The hospitality industry has seen a rapid rise in recent years in the popularity of banquette seating. Proprietors love this trendy mashup between a booth and table because it allows them to make the most of their dining floor by putting wall space to good use. And customers love the effortless blending of booth and a table.
This brings us to an important point of clarification. Within the hospitality industry, the terms “banquette” and “booth” are often used interchangeably…but there is an important distinction between the two. In the same way that all tequila is a form of alcohol but not all alcohol is tequila, all booths are banquettes…but not all banquettes are booths.
A banquette is defined as a fixed, usually upholstered bench seat often (but not always) attached to a wall. If two banquettes are placed facing one another with a table sandwiched in between, you have yourself a booth. But banquettes are often seen with a single bench up against a wall and chairs used for seating on the opposite side of a table.
One of the biggest benefits to banquette seating is this—because the frames are often built to fit your space and professionally installed, there’s no need to worry that a pre-fabricated unit won’t fit. Each banquette is built according to the specs of your space, meaning you’re guaranteed a custom fit.
But custom-built banquettes come with a high price tag. If you aren’t interested in having them built, know that there are commercial furniture dealers who have pre-built banquette seating that can be easily added to your space. At Have a Seat, our banquette options are made with a sturdy timber framework and covered with commercial, high-quality foam that provides the ultimate comfort for your customers and will hold up to the daily wear and tear that commercial furniture must endure each day. Our banquettes are available in a variety of coverings and styles to ensure you’ll find just what you need to compliment your current design aesthetic.
But there are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
- The depth for most banquette seating is around 470mm, though we’ve seen banquettes as deep as 550mm in establishments going for that bougie lounge feel where customers can kick back (or even curl up) with drink in hand and unwind in luxury.
- Plan for the top of your table height to be a minimum of 76cm and, if possible, allow an extra 3cm to accommodate guests in wheelchairs.
- The width of the table you use can vary but it should fall somewhere between 61 – 107cm.
- As a general rule, the seat height of your banquette should be 40 – 46cm.
- If you are using a banquette section (rather than a row of banquette seating that runs the length of a wall), your table should align with the outer edge of the booth and stick out no further than the booth itself.
Plenty of Upholstery Options
When it comes to covering your banquette seating, the sky (and your budget) really is the limit. But cost isn’t the only thing you should keep in mind. It’s important to consider how much time you want to spend on the upkeep of the upholstery you select.
While there’s no doubt that a high-pile velour adds comfort as well as a sense of luxury and opulence, you’re going to spend a significant amount of time cleaning spills out of even the best pre-treated fabrics. And leather, although it gives off the feeling of lounging in some upscale cigar bar or steakhouse, is susceptible to wear and tear.
When shopping for coverings, make your purchase from a company specialising in commercial fabrics. They should be able to offer you options that compliment your design style and will stand up to regular spills and cleaning.
Beauty in Details
The back of a banquette is a blank canvas on which you can add visual interest that elevates your space. While low backs provide a more minimalist, open-air feel, high backs with intricate fabric design, stitching, or styling can add a level of class and sophistication that will make your business stand out from the competition.
Fluted or button-back options provide classic, subtle detailing. There’s an effortless elegance to both styles, and they are a great way to break up the expanse of upholstery on the back of a banquette.
If you are ready to add a little visual bang to your space and create cozy nooks your customers never want to leave, consider adding banquettes to your seating options.
And if you’re looking for a reputable commercial furniture dealer, we hope you’ll contact us at Have a Seat or stop by our Smithfield showroom. We’d love to show you just how beautiful banquette seating can be.