Where to buy restaurant furniture?

25 February 2022

Find out the methods restaurant owners and managers use to stock their establishments with high-quality contract-grade tables and chairs.

What kind of furniture do they need to buy?

When we are talking about contract furniture we are discussing all the sort of chairs, sofas, barstools, and tables that you would find in a restaurant, a hotel restaurant, or perhaps a cafe.

First-time restaurant owners assume that the furniture you can buy from a consumer furniture store is the same as restaurant furniture. However,  this isn’t quite the case. Think about the levels of use and abuse a chair or table in a restaurant has to go through. People or different sizes and shapes, children playing and climbing, food spillage, and all this use is near-constant throughout the day. 

Most furniture that people buy for their houses would not stand this level of activity for long. Restaurants buy “contract-grade” or “commercial-grade” furniture which should stand up to use for longer, thanks to stronger construction and welding, and they often come with a warranty that protects them from breakage even in a tough commercial environment.

Contract-grade furniture is made to be durable. Specialist manufacturers will create products that are strong and also fit beautifully into your interior design plan. 

But where do you buy it?   

If you want help selling your old restaurant furniture, we have the perfect guide for that too!

Option #1: Buy used furniture from another restaurant at auction

When a restaurant closes down or replaces all of its furniture, its existing equipment may be put up for auction.

Restaurant furniture can be brought used at a lower price of brand new items, but that doesn’t mean they will be in bad condition. You might find a bargain! 

Contract seating is built to withstand heavy daily usage and the test of time. It isn’t unusual for large establishments to refresh their seating before the old items are at the end of their useful life. 

However, that’s not to say you will always be able to find products in excellent condition through an auction. 

Another downside is the level of choice available to you. If you are buying furniture to fit into a particular style of restaurant you might struggle to find exactly what you are looking for. It will also be harder to purchase specific quantities of items. 

If the auction is for more or fewer tables than you were looking for, you’ll just have to find a way to deal with it. 

Option #2: Buy from a regular consumer store

Consumer or residential furniture is a lot more common and not hard to find. Any furniture showroom will be able to offer an exceptional range of chairs and tables of all shapes and sizes. 

There are a few problems with this option. First, as explained earlier, is that the build quality of these items will not match what can be expected from specialised commercial furniture. 

Second, consumer furniture will probably not meet CRIB 5 requirements.

This means that they are designed to reduce their chance of setting alight in line with the UK Fire Regulations 1988. Some hospitality businesses including hotels are legally required to use furniture that is CRIB 5 treated.

Even if your venue is not legally required to do so, you are covered by insurance if a fire broke out pertaining to a consumer-grade chair. 

Depending on the style of your establishment, you might want to supplement your main seating with some “feature” items, to add some variety and visual interest to your restaurant floor.

However, it is unlikely to be cost-effective in the long-term to rely on consumer furniture for your restaurant or bar seating plan. 

Option #3: Buy from a commercial furniture supplier

Every business owner will be in a different situation and have different priorities. However, in our opinion, the most reliable option when deciding where to buy your restaurant furniture is to buy new from a commercial furniture supplier. 

There are various advantages, including:

  • Receive contract-grade tables, chairs and stools that will last
  • Find a full range of customizable products that can be purchased in the specific quantities you need
  • Meet CRIB 5/ Ignition Source 5 standards to ensure compliance for legal and insurance reasons
  • Deal with customer service people who have experience working with the hospitality industry
  • Better warranty. Most suppliers of contract-grade furniture offer at least a 1-year structural warranty. 

Not only does this make working with a specialist supplier a pleasure, but you can also feel confident that with your purchase you will be helping to create a fantastic experience for your guests!

Tabilo is one such specialist supplier of commercial furniture. We supply restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and any other venue you can think of. We have options suitable both for indoor and outdoor locations. 

We are so confident in the quality of our products, we offer a warranty that other suppliers can’t. Our tables and chairs come with a 5-year structural warranty.

Other than supplying products of excellent quality, we are most proud of the service we provide. We are a dedicated team of real people who make it our business to understand your business and we take utmost care of every single order.

Are you an owner or manager of a hospitality establishment? Cut through the noise of the trade furniture market: purchase seating and tables that your customers will love with Tabilo. Browse our range today

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