Holsag Solves Chair Problems for Brazilian Steakhouse Restaurant  

Few things are quite as terrifying to a restaurant manager as the sound of a big crash from the dining room. In the quiet hush after the crash, the general manager races to the scene, frantically wondering if it’s something as simple as a dropped tray, or something more serious like a broken chair or a guest injury.

A few years ago, the management teams at Rodizio Grill locations across the country started having problems with the chairs in the dining areas. “Suddenly we noticed some deterioration in the quality of the chairs,” explained David Knighton, the Vice President of Operations for Rodizio Grill. “The chairs were cracking, they were breaking, they were starting to wobble. We even had some chairs collapse!” 

The restaurants quickly replaced the chairs with new ones, but the new chairs kept breaking as well. After some investigation, the corporate office discovered the problem: although the chairs were originally sturdily built in Brazil, the chair manufacturer started cutting corners and moved manufacturing to China. That’s when the quality and durability dropped.  

David Knighton and Leandro De Paula, the Director of Finance at Rodizio Grill’s corporate office, could not risk having guests going away unhappy—nor did they want to keep wasting money on flimsy chairs. “So, that’s what led us to say, okay, there are a lot of other chairs on the market,” David says. “Let’s find something that has a really strong frame.

Rodizio Grill Hits a Home Run with Holsag

David and Leandro found a Holsag chair model and customized it to create the perfect dining chair for Rodizio Grill locations. “We wanted a chair that was commercial-grade quality, had a beautiful look, but was affordable enough that we could buy hundreds of them and not break our budget… That’s what we found with Holsag.

Holsag was great to work with,” David says. He explained what they wanted and got a sample chair from Holsag a few weeks later. Then he made a list of adjustments that would make the chair look and feel authentically Brazilian. “We imported a stitched leather fabric from Brazil for the seat,” David says, “we raised the chair profile, added extra padding in the seat, selected the stain… and we got a home run! It’s exactly what we wanted.” 

david knighton vice president of operations at rodizio grill

“This chair is just the perfect balance of everything we needed, and we love the chair.”

— David Knighton

Vice President of Operations at Rodizio Grill®

With the Holsag Ila side chair and barstools, David and Leandro got the look, feel, and style the restaurant needed at an affordable price. And of equal importance, the new Holsag chairs are sturdily built and will last for years and years. Holsag chairs are built in North America with 100% Beech Hardwood, featuring mortise and tenon joints and come with a 12-year warranty.

david knighton vice president of operations at rodizio grill

“The quality of the chairs and being able to customize it to our needs were key factors in replacing the chairs for the entire chain. We ended up with a superior product at an acceptable price.”

— Ivan Utrera

Founder and President, Rodizio Grill®

We had a lot of problems with the old chairs,” says Ramon Anisio, the General Manager of Rodizio Grill in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had worked with the new Holsag chairs at his former Rodizio Grill in Denver and really liked them. After transferring to the Milwaukee location and working with the old, flimsy chairs for several months, he remodeled and placed a big order with Holsag for all new chairs.  

When the order first arrived, I saw all the boxes and thought, oh no, this will take two or three days to assemble them. But we opened the boxes and they were all assembled! So, we just had to wipe off the dust and they were ready to go.” Ramon says it’s a big relief not to have to worry about the chairs breaking or having customers complain about them. “We’re really happy with the quality of these [Holsag] chairs,” said Ramon. 

Tips for Selecting Restaurant Furniture 

Ramon says that his best advice to other restaurant managers looking for new furniture is to pay attention to quality. “Cheap stuff, it is not that great in the long term,” he says, with memories of the China-made chairs fresh in mind. 

romon anisio GM of rodizio grill

“If you’re going to run a restaurant, you need to think 10 years from now. You can find chairs that are half the price, but they’re only going to last two or three years.”

— Ramon Anisio

General Manager of Rodizio Grill® in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

If you have a busy restaurant, you have people using the chairs all the time, employees dragging the chairs, chairs falling on the floor, things like that, and cheap chairs are not going to last long. And then you’re going to have to replace the chairs within a few years and spend the same amount or even more than you would on a high-quality product. You want to have a chair that lasts for 10-15 years, and that’s something that these new [Holsag] chairs are up for.” 

Positive Feedback

In every Rodizio Grill location where the new chairs have been installed, the staff is impressed. “We keep reordering,” said Leandro. “We all like the durability and the look of the chairs.” As more Rodizio Grill locations are built or remodeled, Leandro says more will be getting the new Holsag chairs.

Ramon says he’s had positive feedback from customers about chair comfort—the seat is soft, and the backrest is sturdy and comfortable. “And of course, they all appreciate not having to worry about a chair collapsing,” he laughs.

david knighton and leandro de paula

“I think this is one of the smartest moves we’ve ever made operationally for the restaurant, to just upgrade the quality of the chairs.”  

— David Knighton

Vice President of Operations at Rodizio Grill®

— Leandro De Paula

Director of Finance at Rodizio Grill®

David said that working with Holsag to create a custom chair has been an excellent decision from an operational and financial standpoint. “We could have bought cheap chairs,” said David, “and had guests falling on the floor and had just a bad look, but we got a quality chair that’s going to last us a long time. It provides a lot of comfort for our guests, it looks beautiful, it’s easy to maintain. So, this was just a really smart business decision to buy these chairs.

About Rodizio Grill 

Over 25 years ago, the first Rodizio Grill® opened its doors in the US and popularized Brazilian barbecue style (churrascaria) dining. Now sporting 21 locations in 12 states, Rodizio Grill offers an upscale dining experience where guests enjoy a wide variety of grilled meats cooked on 3-foot skewers and carved tableside by servers. A gourmet salad bar, unlimited hot sides, and a full bar (including Brazilian wines and specialty drinks) rounds out the menu. 

rodizio chairs and tables rodizio chairs and tables rodizio chairs and tables

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