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The leading authority on “everything food”, the Food Network Channel, has pared down it’s list of “America’s best restaurants” to the top 10. Counted down by world-renowned chef, Bobby Flay, the list includes restaurants such as Rao’s in Harlem where it’s impossible to get a reservation, to Slappy Cakes in Portland where you make your own pancakes.

  1. Rao’s (New York City and Las Vegas): Family-owned since 1896 and serves traditional Italian dishes. Rao’s has also developed a range of products made from natural ingredients for retail trade and are enjoyed in Italian food kitchens worldwide.
  2. Snow’s BBQ (Lexington, Texas): Only open on Saturdays from 8am until the food is gone.
  3. Antoine’s (New Orleans, Louisiana): The city’s oldest French-Creole fine dining restaurant. Highly recommended for the New Orleans’ “must-do” list.
  4. Waterman’s Beach Lobster (South Thomaston, Maine): Family-owned, casual waterside lobster shack overlooking the beautiful Muscle Ridge Channel.
  5. Sierra Mar (Big Sur, California): Found at the Post Ranch Inn, this cliff-top fine dining establishment offers breathtaking views and is the winner of Wine Spectator’s prestigious Grand Award.
  6. The French Laundry (Yountville, California): Renowned restaurant in Napa Valley run by famous chef Thomas Keller. One of the world’s finest eating establishments, dinner starts at several hundred dollars per person.
  7. Slappy Cakes (Portland, Oregon): DIY tableside pancakes and other tasty treats. Food Network chef, Alton Brown says “It’s Nirvana for the Culinary Control Freak!”
  8. Burt’s Place (Morton Grove, Illinois): Famous for its deep-dish pies, this 30-seat, no frills place is all about the pizza.
  9. Travail Kitchen and Amusements (Robbinsdale, Minnesota): Visit them on Facebook to get a glance into this interactive American cuisine restaurant featuring 10-course tasting menus.
  10. Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain (Brooklyn, New York): Take a step back into the late 1800’s and enjoy a sundae or ice cream float in a traditional soda fountain setting.

SIMS Superior Seating has been manufacturing high quality furniture to meet the diversified needs of the food service and hospitality industry such as these “Top 10 Best restaurants in America”, since 1977. Whether you or your clients are early in the design process or interested in updating and renovating the look and feel of an existing establishment, the SIMS experts are on top of innovations that capitalize on important trends, improve your bottom line and keep your clients happy. Contact us to find out more.



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Selecting the right furniture and layout is essential when designing a restaurant. This is especially true when designing a small venue where design challenges are met with limited space. When done right, a smaller restaurant can be a cozy, intimate and comfortable venue. However if the design isn’t done properly, it will seem cluttered, crowded and dissatisfying, which can potentially lead to the demise of the restaurant. Here are some tips to help make your little gem a huge hit.

  • Choose bar and counter seating – This is a great way to get a lot of people seated while still offering wait staff and customers space to move around. A bar placed on one side of the room adjacent to the kitchen with high bar stools can also establish a venue as a place to gather in the neighborhood. And these guests are more likely to order alcohol while eating at the bar, therefore boosting restaurant profits. Counter seating along the restaurant’s front windows can offer diners who value their privacy an appropriate seating option. A street view is also a great way to pull foot traffic in from outside.
  • Install banquet seating – A long banquet against one wall with tables in front of it and chairs on the other side allow positive circulation in the restaurant. The wait staff can easily access tables and the customers can access the bathroom without having to navigate through a clutter of tables and chairs. This option also offers the comfort of booth seating without taking up space that a small venue can’t afford to spare.
  • Utilize small square tables – Despite the size of the venue, accommodating large parties is possible if small square tables versus round tables are utilized. Square tables can also be combined into bigger tables for large parties or separated to accommodate couples who want privacy.

SIMS Superior Seating has been manufacturing high quality furniture to meet the diversified needs of the food service and hospitality industry since 1977. Whether you or your clients are early in the design process or interested in updating and renovating the look and feel of an existing establishment, the SIMS experts are on top of innovations that capitalize on important trends, improve your bottom line and keep your clients happy. Contact us to find out more.

Happy Thanksgiving from SIMS Seating!

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Happy ThanksgivingWishing you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving!


SIMS Superior Seating has been manufacturing high quality furniture to meet the diversified needs of the food service and hospitality industry since 1977. Whether you or your clients are early in the design process or interested in updating and renovating the look and feel of an existing establishment, the SIMS experts are on top of innovations that capitalize on important trends, improve your bottom line and keep your clients happy. Contact us to find out more.


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Technology, consumer and menu trends are revolutionizing foodservice, according to leading food research and consulting firm Technomic. These trends impact how your establishment attracts new customers and keeps the existing ones coming back for more. As the end of 2014 draws near, lets take a look at some of the restaurant trends for 2015 released by

1.   Lights! Camera! Action! – Dining is becoming more of a “staged event” with plating and lighting enhancements with phone snapshots and social media sharing in mind.

2.   Foodservice everywhere – Alternative forms of service are popular such as fresh food and drink vending options.

3.   There’s something about Asia – Although a trendy contender for many years, look out for the upgrade of the classic Asian street food-spicy ramen noodles.

4.   Bitter is the new bold – Dashes to include cauliflower, collard greens, darker coffees and deeper chocolates.

5.   DIY health – Restaurant menus do their best to keep healthy options available to the consumer such as gluten-free, vegan and paleo-diet options as nutrition fads and fashions come and go.

Read here to see the complete list of ten restaurant trends for 2015.

SIMS Superior Seating has been manufacturing high quality furniture to meet the diversified needs of the food service and hospitality industry since 1977. Whether you or your clients are early in the design process or interested in updating and renovating the look and feel of an existing establishment, the SIMS experts are on top of innovations that capitalize on important trends, improve your bottom line and keep your clients happy. Contact us to find out more.



Family Dining and Restaurant Seating: Historical Supper Clubs

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Throughout history, people have gathered to share good times and good food. The family dining experience has evolved, calling for innovations and changes in the restaurant seating industry. As we gather together and focus on the upcoming holidays, let’s revisit some of the ways people have come together in the past at supper clubs and other family dining establishments.

Traditionally a “Supper Club” was similar to a glamorous nightclub hosting live music accompanied by dancing. Socialites, theater performers and other artists usually gathered in this private setting for late-night meals and entertainment until 2 or 3am.

By the 1920’s, this club trend developed into a type of restaurant open to the general public. The stigma of the glamour of supper clubs still held true to some extent, so the public was drawn to these clubs that they could now experience and enjoy.

In the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s, many supper clubs were a place for movie stars and popular bands to socialize. Establishments such as NYC’s well-known El Morocco, The Stork Club and the Copacabana, were frequented by Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Glen Miller Band and other famous individuals. Not all patrons were stars, but guests still dressed up and enjoyed a night out with dining, dancing and entertainment.

Surprisingly from the 1920’s until the decline of the supper clubs in the 1970’s, many of these clubs across the U.S. were located in rural areas. The upper Midwest and Wisconsin in particular, flourished with supper clubs ranging from rustic roadhouses serving barbeque to upscale, resort clubs. And instead of hosting the Hollywood A-List, many of these supper clubs hosted Lion’s Club meetings, Democratic Party functions, weddings and holiday parties.

Today you can still find some of the family-owned supper clubs in operation, mainly scattered throughout the Midwest. And if you are lucky to frequent one in the state of Wisconsin on a Friday night, you can enjoy the legendary, distinctive weekly tradition that has surpassed generations: the “Wisconsin Friday Fish Fry”!

SIMS Superior Seating has been manufacturing high quality furniture to meet the diversified needs of the hospitality and food service industry since 1977, so we understand the needs of the family dining experience or the restaurant seating needs of an upscale establishment. If you are looking for a partner with deep experience in every facet of commercial seating manufacturing, call on us today.


Custom and Inspired Hospitality Seating Design: Straight from Sims

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Design inspiration can be found all around us.

No matter the industry, you probably have seating areas that are designed to make your clients, visitors, patrons or employees feel comfortable. At SIMS Superior Seating, our designers and craftsmen innovate for a variety of needs:

  • Public Spaces
  • Guest Rooms
  • Waiting Areas
  • Casual Dining Areas
  • Sports Bars
  • Lounges
  • Executive Conference Areas
  • Family-Style Dining
  • Elegant Dining
  • Hotels and Motels
  • Banquet Halls and Conference Centers

Not only will the talented staff at SIMS Superior Seating work with you to ensure you and your clients have the right style for your establishment and create a custom look, we have a variety of inspired looks that will make customers and guests feel welcome. There is no shortage of design inspiration all around us. We have taken our inspiration through the years from a variety of sources, creating innovative and durable seating that not only gets the job done, but also provides beauty.

What inspires us to create beautiful and innovative hospitality seating?

  • Nature
  • Symmetry
  • Color
  • Organic Textures
  • Geometric Patterns
  • Design Trends

Anything can generate a great idea and inspire beautiful design that is functional and durable. You won’t find a better partner for your customer’s seating needs. We are thorough, dependable, experienced and accurate.

Contact us today.

Other posts you may like:

Benches Through History

SIMS Superior Seating: FAQs

Restaurant Trends


SIMS Superior Seating Knows Benches: Benches Through Hollywood History

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At SIMS Superior Seating, Inc., we know waiting area seating and we know benches. Since 1977 we have been manufacturing high quality and durable furniture for the hospitality industry. While our goal remains the same-to provide the best value and unmatched quality-we also strive to deliver that top quality at a reasonable cost.

Now we’d like to have a little fun and discover some of the famous benches in the film and music industry! Your waiting areas and seating areas are much more than just a place to sit. They are places for people to interact and connect. The comfort, style and durability of a bench or chair in a seating area can significantly impact your customer, client or guest.

Take a look at the following descriptions and see if you know the answers as we look at benches, both inside and outside, throughout Hollywood history.

Founded in 1733, Savannah, Georgia is America’s first planned city. Located at the center of the downtown historic district and center of Savannah’s entertainment and nightlife, resides Chippewa Square. The Square is also known for the famous park bench scenes from a critically acclaimed film starring Tom Hanks. Hank’s character tells 80% of his story with him sitting on this bench, which started off as a simple Hollywood movie prop. Since then the bench has been relocated to the Savannah History Museum. This famous bench has joined the ranks of hottest Hollywood collector’s items since Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”
What movie does this famous bench star in?


Sittin’ on a bench at West Town Mall
He sat down in his overalls and asked me
“You waitin’ on a woman?”

This music video begins with an impatient young man waiting on his significant other while sitting on a bench. He keeps himself busy by sending her “selfies” of his growing impatience, eating, trying to nap and tossing a ball in the air…all before someone special sits down on the bench next to him and changes his attitude. The majority of the video is filmed while these two gentlemen are sitting on the bench. One man is a famous country singer and the other is a famous movie star. Who are these two famous individuals?

This scene has gone down in history as one of the most epic in Robin William’s movie career. The famous words that fans all over the world will remember forever were spoken with utter passion on this bench Robin shared with Matt Damon. Since the unfortunate passing of Robin Williams, this park bench has become a tribute to this incredibly gifted actor. Fans adorn the concrete surrounding the bench and even the bench itself with phrases from the movie. What critically acclaimed film is this?

For more information about benches and waiting area seating from SIMS Superior Seating, Inc. as well as the other products we offer—give us a call at 800-729-9178.


Booths are a great choice in the hospitality industry

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Great Layouts & Great Booths = A Great Experience

The hospitality industry is competitive and customers have hundreds of choices, so how can you help them choose you? If you haven’t considered how your booth seating impacts your customers, now is a good time to do so.

1: Booths are intimate: How many times have you personally walked into an establishment, looked around the room and thought to yourself, “Oh, we’d rather have that booth, not the table.” We’ve all done that. Booths bring a level of intimacy to the dining experience, even at the most casual of restaurants. Whether opening up a new establishment or redesigning or updating a current business, consider your booth selection carefully. The designers at Sims Superior Seating are constantly looking for innovative ways to bring additional comfort and warmth to the booth experience.

2. Booths are flexible: No matter what kind of establishment you have, we have a booth design that will fit. In fact, we can custom fabricate anything you have in mind. You won’t find a more flexible alternative than a booth. If you are unsure about the design of your plan, what kind of booth will work for you or are concerned about getting it fabricated correctly, talk to us. We get our fabrication and installation right.

3. Booths are future-proof: Booth seating has been around for a long time and for good reason! Your customers like to visit over a meal and a booth is familiar territory. However, if you’ve had your booths for a while, it might be time for an update. Booth seating continues to evolve and innovate, as do the fabrics and design elements. Our team of design experts constantly brings new, fresh and exciting designs and color palettes together for our customers. Your establishment will shine with booth seating that is not only functional, but also looks great! Our fabrics are not only gorgeous, but durable, as well. They will stand the test of time both aesthetically and functionally.

Are you ready for a booth update? No matter your commercial or hospitality seating need, Sims Superior Seating is here to assist. 


What do consumers want in a restaurant?

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What do your consumers want in a restaurant?

If we knew that, we’d all be living happily on our own islands, but there are some general trends that are becoming apparent. These trends impact how your establishment can bring in new customers, excite existing customers and breed loyalty.

Trend 1: Multi-generational appeal is essential, but the boomers still hold sway. According to Restaurant Hospitality, those Baby Boomers are eating out at a higher rate than in the past. Today’s boomers are more active than in any other generation! Exciting concepts, comfy surroundings and sensible offerings means more revenue to your business. While it might be cool to be edgy and millenial-friendly, doing so at the expense of the boomers might be a big mistake. What this means for you: When considering decor, ambiance, seating and waiting areas, design multi-generationally. Don’t solely focus on a single age group – unless that is the basis of your business model. If you are unsure how to best design around the needs of today’s boomers, give us a call. We can help.

Trend 2: Fast Casual continues to chip away at the big guys. Bloomberg Businessweek shares that while the Fast Casual part of the restaurant industry is still a small piece of the pie, it is growing as consumers look for a perceived higher quality of food and are willing to pay more per meal. The models are a mix of speedy service found at a fast food giant like McDonald’s and a full-service establishment like Applebee’s. Businesses that fit this mold include Five Guys Burgers, Panera Bread Company and Panda Express. What this means for you: Diners are expecting an elevated experience, even when it is not a full-service experience. Simply updating your dining area can make a huge impact in how your establishment is perceived.

Trend 3: More outdoor dining means more revenue. According to Food & Beverage, outside dining spaces are no longer a nice-to-have, but are a necessity to keep customers coming in and coming back, especially after last winter’s polar vortex. According to the article, having an outside dining area may be the deciding factor when it comes time to choose a restaurant. But, that outdoor dining area should also provide comfortable seating and have a design relationship with the interior, as well. Here at Sims Superior Seating, we understand all of the facets of comfort and design – both inside and outside. You may be missing out on revenue if you have the capacity for a small outdoor dining area and aren’t leveraging it. What this means for you: Evaluate your outdoor area. Can you carve out even a small area for a table or two? An intimate outdoor area need not mean more labor. Most establishments can cover a small outdoor area with existing personnel, but the rewards of having a lovely outdoor dining area will be customers lining up to dine outside.

You can rely on the experts at Sims Superior Seating to bring to you the latest information and insight on trends and design issues facing the industry. We’ve been providing the best seating and design for every type of hospitality need for a long time and are glad to share. When you’re ready to act on these insights and update current seating or open a new establishment, we are here to help.

Is it time to remodel your restaurant?

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When was the last time your clients remodeled their restaurant? According to survey results recently released by the National Restaurant Association, owners responded with the following:

  • My restaurant has been remodeled in the last 5 years: 42.48%
  • My restaurant has been remodeled in the last 5 to 10 years: 27.43%
  • My restaurant has not been remodeled for at least 10 years: 12.39%
  • My restaurant has never been remodeled: 17.70%

A whopping 30% of respondents haven’t invested in a remodel in 10 years or more. That number climbs to over 57% if we look at those who have a dated remodel (last 5-10 years). Investing in seating or decor upgrades can bring the atomosphere into the present and makes good business sense. Why? Research shows that diners are looking for higher quality ingredients that ever before, including locally sourced meat and vegeatables, as well as more eco-friendly choices. It would follow that the upgraded expectations would extend to a fresher appearance with comfortable, quality seating –  at the bar, in the waiting area and at the table or booth.

SIMS Superior Seating understands the importance of decor, comfort and atmosphere. We work hand in hand to determine the needs of the client and then make installation a breeze.  Contact us today and you’ll see how working with us during a remodel can positively impact the bottom line.