Café Furniture – Wood vs Metal

Are you planning to open a new café? A lot of effort goes into finding the best location, sourcing a great team, and designing a menu. And, if you really want to get your name out, having a décor that is Instagram ready, is a bonus too. But let’s not forget furniture. This certainly shouldn’t be bottom of your list, after all it’s the first thing that customers see when they walk through your doors, and it’s them that will be using it the most. Balancing cost, comfort, and durability sounds like a tough call, but we’ve put together some tops to help.

The key decision is to decide what type of material you want for your furniture. Currently, wood and metal are top contenders which not only suit most decors but also offer good value for money. Furthermore, both materials are extremely durable and you’re unlikely to have to repair or replace them for many years to come.

So, let’s figure out how to choose what’s best for your café.

Theme or décor

Your choice of furniture hinges around the type of vibe you’re hoping to create and the décor or theme that you have. If you’re going for an industrial or vintage theme then metal is your best option, or if you’ve more of a classic décor, then wood is your best bet. If you interchange them, it just won’t look right.


When you’re running a café, your kitchen equipment and café furniture are the two things that demand the most uptake. Don’t make the mistake of buying residential furniture as this is not built to withstand constant daily use and is likely to show signs of wear and tear in just a few months. Be sure to only buy commercial furniture which is fit for purpose.

In this respect both wood and metal are easy to clean and durable, but you may want to think long term. Wood is likely to need polishing and dusting whereas metal furniture will last for years with barely any maintenance.  On the other hand, wood furniture can be taken care of with high quality upholstery whereas metal furniture may require a coat of paint if it’s faded.

Meeting your customers’ needs and expectations

It’s extremely important that you know your target audience and can buy your furniture to match their needs. Older people, for instance would probably favour upholstered wood furniture for comfort whereas younger people will feel perfectly at ease with communal tables and seating where they can interact freely. Families would probably benefit from booth seating so that little ones are close at hand if they need help with cutting up their food etc.

Offering a choice of furniture and seating is usually the best route to take.

Budget is key

Finally, although it’s probably the most important tip, have a budget in mind. It’s quite common for furniture to take up a large proportion of your overall budget, so make sure you invest that money wisely.

If you can’t afford wood, then why not opt for some of the top-quality laminates available which mimic natural materials such as wood and granite. Super durable, UV resistant, and waterproof, they make a great choice for cafes and are extremely cost-effective.

Metal furniture probably offers more variety and flexibility when creating your layout and comes in a wide choice of powder coated colours.

More importantly, make sure to only buy from a trusted café furniture retailer, such as Café Chairs Sydney. We supply a wide range of timber and metal furniture in styles to suit plenty of different decors at very affordable prices.