Defining Polished Casual

Recently, there’s been a new type of restaurant making waves in the industry. Somewhere in between trendy fast casuals and fine dining, these restaurants are offering the experience of attentive service and creative cuisine while remaining approachable and hip. The restaurant design world has begun to embrace the name “polished casual” for the category; but what does that mean?

4 Sadies Installs To Love

Super modern and minimal, the Sadie Collection was designed by Joey Ruiter and launched in 2014. This mixed material modern seating collection effortlessly marries Ruiter’s passion for minimalism with his pursuit of functionality. Since its launch, this chair has been used in restaurants across North America, from independent restaurants and cafes, to large chains, like Burger King and even more recently, White Castle (pics coming soon).

3 Reasons Wood Restaurant Tables Need Protective Topcoat

Since the explosion of industrial and rustic design, natural wood has proven to be a trend with some serious staying power. For restaurant tables, solid wood tops have become a chic design choice for many types of restaurants. Unfortunately, style doesn’t always equate to practicality, and wood needs some work before it can stand up to the rigors of a commercial dining environment. We make sure that our solid hardwood table tops deliver both the style and function our customers need with a patent-pending protective topcoat.

Choosing Restaurant Chairs: Ideas for 4 Types of Restaurants

Like foie gras at a burger drive-through, an out-of-place design choice can leave restaurant customers bewildered. Different restaurant concepts come with different expectations attached, and restaurant design and aesthetic is a vital aspect of defining a brand. We work closely with restaurant designers with their fingers on the pulse of today’s trends, and we’ve got insight to share about what restaurant chairs to look for in four types of restaurant: fast casual, casual dining, cafes, and food courts, and cafeterias.

Healthy Food for Everyone: QSR Everytable Lands Shark Tank Deal

“We believe healthy food is a human right, but it’s often a product only available for the most affluent,” says CEO and cofounder Sam Polk of Los Angeles-based healthy fast food restaurant Everytable. While the first store opened nearly two years ago, Polk and cofounder David Foster recently made an appearance on the television show Shark Tank seeking a one-million-dollar investment to expand their brick and mortar location beyond southern California.

How To Use A Communal Table In Your Restaurant

For almost a decade we’ve seen restaurants and chains invest heavily in their built environments, catering to a younger demographic and competing for sales (and loyalty) in a highly competitive marketplace. This year we predicted that as consumers, we’d see more non-traditional seating arrangements in restaurants across all categories of food spaces, think communal tables, varied heights, and intimate lounge settings, all in an effort to attract a more diverse audience. 

4 Restaurant Chairs That Are Anything But Traditional

Armchairs, benches, sofas: we’ve predicted that restaurant seating that falls outside of the norm will be a hot trend in 2018 as hip eateries look for new ways to embrace the unusual. Don’t get us wrong, dining chairs are anything but boring. They come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, but as commercial spaces increasingly morph into spaces that feel more like our homes, it makes sense for restaurants to embrace this trend. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to consider seating that customers just won’t expect?

5 Reasons to Love This Outdoor Restaurant Furniture

On a sunny day, a table outside at a restaurant is often the best seat in the house. Aside from being just plain fun, outdoor dining can bring in as much as 30% or more of additional revenue during spring and summer months, proving to be a wise investment, according to And it all starts by picking the right outdoor restaurant furniture. That’s why we beefed up our charming Opla Collection to include more options and additional comfort and colors. Still not convinced this is the outdoor collection for you? Below are all of the reasons to love this outdoor furniture collection.

What to Look For in Quality Restaurant Chairs

In the midst of all the planning, budgeting, and general mania of opening or redesigning a restaurant, finding the perfect restaurant chairs for your space can be fun. It’s great to get creative with different styles and colors, but the look is just the half of it. Any chairs you choose need to deliver on both style and quality, and while one is easy to see at a glance, the other is not. Here are some key aspects of restaurant chair quality to keep an eye on during your search.

A Cafeteria Design That’s Full of Pride

College cafeterias aren’t what they used to be—and I’m only five years out of university. Within the last few years, gigantic multi-purpose (and well-designed) student centers and cafeterias have become the norm. So long are the days of glum lighting, stale french fries, and bad furniture, these new cafeterias offer diverse cuisines and areas for multiple activities. Case in point: University of Kentucky Student Center.

2017 Year In Review, Our Top 10 Installs

2017 had us asking the questions “will we ever get sick of ‘millennial pink’?” and “how many neon signs is too many?”, “is the industrial trend ever going to fade?”, and while we’re predicting some major shifts in restaurant design trends for 2018, we’re also excited to celebrate the amazing spaces created throughout the past year that are vibrant, functional, and obviously showcase our products.

Our Top 5 Installs That Aren't Restaurants

One of our New Year’s resolutions? Try new things. Which means stepping outside of our comfort zone and stepping into new spaces, like offices. Companies like Facebook, Google, and more recently WeWork, have redefined the world of office interior design, taking us far away from grey cubicle walls to bold rooms inspired by pop art and local icons.

A Beach Inspired Restaurant Swimming In Color

Tapestry is a dual concept restaurant under one roof. Lead by a husband-and-wife duo, Megann War, and Kevin Walsh, this new restaurant located just steps away from Fenway Park, got its namesake for the symbolic way tapestries interweave stories, culture, and events, all in one space. The restaurant is direct representation of last name and last name culinary viewpoints, both deeply shaped by work and personal experiences. Alongside design firm, Dyer Brown, the couple infused their passion for travel into both designs (and menus).

Restaurant Design Trends 2018

In the world of Uber Eats and value menus, how do independent restaurants and restaurant chains convince customers to actually eat inside of their stores? The past decade has fared well for the restaurant industry, especially the fast casual concepts, but with increased competition can “good food, fast” really be enough? 

Inside A Bright, Budget-Friendly Juicery

Since the blog’s inception, we’ve shared countless stunning restaurants (like this one, this one, or this one). Some of these spaces feature mind-bending architecture, jaw-dropping city views, dazzling conceptual design, and furniture packages that seem to be shipped straight from the showrooms of Milan. While aspirational, these restaurant designs often come with a hefty price tag. And that’s not realistic for most restaurants.

Fascinating Restaurant Furniture And Designs From Around the World

One of the best parts of traveling is sampling new restaurants. Every city in every country has its own unique take on what a restaurant should provide - and we’re not just talking about food. We’ve hand-picked interesting restaurant furniture designs from the design-forward cities Melbourne, Stockholm, London, and Los Angeles. Let’s get inspired!

The Beginner's Guide: 8 Quick Tips for Planning Your Restaurant Furniture & Design

While the kitchen is a restaurant’s bread and butter, the dining room is the table setting. With the right plates and cutlery, bread and butter can be comforting and nourishing; with the wrong ones, it becomes a meager meal. When planning a new restaurant or redesigning an existing dining space, careful attention to the restaurant furniture and design from start to finish ensures that the front of the house reflects both the aesthetic concept and the functional needs of a business in motion.

School Colors and University Designs

Color plays in integral role in a school’s identity. You wouldn’t have University of Michigan without maize and blue or the Tarheels without their signature Carolina blue and white. When you think about it, school colors can be found on everything from a school’s end zone, to sweatshirts, to coffee mugs, and even interior design.

Could Copper Brown Be the New "Industrial" Neutral?

The last decade of restaurant design threw us head-first into the world of heavy industrial--from edison bulbs to exposed brick to raw metals and finally reclaimed, dark woods. In more recent years, the trend has gone mainstream. What once was a reserved for the grungy warehouses turned bars of NYC, quickly found its way into polite suburban neighborhoods, echoing its own death sentence upon arrival.

Tips for Creating Beautiful & Functional Restaurant Furniture Layouts

There’s a strange phenomenon that occurs with restaurant layouts: when you’re eating somewhere with a great space, the furniture placement, decor, other patrons, and ambient noise of the kitchen all blend together into a comfortable environment where you can relax and enjoy a meal. But when it’s bad, you notice. With some careful attention to your restaurant furniture layout, it’s easy to avoid unpleasant situations for your customers. Here are some tips for creating a layout that works seamlessly:

4 Things to Consider Before Buying New Restaurant Furniture

Planning a new restaurant is a hectic process. With menus, staffing, inspections, suppliers, and more on your to-do list, it’s easy to lose track of everything that needs to be done. Even with all the logistics to work out, it’s critical to keep the design of the dining room in your mind - and your budget. The look of your space is one of the first impressions your restaurant makes on its customers, and combining good food with a great environment can turn the experience from satisfying to fantastic.

Round Up: Three Commercial Velvets

There is no denying that velvet is having a major comeback this year. Traditionally known as a high-end material, velvet has the ability to warm up a room faster than any other material. Its unique relationship to light creates a dramatic textural effect, creating highlights and shadows with a simple stroke of the fabric in a new direction.

In The Hot Seat: 3 Questions With Jill Frey

For a restaurant, good food and great service go hand-in-hand. It's rare to find a restaurant that can thrive, let alone survive, without mastering both of those qualities. Being a restaurant furniture manufacturer, we share a similar fate.  Speaking with Jill Frey, vice president of marketing and customer experience, learn how Grand Rapids Chair Company balances that delicate combination of refreshing product designs and a dedication to fast, friendly service. 

This Garage Turned Café Gets A Dramatic Update With Our Modern Restaurant Chairs

The Lynhall, a multi-functional food space that is part restaurant/cafe, part incubator kitchen, and part kitchen TV studio, opened earlier this year in south Minneapolis, and is taking the Twin Cities by storm.

NCPA & Grand Rapids Chair Company

As purchasing contracts become more convulated and budgets dwindle, university designers and purchasers are often faced with the daunting task of finding the right furniture with the right contract.  Cue NCPA, a nationally vetted, free, and reliable purchasing agreement designed to save you time and money. 

The Inspiration Behind LookBook Vol. 3

Our LookBook Vol. 3 is now available, and we think it's our best yet.  Dramatically different than our previous installments, this LookBook is dripping in rich color, texture, and story. In honor of our best yet, we sat down with Lindsay Jones, designer, resident cool girl, and creative genius behind LookBook Volumes 1, 2, and now 3Learn about what places and spaces inspired the LookBook, how color informs her work, and what restaurants should never include in their design.

Building a Better Aluminum Chair

Aluminum has been widely used as a go-to seating material for many years. It's no surprise as its lightweight and durable properties make it a natural fit for dining spaces. What you may not know is that properly building and finishing an aluminum chair is comparable to woodworking, requiring a deft hand to grind, shape, contour, and blend each joint and creating that signature brushed pattern.

Introducing the Brooke Collection

If you’ve been searching for an affordable and modern wood seating collection with versatility, the wait is over. Meet our new Brooke Collection, the pare-down wood seating essential made for busy and beautiful dining spaces.

4 Restaurant Design Trends With Serious Staying Power

Design trends can seem to come and go like the wind, with modern elements making their way in, only to be viewed as a dated concept just a short while later. Because of this, finding a restaurant design style that can stand the test of time might seem like a daunting task. That’s why we rounded up four trends in furniture and design that will never get old.

The Inspiration Behind Our Newest Metal Finishes

We’re breathing new life into our standard metal finishes with eight new colors. At a time when “freshness” or “sustainability” are anchor words for most Q.S.R. brands, this new color palette echoes the visual language of both the natural world and modern food space environments.

finishes and options

Recent Posts