We have been working in the upholstery and contract furniture business for many years now and have established a certain reputation for supplying bespoke quality banquette restaurant seating to a number of different sectors, particularly the hospitality and leisure sectors.
There is always a need for fixed seating, particularly in bars, restaurants and hotels, which is where the majority of our work is based. They are a great way of defining a space. They help zone an interior, often utilizing a long wall or ‘dead space.’ They allow the seating and table layouts to be flexible as tables can be pushed together to form larger tables for more people.
We have worked with many interior designers who have created great interiors using banquette seating as a main feature. Large circular booths, straight runs, free organic shapes, American booths, party booths, back to back runs, are all examples of the different shapes that can be used. Each of these can then have any number of fabric finishes or upholstered patterns.
The standard height is 1000mm from the floor to the top, but many designers go higher to make more of a feature.
The style of seating is broken into 3 distinct areas.
1: The seat back
This can be designed to any pattern. The most popular are a vertical fluted back, a tight buttoned ‘Chesterfield’ effect, and a simple flat upholstered back. However, there are countless other styles that can be achieved and it’s all dependent on your designer’s needs. The best material to use in a commercial environment is a faux leather, vinyl, or a macro suede. These are very durable, easy to clean, have a long life and are very cost effective. Other materials can be used as well, including leathers or woven fabrics with patterns.
2: The seat pad
This is the material covered foam part of the seating and is generally made in sections. The foam density can vary which has a large influence on the diners experience. We mainly use a medium/high density foam which means the seating retains its shape yet remains comfortable.
3: The kicker (upstand to the floor)
This is what protects the seating from the general footfall. It can be made from many materials including laminates, metals, timber or stained mdf. They can vary in height from 75mm to 200mm. Many designers actually use the same finish as the flooring, particularly a wood floor plank.
Fixed banquette seating
This term describes a fixed straight run of seating. They are very popular in hotel restaurants and reception areas. Similarly, bars, independent restaurants and cafes often utilize this style. They are normally positioned around the architecture of the space, to follow the run of a wall. The picture below highlights this example.
This is very popular with designers, and is particularly used in restaurants. They can be from any size and normally take the form of a curve. They are mainly used to create a feature within a designed interior. Booth seating is also a good way of creating a space for larger parties of diners. This allows customers to have an intimate dining experience, away from the rest of the customers in the restaurant, and is becoming very popular.
American diner seating
By this description, we mean face to face booth seating, often found in American diners. This style is more popular in cafes and restaurants than in bars. They can be any size but generally accommodate 3 persons either side. They are great for informal or family dining.