Booths vs. Banquettes: What’s the Difference?

If you’re considering opening up a dining establishment, or if you’re a current restaurant or cafe owner looking to renovate your area, one of the most important things to consider is maximizing your space. The last thing a business needs is for people to leave your restaurant because the wait is too long, or the space is too tight and crowded. 

Customers need to feel comfortable and happy, and happy customers help keep businesses profitable. Implementing booth and banquette seating is a great option for a wide variety of dining establishments – from casual diners to upscale restaurants.

Banquettes

Banquettes are a section of an upholstered bench, often put together to create booths, or configured along (or built into) walls. 

Banquette seating for restaurants is often paired with pedestal tables and chairs. Pedestal tables can then be pushed together or moved apart in order to accommodate different sized groups, and to improve the space used on the floor. 

Banquette seating is one of the most versatile seating arrangements since they can be configured into almost any shape and require minimal space to provide the maximum number of seats.

[Related: Settling the Debate Between Restaurant Tables and Booths]

Booths

Restaurant booths are different from banquettes in that they are made up of one or more banquette seats formed into a U-shape, horseshoe shape, or face-to-face. Booth seating creates a comfortable, intimate, and semi-enclosed “room within a room” for friends and family, and is typically arranged back-to-back in a restaurant setting. 

Custom booth seating is perfect for cafes and smaller restaurants since it maximizes the space and allows customers to enjoy a social environment while at the same time being able to sit in close quarters with their dining partners. Booths can also provide a quiet place in busy establishments such as bars and nightclubs.

Advantages of Both Booths and Banquettes

Both banquettes and booths provide great advantages for restaurant, bar, and cafe owners, such as:

  • They efficiently use the space, and can be moved around and manipulated to allow for more aisle clearances and extra seating.
  • They can strategically add seats in untraditional spaces such as corners, alcoves, and small areas.
  • Booths and banquettes are customizable, and can be upholstered and styled to match your establishment’s interior design.
  • They’re also not limited to one type of space, and can work just as well inside high-end restaurants as divey neighborhood bars.

Best Materials for Booths and Banquettes

Booths and banquets are typically upholstered using materials such as vinyl, leather, pleather, or linen, among other fabrics. Vinyl, leather, and pleather materials are an ideal choice in upholstery since they can be easily wiped down and cleaned between patrons. “Softer” fabrics such as linen can also look nice, but may be more difficult to clean or treat stains.

Custom-Design a Booth or Banquette for Your Business

Established in 1936, QA Group has decades of experience with commercial refinishing, reupholstery, and custom commercial furniture for a variety of industries. If you’re looking for more information on restaurant banquettes, custom restaurant booths, or other options for your dining establishment, contact us today.