel base, the table is resilient enough to hold up to frequent usage and is easy to clean and maintain.
2. Choose Comfortable Wooden Chairs
Like wooden tables, wooden chairs are a fantastic choice for your F&B outlet. Wooden chairs are chic and offer a touch of cosy warmth to any space. Do, however, make sure to test the chair for comfort.
Sean Dix’s Copine Chair is one of his best known chairs and it is easy to see why. Inspired by the school chairs of the mid-1990s, the chairs are comfortable enough to sit on for long periods of time, while offering a sense of nostalgia in the design. It is the epitome of a well-designed piece that offers both form and function.
3. Stackable Furniture
Many F&B operators worry about the ease with which they can put furniture away when they’re not needed. The answer: stackable furniture. Choosing chairs and stools that easily stack on top of one another makes storage a breeze. The afore-mentioned Copine Chairs by Sean Dix also stack onto the Copine Pedestal Tables, which really helps when it comes to cleaning up.
4. Create A Cool Bar Area
Having a bar area in a restaurant serves a few purposes: it creates a waiting area for diners who arrive early, offers a space for guests who just want a quick drink and nibble, or allows for a more casual but intimate dining experience.
If you’re creating an area where you don’t expect guests to stay long, choose a backless bar stool like Sean Dix’s Panda Barstool. The barstools don’t take up much space and are easily stackable. If, however, you are looking for bar furniture where diners, say couples, are encouraged to stay and chat, go for a barstool with a back like Sean Dix’s Panda Barstool with Back instead.
5. Alfresco Dining
There’s always something very nice and romantic about dining outside with candlelights twinkling and the soft breeze in your hair.
When choosing furniture for outdoor dining, make sure that they’re weatherproof. Choose furniture such as the Avalon Dining Chair from OM Home that features outdoor grade stainless steel and a special Batyline fabric that is hardy, waterproof, fire retardant and a cinch to clean.
6. Multi-Functional Furniture
Get the best of both worlds by utilising multi-functional furniture such as the Reverso Bench. Constructed by Sean Dix, this innovative item can be switched from a bench to a coffee table. Essentially, the upholstered fabric or leather padding can be changed to a timber top. Graceful yet minimal, Reverso demonstrates the harmonization between traditional and modern design.
7. Throw in A Sofa
Sofas work exceptionally well if you are looking to create a more casual dining experience or if you’re launching a bar. A love seat like Sean Dix’s Dowel 3-Seater Sofa offers couples a comfortable space to cosy up for a romantic night out. The Dowel 3-Seater comes with a choice of fabric or leather upholstery. Choose the former for a more casual café-like environment or the latter if you’re aiming for a sexier ambience.
8. Long Communal Tables
Communal tables are quite the rage in restaurants these days. Draw inspiration from concepts like Dehesa in Singapore or Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi in London and include a communal dining area in your restaurant.
9. Armchair it up
Although armchairs aren’t the easiest to pack up, they do add a certain element of cosiness to the space as compared to dining chairs.
A few well-placed arm chairs — such as Mario Mazzer’s Armonia Easy Chair — here and there are great in café-like concepts as they offer comfortable seating options for patrons to have a coffee, cup of tea or some cakes and pastries.