Cashier counter tends to be one of the most expensive furniture purchases when building a restaurant. Getting it wrong can turn out to be an expensive mistake, especially because it is the focal point of a restaurant’s décor. The Cashier Counter of a restaurant can make (or break) the ambience, which is why getting a restaurant counter design right can be very essential.

Note that even with so much at stake, you will find very little technical information and almost no details on manufacturers or suppliers of counters for restaurants. That is why they are so difficult to get right, even for large restaurants or bar chains.

Restaurant cashier counters are used for serving drinks and food. They also double up as ice stations, cash counters and food or drinks storage units. A restaurant counter can also divide the cooking area and the eating area and act as a transition area to receive food from kitchen and serve it up to diners.

Cashier counters come in a variety of designs. Unlike chairs and tables that come in a range of standard designs, restaurant counters are much more individualistic. Their design reflects the décor and styling requirements of the space and/ or the owner / interior designers imperatives.

So it is difficult to pin them down, design – wise. Cashier counters for restaurants are made up of 2 sections: Counter Base and Counter Top. Also note that there are various types of materials that go into making cashier counters.

What are the Best Types of Cashier Counter for Restaurants?

The prices of cashier counters for restaurants tend to vary significantly based on the following parameters – dimensions, materials, designs and finishes – in that order. Note that dimensions have the maximum impact on price of restaurant or café bar counters, followed by the material in which the counter is constructed. Nonetheless, here are top options to consider.

  1. Rustic Restaurant Counters

Rustic interior design style embraces free – flowing textures and earthy colours that emphasize rugged, natural beauty and create unpretentious warmth. These counters use wooden beams and butcher block designs that bring out the beauty of the grain as well as other natural materials such as stone and concrete in earthy, subdued hues. Such rustic commercial counters provide a bucolic, farmhouse style ambiance.

  1. Modern Restaurant Counters

Note that the minimalism of colours and lines of modern interior design style has led to its popularity in current day and age. Modern – style restaurant bar counters put together the modernity of sleek silhouettes with the elegance of materials such as natural or engineered wood or ceramic tiles in a way that provides form as well as function in the same unit.

The elegant form of modern furniture also tends to go well a variety of backgrounds. It can sit at harmony with contemporary interior décor as well as it can counterbalance the masculine aesthetic of the industrial style.

  1. Distressed Restaurant Counters

Distressed décor style, commonly referred to as shabby chic style, is one that puts together weathered wood with peeling colours, often pastel, and takes a laissez faire view of nicks, bruises, cracks and peels. Note that Distressed bar or café counters are made using unfinished wood and combining it with distress painted metal or steel.

Distressed counters also tend to blend in with both rustic décor, lending it more authenticity as well as with modern/contemporary décor styles where it imparts an element of serenity and colours.

  1. Industrial Restaurant Counters

Industrial décor became a unique design trend when people started converting industrial spaces such as old factories and warehouses into living spaces and lofts. Restaurant bar counters leverage wood, metal and pipes to achieve the industrial look. Note that such a look goes really well in settings that have exposed brick and concrete walls, unfinished plaster work, exposed pipes and large windows.

  1. Bespoke Restaurant Counters

With this option, you can fully configure the counters for your bar or restaurant. Note that you can customize dimensions to fit into even the most complex of restaurant layouts, including configuring them for pillars and other protrusions and angled corners.

Types of Materials Used In Making Cashier Counters

  1. Wood

Wood remains the most popular furniture material for a few reasons – it looks classy, can be very strong; screws and nails take nicely; it works well with almost all other materials like metal, stone, concrete; has great tensile strength; is electrical and heat resistant. However, it is relatively costlier compared to other materials.

  1. Metal

Metals are known to have the highest tensile strength and remain the most durable material. Properly finished metal will not deteriorate against day – to – day wear and tear, including rust. It is one of the few materials that are flame resistant, making it safer material to work with in commercial setups.

It is also significantly cheaper than wood. However, note that it is prone to rusting if not finished properly; its heavy weight makes it difficult to work with, especially when it comes to transporting it.

  1. Engineered Wood

Engineered wood is a man – made product created using wood strands, particles, fibres or veneers of wood glued together under pressure to form composite materials. Note that the term encompasses a range of materials, including particle board, melamine, MDF/HDF, plywood, blockboard, melamine etc. Engineered wood are known to be lighter than wood and less prone to moisture.

Therefore, high – grade engineered wood is far less prone to moisture related effects than natural wood. It is usually cheaper than wood. Have it in mind that they have very little screw – holding capacity; plywood cannot be moulded or routed (i.e., cut, carved or designed) as well as wood; weak tensile and pressure characteristics.

Other Materials

While cashier counters are primarily made using the above 3 materials in one or more combinations, however a few other materials are also used in manufacturing restaurant counters:

  • Natural stones like granite/marble/quartzite
  • Engineered stones like quartz and others
  • Ceramic tiles are often used in front elevations or countertops
  • Metals such as brass, zinc or copper for making façade or countertops
  • Concrete and glass are some of the other materials used in making restaurant counters


Restaurant cashier counters usually refer to either one of self – service counters at fast – food or QSR chains. Alternatively, they can also refer to cash counters or waitress stations, concierge desks or a combination thereof.

Aside from serving, these counters help maximize seating space, are the main focal point of your restaurant, and will be the most expensive item in the list of furniture you buy. But they are a complicated, albeit a crucial piece of furniture. So it is imperative to get them correct.

Ajaero Tony Martins