The cafeteria is the most defining element of any school, whether it’s a grade school, middle school, or high school. Students will remember the great times and meaningful conversations they had in the cafeteria for the rest of their lives.
Creating an iconic school cafeteria begins with choosing seats and tables; the furniture determines how comfortable a space you make for your students. By knowing how to choose the right cafeteria seating for your school, you’ll provide your students with a space they look forward to eating in every day.
Attached Seating or Separated Seating?
Many types of cafeteria tables come with the seats attached; while attached seating makes it easier to store the tables away after lunch, it also creates a more rigid structure for your cafeteria.
Due to the flexibility of friend groups in grade schools and some middle schools, attached seating may not affect children that much, and it might prevent your seats from damage or displacement. However, the less flexible seating with older students could prevent them from sitting with their friends and may displease them if they don’t have enough space.
Having static options in a high school, such as private booths and high tables, interspersed with separate seating can make the cafeteria feel like a restaurant rather than a school. Students will have ways to socialize how they want without the attached seating restraining them.
Consider How Much Space You Have
When you have a small school, you know how necessary it is to make good use of every space in the building—even finding ways to use rooms for multiple purposes. For instance, it’s common for the school cafeteria to double as the gymnasium, especially in elementary schools. To quickly transition from a cafeteria to a gym, tables and benches that fold into the wall or turn into bleachers are easy solutions.
Your cafeteria may also double as a study area or an afterschool hangout spot in a high school. Keep comfortable options available that work well for students who want to eat, study, and socialize with friends.
Choose Easy-to-Clean Seating and Tables
School cafeteria furniture requires cleaning every day—sometimes multiple times a day. The most important part of how to choose the right cafeteria seating for your school is finding chairs and tables that are easy for your janitorial staff to clean. Hard surfaces, like particle board with a protective finish, plastic, and metal are all easy to wipe down and sanitize. Particleboard is an especially hardy material and can withstand any messes and roughhousing students of any age throw at it.
Designing an effective school cafeteria is a challenge, but when you need help finding the perfect school cafeteria tables and chairs, you can rely on Martin Public Seating to match you with the right furniture options. After a furniture selection or design support consulting, you can feel comfortable moving forward with cafeteria seating that fits into your school’s aesthetic.