How to Buy a Bucket Seat Bar Stool

***This blog was updated in December 2017 to reflect current information.

Are you shopping with your customers’ wellbeing in mind? If you’re researching bucket bar stools, you probably are! You’ve already made up your mind to create a bar area where guests can socialize, watch the big game, and play bar top games late into the night, all on comfortable bar stools.

A bucket seat bar stool could be just what your establishment needs to keep patrons at the bar for longer, creating a higher per person sales average for your bar’s bottom line. If your bar’s marketing strategy revolves around patrons purchasing multiple drinks, then you are probably aware of the direct correlation between the right seating and a steady flow of nightly revenue.

But how exactly do you pick out the bar stool that’s the best fit for your bar in terms of patron comfort and how it effects your return on investment?

Regardless of the price point your targeting, there are some criteria you should keep in mind when deciding on a bucket bar stool. These factors will help you sift through the range of bucket bar stools that are out there and can aid in showing the difference of a bar stool that will last years versus one that might only last you a few months.

The above criteria can help you make a better purchase decision when selecting a bucket bar stool but we can break it down even further by classifying our bucket bar stools into good, better, and best tiers.

The Good

When deciding on bucket bar stools for your restaurant, it can be intimidating- there are so many choices! Even though these categories are called good, better, and best, these names refer to how the bucket bar stools will perform over a certain time. Just because a bucket is in the “good” category, does not mean it’s mediocre. Good bucket bar stools get the job done and are great for your budget! In our experience, these bucket bar stools are popular in VFW’s, Elk Clubs, and similar organizations because they are cost-friendly and can keep customers comfortable for extended sitting.

Good Bucket Bar Stool Features

The Better
For the “better” section of bucket bar stools, we took the perks of the “good” models and made them even better! Our better bucket offer some added benefits that you and your customers will appreciate. These bucket bar stools offer PVC-edged seams and thicker padded seats, as well as an extra inch of padding added to the back of the bucket to keep customers comfortable for longer. Unlike a traditional metal swivel bar stool, this bucket has PVC edging that soften the blows to your bar top if a customer swivels a little too far.

Better Bucket Bar Stool Features

The Best
For top-of-the-line bucket seat bar stools, you’ll pay a slightly increased price but be rewarded with excellent quality, style, and comfort, backed by long-lasting durability. We don’t call it the best for nothing! Without the worry of changing out a swivel mechanism, these bar stools have a slight bend and a little give for optimal comfort levels with the added flex back. Details like the rounded edges will make this bucket bar stool your customers’ favorite place to sit.

Best Bucket Bar Stool Features

The Base
Once you decide on the level of comfort you want your bucket to have, it’s time to choose a base.  Especially for the better and best models, you’ll want to look for a fully-welded, 16-gauge steel base, which will offer the most strength over a long lifetime.  The gauges of steel get stronger as the gauge numbers decrease, so a 16-gauge is better than an 18- or 20-gauge steel frame.  Because bucket seats tend to be top-heavy compared to other stool seats, the base needs to have a wide enough footprint to safely support the shape and weight of the bucket.

Additional Considerations
When shopping for a bucket bar stool, you should evaluate the quality of the swivel mechanism.  On the good and better buckets, we usually include a tilted swivel to produce a reclined feel for a more comfortable position.  When assembling this type of swivel on your bar stool, make sure the higher point is facing toward the front of the stool, or otherwise, patrons will feel as if they’re falling out of the seat.  On the more luxurious buckets, the design already features a slightly reclined seat, so most vendors will use a flat swivel, whereas you don’t have to worry about assembling it to the right degree of tilt.

In addition, we offer two kinds of swivels: an imported version and a domestic version.  The imported swivel comes with no warranty and utilizes ball bearings, which can be known to fall out with daily wear and tear or rough handling. A domestic swivel is available at an upgraded price because it includes a longer warranty of up to 10 years and uses nylon threads to swivel instead of ball bearings. Not only is the domestic swivel more comfortable, it makes for a quieter, smoother movement, as well.

Before purchasing any bar stool for your restaurant, you should measure the height of your bar.  You will want to leave 10-12″ between the top of the seat and the bottom of the bar for legroom.  Some of our best bucket bar stools have a seat height of 31.5″, which may be too tall for your bar. Keeping this measurement and the average height of your clientele in mind can save you from purchasing too tall or too short bar stools.

Interior design is, of course, always a consideration when buying restaurant furniture. Our standard bucket colors are brown, black, and wine, and we offer black, silver, rust, and clear coat finishes in most frames, so you can choose a color combination that works best for your decor! In the future, we are looking towards creating a custom upholstery program for some of our bucket bar stools so that your restaurant’s look is truly unique and comfortable.

Now that you know what to look for in your commercial bucket seat bar stools, you can offer a comfortable place for guests to sit and relax a while – and order up another drink.

By Administrator on November 27, 2013 · Posted in Design and Furniture Selection

4 Comments | Post Comment

Debbie Smith says:

Bar stools with leather upholstery? Wow! If I get these stools near my place, I will definitely buy for my rooms.

Posted on December 10th, 2013

Administrator says:

Hi Debbie, Thanks for the comment. We actually use a commercial-grade vinyl to upholster our bucket seat bar stools. They are only available online via our e-commerce stores right now, or if you’re nearby western Pennsylvania, we do have a showroom.

Posted on December 13th, 2013

minka tommy says:

I am very happy to read your tutorial about how to choose a bucket seat bar stool. Your instructions are very complete and detailed making it easier for me to select them according to my funds. I would probably choose a middle-of-the-road product. Thank you.

Posted on January 18th, 2014

Emily Fritz says:

Glad we could be of help, Minka!

Posted on January 21st, 2014