Stools not chairs


Have noticed a recent trend with restaurants using backless stools instead of chairs. I guess that’s fine for young backs but it’s a reason for us not to return to a place. As well as the question of where to put your winter coat and purse. Is this a space saving effort, design choice or a means of quick turnover?


I think it’s a bit of all three. I dislike it too.

(John Hartley) #3

Us too.

We’d been planning to try a nearby Italian place in the next week or so. That was until I found out that they seat you on backless benches.


I had enough of that at family picnics as a kid.


Yes, I’m not a fan of backless picnic benches either. Didn’t even care for them as a child.

(Jimmy ) #6

Ninety nine percent of the time, this would be a deal breaker for me. I would make an exception if I were visiting Franklin Barbeque, Louie Mueller’s or Arthur Bryant’s.


It’s a trend in design, look at the new restaurants designs… and problably the other 2 reasons as well. Restaurant spend less than buying stools too.

I don’t like that very much in restaurants, especially when the place is crowded.


If memory serves, you can sit on a real chair at Bryant’s. What we remember is passing through airport security and telling the person manning the video screen: “Bryant’s”. He turned to the other inspector at the station and said: “Told you so.” and winked.


Asia is way ahead of the curve.

Gotta have a strong back to live and eat there!! :muscle:


You forgot these small ones… They are the best!


Yum. I’ll have what she’s having!!!


The photos of stools in China helped me realize why I dislike sitting on them. I’m short* plus have short legs. My feet seldom touch the floor when seated in a chair at a restaurant. So something without a back just feels precarious since there is nothing to help me brace myself.

  • I prefer to think of it as well grounded!


Well grounded indeed!

My dining nightmare. I can’t fold my legs under. I have to go full Gaijin and sit with my legs straight out under the table. Fortunately Japanese are way too polite to “notice”.

The second half of the nightmare is trying to gracefully rise off the mats. After a few highballs, Asahi’s and some random sake. I’ve only narrowly avoided crashing back down after losing my inebriated balance. Embarrassing!!


It’s hard to tell from the photos - are those tables high enough to be able to sit at cross-legged (with one’s crossed legs at least partially under the table)? I can do that comfortably for a very long time. In fact, given the option, I prefer to sit cross-legged rather than with my butt flat on a chair and in informal social situations, cross my legs even on chairs, couches, etc). But I can’t sit with my legs “sideways” like the guy in the gray suit for even a few minutes (I have short legs relative to my torso length and my legs’ musculature, and and they just don’t “fold” into that position without great discomfort), and can sit “on my calves” like the woman sitting next to him for only a few minutes longer than that. And for that matter, I couldn’t sit very long with my legs stuck straight out in front of me, either.


Seems possible if you can keep your knees low enough. The tables are I’m estimating 20" inch off the floor?

The guy in the back, in the second photo seems to be sitting cross legged. Definitely impossible for me.


I’ve been to restaurants with low tables like that, but with a recessed area under the table. Then you can have the sitting on the floor experience, without the pain.

At a Fugu restaurant in Tokyo:

(John) #16

Over the years I’ve done quite a few stools for bars, restaurants & etc. I usually do stools with backs like these:


One unmentioned reason for backless stools is they’re cheaper.

(Evelyn C. Leeper) #17

Even worse than backless stools are high backless stools! Hard enough for older people as it is, but now they want us to boost ourselves up onto them somehow? Never mind a booster seat, how about a step-stool?

(Note: When we replaced my parents’ old mattress in the early 2000s, we discovered we also had to get my mother–short and somewhat mobility limited even then–a step-stool so that she could get into the new, much higher bed.)

(Gwenn) #18

I don’t like it either for all the same reasons. And I see it’s also a trend for home dining rooms. One side has chairs and the other a bench. It says to your guests - hurry up and eat and go!

(Evelyn C. Leeper) #19

Just as bad for where to hang your purse are those chairs whose backs have rounded tops.


This may be the paranoid jaded new yorker in me showing but never hang your handbag on the back of your chair…!! It’s the best and easiest way for someone to “bump into you” and snag your wallet. Happened to a good friend of mine years back in a busy well known restaurant. My handbag always goes in my lap or i take my coat and put ontop of the handbag over the chair