Complete Guide to Commercial Restaurant Booths

When designing a restaurant, the layout of the dining area should be one of your main focuses. 

The layout and type of seating you use in your restaurant is important for several reasons — you want to maximize the space and functionality of your establishment while also emphasizing comfort for your patrons. An excellent layout will accommodate as many diners as possible while allowing enough room for servers to maneuver around with plates of food and drinks during a dinner rush.

A stylish, cost-effective, and space-saving way to accomplish this in your restaurant is through commercial restaurant booths.

What Is Booth Seating?

Booths are made up of one or more banquettes to form a comfortable and intimate seating arrangement. Multiple banquette seats create a booth with a face-to-face, horseshoe, or U-configuration, and are typically arranged back-to-back to allow for a maximum amount of seating in a restaurant setting. 

Booths are perfect for families or parties of six or under and create a sense of privacy and close quarters apart from the bustling restaurant environment. 

What Is the Difference Between Booths and Banquettes?

You may hear “booths” and “banquettes” referred to interchangeably, but they do have differences

Banquettes are upholstered benches and can be used on their own, either built into or along the wall or paired together to create booths. Banquettes are often paired with a pedestal table on the other side that can be spaced apart or connected to another table depending on the amount of seating needed. 

One or more banquettes are put together to create booths.

Booth Sizes

Booths come in several heights and widths, as well as a variety of shapes to fit unique spaces and accommodate different amounts of people. 

Before purchasing or building booths for your space, you’ll need to take measurements and determine what you have room for, keeping in mind the thru traffic of patrons and staff. Research online to see examples of booth arrangements and layouts in similar dining establishments to give you a better idea of what booth layout might work best for you.

Booths are commonly installed against walls or back-to-back in an aisle to offer more seating, and typically come in these styles:

Deuce Booths

Deuce booths are two-person booths, with each seat arranged in a face-to-face configuration.

Single Booths

Single booths are one-half of what you would consider a typical booth, with a booth seat on one side and a flat back on the other. Single booths are usually used at the end of an aisle of booths.

Double Booths

Double booths are single booths built back to back in an aisle.

Split Booths

Basically a singular banquette, split booths have booth seating on one side and a table and restaurant chairs on the other.

If you have a peculiar-shaped space in your dining establishment that you’d like to add a booth to, you might want to consider custom restaurant booths. This covers half-circle booths or three-quarter booths for larger parties who want more privacy, or smaller-sized booths for other nooks and crannies.

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

Booth Tables and Bases

Tables used between booth seats are usually rectangular in shape, since they work best with the size and shape of booth seating. 

The table base can be a variety of styles, but in order to maximize the amount of space for your diners, consider cantilever table bases. Cantilever table bases anchor the table to the wall, rather than the floor, giving customers extra leg room and ample support.

Booth tables are usually made out of solid wood or laminate. While laminate is widely customizable, easy to clean, and comparatively less expensive than solid wood, wooden booth tables are classic and give off an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. Butcher block and plank are common solid wood styles in restaurants.

Booth Seat Material

Once you’ve settled on your sizing, style, and placement of your restaurant furniture booths, deciding on the booth material is the next step. 

Booth seats have cushions either made of spring foam or solid foam, with spring foam being the most popular choice. These cushions are set on a wooden frame and can be upholstered with a variety of different materials. 

In order to choose the best restaurant booth upholstery for your establishment, you need to consider what type of atmosphere you want to create. 

For example, if you are running a family-focused restaurant or a fast food diner, you should opt for something durable and easy to clean, whereas if you’re opening a high-brow steakhouse, you might want to go for something a bit more luxe. 

Comfort, cleanliness, and aesthetic are key. Some options for restaurant booth upholstery include:

Vinyl

Vinyl is easy to clean and resistant to stains that could be caused by messy foods and children. Vinyl also comes in a wide variety of colors, making it simple to match your booths with the style of your restaurant.

Linen

Linen is another more casual booth upholstery material. This durable natural textile is soft and casual-looking, making it a perfect choice for open-air dining or patios.

Although not stain-resistant like vinyl, linen is lower-maintenance than materials like velvet or leather.

Velvet

Velvet is posh, sophisticated, and luxurious. It’s a durable and strong material that is soft to the touch and looks great in high-class restaurants. 

However, velvet is more difficult to clean than vinyl, leather, and linen and can be a bit more expensive as well.

Leather

Leather, whether real or faux, gives off an elegant, classic, and warm look and is often found in fine dining restaurants and steakhouses. 

Faux leather comes in several colors that can easily match any restaurant’s palette, and both faux and real leather are durable and can withstand wear and tear. These materials are fairly easy to clean as well with a damp cloth and a light vacuum.

Leather can be fairly expensive and shouldn’t be used in an area that stays warm, as it can heat up quickly.

[Related: Upholstered Essentials Checklist and Tips for Your Industry]

Creating the right atmosphere for your restaurant is an important aspect of running a business. You want your customers not only to love the food, but to feel comfortable and satisfied while they’re dining. 

Whether you choose a sophisticated leather double booth for a high-end restaurant or a durable vinyl split booth for a family diner, you can be sure you’re maximizing your space and comfort level by choosing restaurant furniture booths.

Custom-Design a Booth or Banquette for Your Business

QA Group has been a top commercial refinishing, reupholstery, and custom commercial furniture provider for over 70 years. Our team of experts can answer all of your questions on restaurant booth seating, as well as collaborate with you on your custom restaurant booth project. Contact us today!

*Featured image by Brenda Gottsabend via Wikimedia