Choosing the best restaurant fixtures is a process of thoroughly and accurately assessing the needs of all of the people who work at the restaurant as well as the clientele and then finding fixtures that meet these needs and also lend themselves to the aesthetics of the restaurant. Every person who works at a restaurant will interact with the restaurant fixtures in a different way. This includes the bus boys, dish washers, head chef, and hostess. The needs of these workers should be considered when making a shopping list for restaurant fixtures.
First, consider the size of the restaurant and the type of service that it provides. A small restaurant that specializes in tapas might just need some simple bistro tables with matching chairs. A large steak house that specializes in fine dining, might need booths as well as large free-standing tables. It is important that, when all of the fixtures are set up, the restaurant does not feel too crowded or too vacuous. There are some exceptions, especially in urban areas where space is limited and people are used to dining in restaurants that situate the tables very close to each other.
Next, it is important to consider how the fixtures will help the restaurant function. If there will be stations that are used by the wait staff, then be sure that they blend in well with the rest of the space and that they are conveniently located, allowing the staff to work as efficiently as possible. Consider the entrance area of the restaurant. This area may require a hostess stand and seating for people who are waiting for tables.
Before purchasing any restaurant fixtures, make sure that they fit in with the intended aesthetic of the restaurant. Creating the right environment for a restaurant is a very tricky process and many restaurant owners hire interior designers who specialize in restaurants to assist them. For those who are going it alone, it makes good sense to research the interior aesthetics of successful restaurants and to create a file of tear sheets to be used for inspiration. Develop a color palette and make sure that all of the restaurant fixtures fit in well with this palette before purchasing them. If the restaurant has a certain theme, look for restaurant fixtures that either literally or subtly fit in with that theme.