We’re all familiar with restaurant booths, they are the most classic type of restaurant furniture you can get. But there are a few things you might not know about this beloved type of furniture. Booths have been around for almost 400 years,  they have multiple uses, and they are very loved. Here are some fun things you might not know about restaurant booths

Restaurant Booths Can Be Used For Storage

Restaurant booths come in many variations. Some are made from wood, others are upholstered, and others are a mix of wood and padded upholstery. But have you ever looked at the base of a restaurant booth? Some restaurant booths have short metal or wooden legs. But most of them extend straight from the seat to the floor in a block that resembles a wooden box. And that is precisely what they are. A box, or chest where things can be stored.

These special restaurant booths have seats with hinges so that the seat can be lifted up like a lid. This reveals a large space inside the booth where the restaurant owner can store anything he wants. It is the perfect place for spare linen, boxes, kitchen utensils, menus, and spare server uniforms. This is an extremely practical way to furnish a restaurant and add extra storage space. 

Benches Can Be Free-Standing

Although it is not common to rearrange booths once they have been placed in a restaurant, it can be done. Not all booths are permanently attached to the wall or floor. You can get free-standing booths that can be pushed into different positions depending on your needs. Booths can be placed back to back, against a wall, or even flanking a low wall that runs down the middle of the restaurant.

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Your choice of booths depends on the style and size of your restaurant. If you host events in your restaurant then having movable booths could be very helpful. But if you have a fast-food diner or a restaurant that gets a high turn-over of foot traffic then you probably won’t need to move your booths.

Booth Are Not Banquettes

Although the word “banquette” has come to mean any large bench or booth in a restaurant it actually means something specific. The original meaning of banquette is a long upholstered bench fixed permanently to the length of a wall. Restaurants can use a banquette to add style and atmosphere to the space.

They can also be useful when the restaurant has limited floor space.  You can even have a banquette and a number of booths in your establishment. Together they offer customers different seating options. 

Booths Began As Boxes

Did you know that restaurant booths date back to the end of the 18th century? When America had finally gained independence from Britain it started to develop its own national style and culture. But many British traditions remained. The British loved to meet in small enclosed boxes, whether it was at the opera house, or in church. They felt a sense of privacy when they were enclosed and cut off from the rest of the people in the room.

And so in 1796, the first advertisement appeared in a US newspaper announcing private box seating in the New Porter Cellar restaurant in Boston. So although booths are an iconic American item, they actually were created to satisfy the habits of the English!

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Booths Are The Most Popular Form of Restaurant Seating

Customers love to sit in booths. It has nothing to do with the actual food they are served. But rather the atmosphere booths create and the privacy. The high-backed booths close off the customers from the rest of the diners and provide a place for private conversations, and clandestine meetings. Not only that, but booths are perfect for groups dining together. If a family, group of friends or colleagues comes into a restaurant and wants to sit together the best option is a booth.