After all, it is a restaurant, and tables and chairs are going to be essential. In keeping with that statement, how do you choose the right tables and chairs for your restaurant, how will they enhance the overall dining experience for your patrons? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this article.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TYPE OF TABLE
If you have already decided on the type of chairs you want, your next decision will be choosing the right tables, which may be a challenging proposition, especially in light of the many options available. Tables can be made from solid wood, veneer, or laminate, and the right material may come down to whether you’re looking to promote a fine dining or casual dining experience.
If you’re considering laminate restaurant tables, it’s important to note that there are pros and cons associated with this particular material. By the end of this article, hopefully, you will be able to make an informed decision.
The right laminate tables can be a transformative experience for your patrons, but there are few things worthy of consideration before you make your purchase.
By definition, laminate restaurant tables are comprised of thin synthetic materials designed to mimic the look of real wood. However, because it is not made from actual wood, laminate has a tendency to look manufactured. The wood grain appearance on laminate sheets is achieved through a painting process. Once the sheets are painted, they are attached to a durable core material, usually MDF (medium-density fiber).
PROS ASSOCIATED WITH LAMINATE
Now that we have a better understanding of laminate let’s address why you may want to consider laminate tables for your restaurant:
- Colors choices
MAINTENANCE AND DURABILITY
Unlike solid wood, laminate restaurant tables are very easy to clean and maintain. Firstly, laminate material is naturally heat and scratch resistant, meaning you don’t have to be especially careful with them, which makes them ideal for busy restaurants. Secondly, the durability of a laminate table lends itself to easy cleaning. Because it is made from synthetic materials, it can be cleaned without dedicated cleaning products. In fact, a moderately damp rag is more than enough to keep these tables looking their best.
THE COST OF OWNERSHIP
As a business owner, it’s only natural that you will be concerned with operating expenses; fortunately, laminate tables will not break the bank. Of the three most popular choices for restaurant tables, which include laminate, veneer, and solid wood, the laminate option is easily the most affordable.
If you're a proponent of choice, and you desire some latitude when it comes to coordinating the color of your tables with that of your restaurant, laminate tables may be the way to go. Since laminate is a synthetic material, there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to its appearance, especially regarding color. The variety of available colors means that you can find something that works with just about any color scheme.
CONS ASSOCIATED WITH LAMINATE
As plentiful as the pros of having laminate tables might be, there are some cons worth mentioning:
- Sacrificed Quality
- Manufactured look
- Shorter life expectancy
- Fewer refinishing options
- Fewer natural variations
If quality is paramount, laminate tables may not be the right choice. Again, it goes back to the fact that laminate is a synthetic material, and therefore, it is susceptible to water damage. If water gets in between the sheets of laminate and the manufactured board beneath it, it will likely begin warping, lifting, and bubbling. In which case, you’ll be confronted with having to either replace or repair your tables.
MANUFACTURED LOOK AND LIFE EXPECTANCY
In addition to sacrificed quality, laminate tables have an inherently manufactured look to them, which some may find off-putting. The majority of laminate materials on the market today have an unrealistic look, meaning that they will hardly ever pass for real wood. Lastly, laminate tables do not last as long as solid wood tables, so replacing them is inevitable.
REFINISHING AND VARIATION
It’s important to note that, since laminate is not real wood it cannot be stained, which means you’re stuck with the look even if you ever change the color scheme of your restaurant. With regard to variation, there is a myriad of laminate colors to choose from, but sadly, you won’t find the kind of natural variations typical of real wood. As previously stated, the wood grain that you see on laminate is painted on, and therefore, it is impossible to achieve the true look of wood.
MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE
In summation, choosing the right tables for your restaurant will depend on several key factors including budget, personal taste and, lastly, the type of restaurant you own. Obviously, this article is not intended to steer you in one direction or the other; it is, moreover, an attempt to provide enough information to help you make an informed decision.