Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sitting pretty

Although it’s effectively an advertising feature, this piece from the Morning Advertiser very much agrees with me on the benefits of fixed seating in pubs, and the dismal space utilisation of sofas.

Fixed or built-in, made-to-measure seating has come to be seen as the pub owner’s most practical option, says Barry Revell, of Breachview Interiors. It may be more expensive than loose furniture, but is the better business choice.

“Fixed furniture is less flexible, but in a way it’s a much better option. It will seat more people, because it uses all the available space — a length of wall with tables and chairs has too many unused gaps. And fixed furniture always looks more comfortable.

“I am not a lover of sofas,” says Revell. “Comfortable as they may be, if one person sits down on a sofa, nobody else will sit next to them.

“It is strange, but on a bench seat, people are more likely to sit next to someone they don’t know. So, on a 12-seat bench you may well seat a dozen people — on 12 sofa seats, you may have six people and the rest is wasted.”
The reluctance to use fixed seating – which is clearly a company policy – continues to puzzle me about Wetherspoon’s, as it would allow them to fit more customers in and improve the ambience of their pubs which all too often now resemble works canteens.


  1. The only chairs I would furnish
    the Wetherspoons Crypts with
    would be electric ones.
    How anyone can class the joints as pubs is totally beyond my comprehension. Without cheap beer
    and burgers the Pansy Potter sheds
    would be on their knees.

    Closed Pub Spotter

  2. A local 'Spoons used to remove tables and chairs on friday and saturday nights in order to cram more people in and create vertical drinking areas. Suffice to say that some customers decided not to go in there any more.

  3. To my mind, the wholesale removal of bench seating and its replacement by an archipelago of little tables at absurdly varying heights has been one of the most dismal changes to have taken place over the last few years, and is second only to the smoking ban in spoiling my enjoyment of pubs.


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