FIVE MINUTES WITH: Jeremy Levitt, Parts and Labor Design

When helping clients make furniture decisions, Jeremy Levitt and the team at Parts and Labor Design take a first-things-first approach. “Our process begins with a focus on operations and on creating a floor plan while simultaneously establishing a concept and our design approach for the space,” Levitt says. “This direction then holds true in the architecture, furniture and lighting. This starting point also dictates form and function.” From that point, Levitt says it comes down to wrestling with issues of custom versus off the shelf, which typically comes down to accepting budget realities.

jeremy levitt head shotToughest category?

JL: Dining chairs in general can be a challenge, in part because creating custom pieces can be cost-prohibitive based on quantity, etc. And finding unique off-the-shelf products at a reasonable price point has become increasingly difficult while trying to maintain a specific aesthetic. Finding a great piece that we, or other firms, haven’t used before is not always easy. In regard to performance, chairs are something that you need to be careful with as they’re the most used, shuffled around and abused items 
in a restaurant.

Does custom always equal costly?

JL: In some areas, yes, because you’re working with lower quantities than a run of off-the-shelf products that may be available in stock quantities. More often than not, however, flexibility in pricing when creating custom products is easier to control. For instance, we find with lighting that we can maintain the budget more effectively with custom products, resulting in a higher-end and more original package than what comes off the shelf.

What tips the scales toward custom, and what should operators going that route expect?

JL: We always lean toward custom in order to maintain a unique look that coincides with clients’ concepts. Plus, we never repeat designs. And certain items, such as banquettes, inevitably need to be custom. Once the decision to go with custom is made, operators should expect a heavy design development component and a detailed pricing and value-engineering component. Beyond that process, execution led by a purchasing company typically gets the FF&E package from A to B.

Low-budget tricks of the trade?

JL: There are a few things operators can do to keep costs down. These include:

  • Be realistic.
  • Be patient in understanding that sometimes it takes more time to achieve a lower budget target while arriving at a very successful and integrated design.
  • Don’t use large quantities of leather.
  • Minimize the number of different chair types used.
  • Create budget estimates as a guideline prior to final pricing.

thonet legacy collection multipurpose space

Updated Mid-Century Classic

The new Legacy Collection and its latest seating solutions are inspired by Bruno Weil’s No. 1294 Bent Plywood Chair, introduced by Thonet in 1945. Designed by Dorsey CoxDesign, the collection updates a timeless classic and includes chairs, barstools and tables at various heights. Composed of bent plywood made from species including maple, oak and walnut, Legacy Collection elements can be used to define the vernacular of a single space or easily integrated into multiple areas to complement a more eclectic blend of styles.


motivo clara bar stool

Comfortable, Modern Seating

The clean lines of the Clara Bar Stool from Motivo Furniture enhance the ambience of any room with invitingly comfortable, modern seating design. A side chair complements the collection; both feature beechwood frames with a single-stitched seat and back. Barstool measurements: 18½ inches wide, 20¼ inches deep, 42½ inches high (seat height 32¾ inches).

Motivo Furniture

6 allseating astute bar6 front

The Astute Chair

Designed in collaboration with design firm busk + Hertzog, Allseating’s latest seating solution for hospitality and restaurant spaces is the Astute. A modern chair that’s well suited to a variety of design schemes, it’s defined by elegant curves and real wood finishes. The collection includes 54 total variations, made possible with numerous base, back and seat styles, giving the Astute chair a versatile quality that allows for its application in both indoor and outdoor bar areas and table-height settings.


amisco parade

Sturdy, Industrial Aesthetic

Embracing the industrial design trend, the Parade bar-height table and Ethan stool are made of North American steel and responsibly harvested, distressed solid wood. Shown in Metallo metal finish and Sand dust distressed wood color, the products are available in 14 powder-coated paint colors and 6 distressed solid wood colors. Custom options also available. The extra-large Parade table looks like it was recovered from an old factory, with sturdy leg lines and footrest crossbars. The Ethan stool adds a stylish touch of sophistication in a compact package that can slip easily under the counter to free up space.

Amisco Contract Manufacturing

max r hostessstation2

Customizable Hostess Station

A Max-R Hostess Station provides an 
attractive point from which to greet guests 
or a central location for staff. It comes standard with a hinged door to allow for out-of-sight storage or a place to keep valet keys. The station comes in 10 standard colors and hundreds of color combinations. It can be customized to match any restaurant’s aesthetics. Options include logo application, menu holder, umbrella holder, workstation cover, and flat or vail top.


plymold powereddiningcounter

Wired Dining Counter

Customers can easily charge their mobile devices with this prewired dining counter. It comes in three standard lengths and features a series of surface-mount outlets, each consisting of one standard plug and two USB ports. The 42-inch bar height units are available in a 48-inch length with two outlets, a 72-inch length with three outlets, and a 96-inch length with four outlets. The 48-inch length also comes in a 30-inch height to meet ADA requirements. To ensure guest privacy, a vertical laminate panel is mounted to the back edge of the counter. The unit includes a heavy-gauge steel powder-coated frame and laminate counter with Dur-A-Edge polyurethane edge. The 6-inch cord makes installation easy.


superiorseating chair

Antiqued Bistro-Style Chair

Get the look of an antique with the comfort and durability of a modern commercial chair. Constructed of a fully welded steel frame with an antiqued black finish, the chair features a supportive X-back, stretcher bars and choice of metal seat: premium solid-ash wood seat or padded upholstered seat that can be customized with vinyl or fabric in a variety of colors. Sturdy legs have feet capped with nylon glides to protect both furniture and floor. A matching barstool is available as well, and additional finish options include French Grey and Antique Look. Arrives fully assembled.

Superior Seating

falcon r800 series

Durable, Stylish Metal Chairs

Falcon’s R800 Series metal chairs include a mix of styles, from simple to unique, and 10 standard powder-coated frame colors. Falcon’s multistep powder coat prevents chipping and potential for rust. The unique PERMA-GLIDE feature protects first points of contact between the table base and the chair leg, eliminating damage caused by worn glides. R800 Series chairs come with a 10-year frame warranty and PERMA-GLIDE with a 5-year warranty. New styles from the series include the R849 and R847.


oldegoodthings swingtable chairs2

Swing-Seat Tables

Avoid scratching floors with unique swing-seat dining tables from Olde Good Things. The tables are available in a variety of sizes from 4 to 12 seats, and tabletop options include reclaimed pine, industrial flooring, butcher block and reclaimed oak. Swing chairs can also be sold separately as space-saving, ergonomic seating options for restaurant bars.

Olde Good Things

ramler elements live cooking station

Portable Live Cooking Station

The sleek lines and clean-cut architecture of Ramler’s Live Cooking Station offer portable and modular flexibility. Interchangeable panels with a stainless steel protective trim offer a choice of presentation and live cooking options. Easy to set up, the station features a powerful induction cooker and safe warming station with intuitive controls that sit between heat-resistant, compact laminate bench tops. Available with or without a utility shelf, the station displays fresh food while allowing chefs to showcase their skills.

Ramler International

maxsun adjustable table base2

Adjustable Table Bases

Adjustable table bases from Maxsun work well for a variety of bar and restaurant applications. Extremely sturdy and durable, they’re made of heavy-duty metal with a stainless steel finish. The bases are available in two height ranges: 17 to 27½ inches and 29 to 43 inches. Base size options are 18-by-18-inch or 20-inch rounds. Assembly is quick and easy.

Maxsun Group

grand rapids dylan

Wood or Laminate Communal Table

The Dylan communal table from Grand Rapids Chair is available in solid wood or laminate. It features an innovative metal bracket design that creates a beautiful solution to mitered corners while adding strength as well as room for a personalized pop of color. Dylan is also fitted with USB and electrical outlets, ideal for tech-friendly dining spaces and offices.

Grand Rapids Chair Company

shelby williams newbanquetseating

Contemporary Banquet Seating

New Couture De Light banquet chairs from Shelby Williams feature a contemporary design with exceptional durability and comfort. Aluminum construction makes the chairs durable yet lightweight for easy movability and creates clean, architectural lines. Tapered legs lend an upscale look and make for easy stacking. Features include a powder-coated frame, and double umbrella glides. Aluminum frames are 100 percent recyclable.

Shelby Williams

jacobs bases2

Bar-Height Table Bases

Jacobs International offers a wide range of cast-iron and stainless steel table bases, all of which are available in bar heights as well as dining heights. Cast-iron top plates in three sizes fit most tabletops, and the products have a lifetime guarantee. All bar-height bases can be purchased with or without foot rings.

Jacobs International

goebel castro2

Castro Collection Seating

The Castro line of chairs and barstools from Goebel & Co. 
Furniture features welded frames that can be powder coated in any RAL color and paired with nearly any seating surface. Designed by Martin Goebel, the seating options are offered in 18-, 24- and 30-inch seat heights and in a variety of finishes. They’re 100 percent American made and are durable enough for use indoors and outdoors.

Goebel & Co. Furniture

vermont farm table roundtables

Round Tables for Any Occasion

Vermont Farm Table’s new line of round tables can be built to exact specifications. With six new designs that are available in custom sizes and myriad species and finishes, Vermont Table can provide tables to fit any foodservice need and design aesthetic.

Vermont Farm Table

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