Many restaurant floor plans have layouts for their dining areas that are largely written in stone. It might be a quick service restaurant with tables and counters that don’t require much movement, or perhaps the use of booths in a table service restaurant keeps the layout consistent from day to day.
However, not all varieties of restaurants fit this model. Many more types of establishments, such as banquet halls, restaurants with outdoor patios, and cafeterias, involve seating that is frequently moved or rearrranged.
Not only does the actual layout of chairs often change in these types of restaurants, but the number of chairs also constantly varies as well. If you own a patio restaurant, you may have to put your chairs away at the end of the night or due to bad weather. Different events at banquet halls may also require a variety of configurations of chairs and tables.
No matter what kind of restaurant you run, the flexible movement of chairs creates one common logistical problem:
You have to have somewhere to put them.
This is an important issue for all restaurants to solve. For one thing, you have to keep the extra chairs neatly stored somewhere out of sight from customers to keep your space tidy and attractive.
Therefore, chairs require storage, and storage takes up valuable space in your restaurant that won’t count toward your seating capacity. And consequently, an inefficient method of storing chairs means you make less of a profit.
In the end, being able to neatly and safely stack chairs doesn’t just affect how well you store them. It can actually be revenue-impacting. Knowing creative ways to stack chairs can help you make the most of the space you have in your storage area and ultimately in your dining room.
The Basics: Quick Options to Make Stacking Easier
Folding Chairs and Carts
Many restaurant owners may be reluctant to explore folding chairs out of concern that they will look “cheap” or be uncomfortable to guests. However, with the right selection, folding chairs can be a valuable option for flexible seating and storage.
Folding chairs don’t have to be the plain, brown aluminum variety many of us remember from school. They are also offered in plastic and wood, as well as numerous different colors, including white, brown, black, and blue. Many also feature padded seats for added comfort to patrons.
The ultimate benefit of folding chairs is that they are lightweight, which not only makes them easy to move and set up, but also easier to store. Chair caddies and carts, which stack and hold folding chairs in place either horizontally or vertically, make movement and storage even more simple.
Folding chairs may not be flashy or particularly eye-catching, but they are guaranteed to be easy to move and store. This makes use the use of folding chairs and carts one of the best ways to stack chairs.
A close cousin to the folding chair is stacking chairs, another simple seating option designed exclusively for compact storage in restaurants. While folding chairs are lighter and generally less expensive, stacking chairs have a number of advantages.
The first is that they offer a greater variety of style and color options, making it easier to gear them toward your business’s theme and brand. Moda Seating offers basic colors like blue, black, and brown and different styles of chair backs, such as the dome, crown, and teardrop shape.
The advantage of this variety of seating is that it is literally designed to be stacked, which means you don’t necessarily need a cart or rack. However, products such as chair dollies are available to make the process of moving and storing chairs easier.
Stacking chairs are built with the strength and durability to withstand not only daily use by customers, but also being stacked again and again.
The key to effectively stacking this type of chair, though, is to use your storage space effectively while avoiding stacking the chairs too high. Most restaurant seating experts pin the number of chairs you can safely stack at 11-15 depending on the style and dimensions of the chair.
Therefore, you’ll need to leverage the total amount of space you have against the number of chairs to find the best way to stack them.
Getting Creative: Alternative Ways to Stack
Store Folding Chairs on the Wall
Some of the best ways to stack chairs are the ones you haven’t considered yet. Most commercial furniture companies sell not only chairs, but the tools you need to properly and efficiently store and stack them.
If you’ve chosen to go the folding chair route for your restaurant, consider taking advantage of the wall space in your storage area. In addition to traditional storage racks, many companies sell racks that can be mounted on the wall.
Depending on the size, these racks can hold up to 130 pounds and up to 10 chairs. While you will still need to maximize your use of space on the floor of your storage area, the wall rack can help you to make full use of the room to accommodate extra seats that may need to be stored.
The key to this method of how to stack restaurant chairs, though, is to arrange your storage space strategically so there is still enough room to access the chairs on the wall.
Not only that, but you’ll also need to be able to effectively move the chairs you’re storing at ground level. You don’t want it to be so cluttered that it becomes difficult to safely move about the room, let alone move the chairs out the door.
Get a Chair Transporter or Rack
Whether you’ve chosen folding chairs or stackable chairs for your restaurant, another creative storage option is to consider not only ways to best use your storage space, but also how to most easily move the chairs into the dining area.
The process of actually setting up the chairs can be critical to preparing your dining room for patrons. For example, some businesses use a more casual arrangement of chairs or even a completely different style of seating for lunch, then shift to a more formal setting for dinner.
This means that quick and efficient preparation of the seating area will be vital to serving patrons on time and providing the best possible service.
For stackable chairs, consider investing in chair transporters, wheeled carts that allow for both easy storage and movement of the chairs. A similar product is available for folding chairs to provide an option for convenient storage, as well as simple, quick transportation of chairs into the dining room.
Use Chair Bags for Folding Chairs
Although chair bags don’t have the storage capacity of chair racks (most only hold 4), these compartments for folding chairs do allow for them to be easily transported, while also allowing for extra protection.
The downside of this method for stacking chairs is that proper storage of all the extra chairs for a restaurant would require multiple bags, which could prove to be costly.
Nonetheless, their convenience and easy storage are major selling points, especially for wooden folding chairs that could be easily bumped or damaged while moving.
The bags themselves are also waterproof, which could prove to be useful for restaurants that provide catering services or seating for dinners and events.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Chair Stacking Strategy
Regardless of which of these creative ways to stack chairs works best for your business, stacking your chairs in a safe, efficient manner will help you to get the most out of your seating strategy.
- Read the instructions. Different chair manufacturers often provide specific instructions on how many chairs can be safely stacked together. Some chairs can only be stacked in groups of 10, while others can be stacked as high as 30 or 40 chairs.
Find out the specific number before getting started to prevent damage to your chairs—or worse, accidents while stacking or moving them.
- Make sure your employees know how to safely move and lift chairs.According to the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, they are required to be informed of safety requirements for furniture moving, including lifting with a straight back and head up while bending the knees.
- Clean the chairs before you stack them. Stacking dirty chairs can cause damage to your seating; without cleaning your chairs prior to storing them, stains or dirt will only accumulate and be harder to get rid of.
Because stacking chairs are made of materials that are usually easy to clean, wiping them down with soapy water and letting them dry will be enough to prepare them to be stored.
- Never drag chairs while moving them into storage. This could not only damage your floors, but also the chair legs.
No matter which of these creative ways to stack chairs works best for your business, Moda Seating is here to help you get what you need. Get a quote with us to find out what type of seating would best fit your restaurant and find out about special discounts that could help you to save even more.
Not only that, but if you’re concerned about weighing your necessary storage space against the seating capacity of your dining area, our floor planning experts can provide insight into the best layout for your business.
About Moda Seating
Moda Seating is the pioneer of providing commercial seating online. Since 2008, Joel Strulovitch, the company’s founder, has been building upon his family’s tradition of providing quality commercial seating at affordable prices. Moda Seating has helped thousands of people achieve their dreams to open restaurants, hotels, event centers, and many other types of businesses where the patron’s experience is influenced by their physical environment.
If you’re in the process of opening a restaurant or other type of venue where the experience of your customers will be influenced by the environment you provide, then rely on Moda Seating. No other commercial furniture wholesaler has been helping merchants online longer than we have. To help you get started, please download our free Floor Planning Guide. And don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We’re happy to help!