Top Reasons Restaurant Customers Prefer Booths Over Tables

Do you prefer booth or table?

When hungry customers enter a restaurant, one of the first questions that the host or hostess will ask them is whether they prefer a table or a booth. If a booth is available, customers are more often to choose a both over a table. Many people will wait for one to become available if they are all occupied, even though they could sit immediately at a table. Those customers that prefer to sit at booths have their reasons and these reasons may vary from customer to customer.

Understanding the thinking behind why restaurant customers love to sit in booths is an important aspect of furnishing a restaurant. Although booths are often more expensive than tables and seats of similar quality are, they are often necessary to satisfy as many customers as possible. Furthermore, by understanding the reasons why restaurant customers love booths and by being familiar with different features of restaurant booths, restaurateurs can select the booths that are most likely to please their customers.

Why Do Many Restaurant Customers Prefer Booths?

Restaurants in general should have a mix of seating available for its customers. Some people will prefer booths and others will prefer tables, couches or whatever interesting mix of seating they have decided to put together. The ability to satisfy a diverse crowd of regular customers often depends on this mix. 

When it comes to purchasing booths, it helps to understand the reasons why some customers prefer booths to tables with chairs. Knowing how customers think and their taste preferences is critical to the success of any business. Analyzing some data or surveying customers may help a restaurant realize why some people would rather sit in booths vs. a table, and helps restaurateurs to satisfy their customers by furnishing the right kinds of booths.

1. Privacy

Whether eating at a tablecloth establishment or at a local hole in the wall, many diners enjoy having a measure of privacy while they eat. A booth that is situated against a wall helps to provide this privacy by blocking off one side of the table and benches. A booth with high-back benches provides extra privacy, keeping most other diners at an establishment from seeing the party seated in the booth. The high backs also help to block sound, keeping conversations confined to the booth and blocking the sounds of other diners conversing and using utensils from entering the booth. Furthermore, the added privacy of a booth makes a more secure spot for keeping purses and jackets.

2. Comfort

Booth benches can provide greater comfort for diners than chairs can. Many booth benches have soft, padded seats and backs, whereas chairs are made from either wood or metal that offer less padding. Benches tend to be sturdier than chair seats and backs are, giving diners additional support. This support helps them not to feel their own weight as they eat, resulting in less physical fatigue. Another comfort advantage that booths possess is that each diner has a larger seating area, with a bench providing uninterrupted seating space across its breadth. Diners seated in chairs are limited to the seating space that the chair itself provides.

3. Less Traffic

One of the greatest appeals of a restaurant booth is the limited traffic around the booth. Since many booths are placed against a wall one side and other booths on two more sides, waitstaff and patrons only pass one side of the booth. Traffic tends to move around all four sides of a table with chairs, unless they too are situated against a wall. While they eat, patrons seated at tables with chairs may find themselves dealing with coats or purses of passerby brushing against them or even catching a hip or an elbow. The constant rush of waitstaff can also be an annoyance to customers while they dine. Patrons seated at booths are largely protected from such disturbances, making for a more pleasant dining experience.

4. Coziness

In general, booths tend to offer a cozier feel than tables and chairs do. The open space around chairs makes many restaurantgoers feel exposed, whereas booth benches with high backs offer shelter from restaurant commotion that can distract diners. A group of patrons that is seated in a booth may feel as though they have their own separate space within a restaurant, making for more intimate dining. Booth seating also tends to place patrons closer together, adding another layer of intimacy.

5. More Room

A booth can provide more room for diners to spread out, especially if their party does not fill the booth. Many working professionals that frequent lunchtime places often bring their work with them. These patrons may prefer to be able to lay their coats and bags on a booth bench and spread their papers and electronic devices along the table while still having enough space to eat. The extra space of a booth can also help the members of any dining party relax while they eat, whereas chairs can make them feel cramped, even if there is still space at the table.

Great Booth Features

Once restaurateurs understand the reasons why many patrons prefer booths, they can choose booths with the necessary features to satisfy their customers. Booths have various construction features, booth shapes, and designs. Being familiar with the available options for these features helps restaurateurs choose the booths that are most appropriate to their dining establishments and that are most suitable to their customers.


Bench height should be at least 36 inches, which brings the bench up to about the shoulder blades for most people, providing enough support for the lower back; The higher the bench, the more private the booth feels

Bench Length. Two-seater bench should be at least 45 inches long, though two people can sit more comfortably on a bench that is 48 inches long. You need to balance the comfort of patrons with the available space in the restaurant

The seat. A bench seat may have springs in it, may be padded, or may just be solid wood or metal. Springs tend to provide support over a longer period than pads do; People also find the extra foam around the springs to be comfortable. Bare metal and wood benches tend to be less expensive

Upholstery. Benches with springs or padding is also upholstered. Vinyl tends to be the upholstery material of choice since it is comfortable and easy to clean. Naugahyde is one of the highest-quality vinyls available for use in a booth. These products can be restored through Vinyl restoration, saving a restaurant a lot of money over time. 

Kick Base. The bottom part of the booth, though not all booths feature one. It provides additional support for the bench and helps patrons maintain good seating posture by giving them a place into which they can dig their heels.

Restaurateurs must balance the booth features that they want to make available to their customers with the price of providing these features. Benches with springs and naugahyde upholstery usually cost more than plain wooden benches do, and the extra cost may not be worth it for some dining establishments.


Booth seating comes in a variety of shapes. Many booths have straight benches, using a wall to create enclosed seating on three sides. These may be single booths, with one bench, or double booths, with a single back that has benches on both sides of it.

One of the best ways to make use of corners in restaurants is by placing round booths there. These feature semicircular benches, adding extra seating to a corner. These booths also enable all of the patrons seated in them to see one another clearly. This can provide larger dining parties with a more intimate feel and a stronger bonding experience.


Booths may have design features that lend the booths aesthetic qualities. Vinyl-upholstered benches may have a certain number of channels along the bench backs. These are panels divided by stitching and a bench back may have three channels, or eight or more. The vinyl can also be one of many colors or feature multiple colors. Wooden booths may have carved details or they may be stained certain tones. These design features may not affect patrons' comfort, but they are important to the dining establishment's decor.


Many restaurant customers prefer to sit in booths instead of in chairs around a table. They love booths because they offer better privacy, more comfort, more protection from traffic, more coziness, and more room than chairs do. For these reasons, many customers are willing to wait for booths in a restaurant to become available, even foregoing open tables with chairs. In some cases, patrons go elsewhere to dine if a booth is not available. It is therefore important for many dining establishments to provide at least a few booths. It is also important that these booths have the kind of features that help satisfy the reasons why many customers love to sit in booths. There are numerous sources from which to buy restaurant booths, including eBay. The buying process can be challenging and often unsuccessful when customers are not sure for what they should be looking. By understanding both their customers love of booths and the booth features that provide all of the aspects of sitting in a booth that customers expect, restaurateurs can successfully shop for the booths that their dining establishments need.

Restoration of booths. Color Glo international and Color Glo franchisees offer vinyl booth, chair and other industrial furniture restoration. This service can be crucial in the financial end-game inside of a restaurant business. Contact us today for more information. 

Header image courtesy of i5Design.