When we decide where to eat out, our first concern is what type of cuisine is served at a particular restaurant. Quality of the food and cost are most important. But the overall ambiance, including the restaurant furniture, is also one of the things that will influence our decision.

Is the lighting too bright or too dark? Is the background music so loud that you have to shout to have a conversation with your table-mates? Is the restaurant bar furniture totally tattered and uncomfortable?

Restaurants furniture plays a significant part in the success or failure of an establishment. When someone decides to open a new restaurant and has to buy restaurant furniture, he or she goes to a restaurant furniture supply company to see what is available. The first thing that must be acknowledged is purchasing restaurant furniture tables and restaurant furniture chairs is not the same as buying similar items for home use. Restaurant seating furniture must be tough. It must withstand repeated assaults by kids' toys, spilled drinks and sticky sauces. Furniture for restaurant use must also be attractive, comfortable and easy to maintain.

Wood furniture has been around for over a thousand years. The new twists have been the plethora of possibilities for using that old standby, wood, with the other materials that have been developed over time. Metal, plastic, resin and vegetative substances, such as bamboo (a grass), can be combined to make the ideal piece of furniture.

With globalization, restaurateurs are no longer limited to local wood products. Everything from imported teak to salvaged heart pine is now being used. Wood furniture made from new green products and recycled materials are among the choices that are environmentally friendly.

Booths, bars, tables and chairs are the basic restaurant furniture pieces. Most restaurants use a combination of these elements. But exactly how many of each and which style will work best in a given space is a crucial factor.

When it comes to selecting restaurant seating furniture, comfort is paramount. A comfortable customer is likely to be a regular patron of a restaurant. Upholstered pieces should have sufficient padding and must be covered with quality material that can withstand the heavy demand of commercial use. Leather, fabric and vinyl can be used, depending on design and budget requirements.

Today, owners of theme and regional cuisine restaurants have endless options for furnishing their establishment. Authentic-looking reproductions of everything from English pub pieces to 1950s diner booths, mid-century modern chairs to fancy French provincial tables are on the market. For a truly retro look, we can even go back millions of years to the age of dinosaurs and buy fossilized stone tabletops.