Choosing the Best Café Tables for Your Restaurant Space: 5 Questions to Ask to Get it Right

As is the case with any restaurant, choosing the right tables is an important part of building the ambiance of your business. But because cafés are often smaller than traditional restaurants, choosing the right tables means taking those differences into consideration.

What’s the difference?

In general, café customers tend to sit at a table for a shorter period of time than those enjoying a meal at a restaurant. Guests often pop in for a drink, a light snack, or a quick meal. As a result, there is little need to invest in the plush chairs more common in restaurants where guests expect to linger over a meal.

By definition, a café is a small version of a restaurant, so the tables found in these quaint brasseries are usually smaller than those in restaurants to allow owners to maximise the number of guests they can accommodate.

Do you need tables for indoor or outdoor space?

Tables that will be used outdoors must be weather resistant, even if they are kept underneath a covering or umbrella. Both the top and base of tables need to be able to resist the wear and tear that come from remaining outdoors for long periods of time.

Tabletops made of polypropylene, laminate, or stainless steel make excellent options for outdoor café tables. If you want tables in a certain color, keep in mind that dark colored tables will fade more quickly, so consider opting for tables in a lighter shade.

When it comes to outdoor café table bases, you want them to be durable, sturdy, and capable of withstanding high winds. Once again polypropylene is an excellent choice, as is weather-coated steel and aluminum. Stainless steel, while lovely, is one of the more expensive options.

If you are choosing tables for indoor café space, the sky really is the limit, and you have the luxury of choosing any material and finish that compliments your interior décor and fits into your budget.

Do you want tables that stack or fold?

Tables that stack or fold are wonderfully convenient. Both fit into small storage spaces and allow you to easily move tables around, changing the layout of your space. Folding tables are appealing for those who cannot or prefer not to do a lot of lifting. Many folding tables have wheels on their base, allowing you to easily roll them around the café.

Stacking tables have the advantage of being a bit larger—generally 90 x 90cm compared to the petite 60-70cm size of most folding tables. Stacking tables allow you to comfortably seat parties of four around them, while folding tables will only accommodate a party of two.

What shape works best?

Most business owners must choose between round or square tables…and the choice isn’t always easy.

Square tables are nice because they can be pushed together to accommodate larger parties. The drawback to square tables is, because of their larger size, they tend to be heavier than their round counterparts. They are also more difficult to navigate around for both patrons and waitstaff thanks to their defined corners.

Round tables are easier to incorporate into a small space and are free of protruding corners. Because of their shape, it is easier to accommodate more people around a single table without the need of pushing multiple tables together.

And, to add one more option to the mix, you might consider a squoval table which is more rounded in appearance than a square table and free of sharp corners.

Is there a material that works for both indoor and outdoor café tables?

Perhaps you’re looking for tables that work equally well in indoor and outdoor conditions. If yours is a café with both seating options, you cannot go wrong with a high-quality laminate top for your tables.

Laminate is made from multiple layers of paper and resin pressed together and treated to create an extremely durable and long-lasting surface. Purchasing a weather-resistant laminate will allow you to use your tables both indoors and outdoors (and you won’t have to keep track of which tables are weather resistant and which must remain indoors). Having all your tables made from the same material will also create a cohesive look throughout your café.

Laminate is resistant to burns, stains, cracking, scratches, and discoloration. It is also available in hundreds of colors and finishes and can be made to look like wood or stone. Cleanup is a breeze when you have laminate tabletops—simply spray with your favorite cleaner and wipe clean.

Don’t let the thought of choosing new café tables for your business overwhelm you. When you’re ready to make your purchase, be sure to stop by our showroom or check out our selection of café tables online. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you pick the perfect café table for your space.

Thanks for reading,
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