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Lightweight Banquet Chairs: Comparing the Encore vs. the Elite

- 8 min read

Are you an event manager looking to invest in high-quality banquet chairs for your venue? Choosing the right seating options can greatly impact the overall experience of your guests. In this article, we will compare two of the top-selling commercial banquet chairs on the market: the MityLite Encore Banquet Chair and the MityLite Elite Banquet Chair. Both these stackable chairs are designed for heavy-duty use in event centers, offices, restaurants, and other commercial areas. They are lightweight, easy to set up, and stackable on carts for streamlined transport around your property.

Elite comparison chart
Encore Banquet Chair comparison chart

What to Look for When Comparing Banquet Chairs

Considering options such as chair back styles and other customization options can help you choose chairs that match the aesthetic of your venue.

Close-up of a banquet chair with ganging

When you are selecting banquet chairs for your event center, keep the following key factors in mind:

1. Backrest comfort
2. Seat comfort
3. Aesthetics
4. Durability
5. Price

  1. Backrest Comfort: A comfortable backrest is crucial for long events or conferences. Look for banquet chairs with ergonomic backrest designs that provide full-back support for your guests. Backrests that allow guests to lean back (such as the MityLite flex-back feature) get bonus points.
  2. Seat Comfort: The seat cushion should be firm enough to provide support for extended sitting periods yet comfortable enough to sink into slightly. Both the Elite and the Encore Banquet Chairs feature comfortable, 2-inch-thick padded seats and our patented FormFlex™ seat base.
  3. Aesthetics: You can select the look and style to match a more traditional décor, transitional, or modern aesthetic. Both of these chairs come in several back styles to create a unique look.
  4. Durability:Commercial banquet chairs should be durable enough to withstand regular use in high-traffic environments. Look for chairs made of sturdy materials like steel or aluminum. Flip the chair over to see how well it’s built. Chairs without a sturdy seat base will break down quickly in a commercial environment.
  5. Price: The Elite Banquet Chair is priced on the lower end, making it a cost-effective option for event managers working within a budget. On the other hand, the Encore Banquet Chair comes at a slightly higher price point, offering a more generously sized seat and more personal space for your guests. One of the biggest price differences will come from fabrics. Fabric options of varying grades and price ranges. The cost of each chair will increase if you opt for higher-priced fabrics.

Aesthetics & Fabric Types

Look for banquet chair upholstery material that is high quality, durable, and easy to clean and maintain. Additionally, consider the color, texture, shade, pattern, and feel to match your event space’s decor. Most hospitality environments and similar public spaces will need a design refresh every 7-8 years. Consider avoiding trendy fabrics for banquet chair fabrics since these furniture pieces should ideally last at least that long.

When it comes to banquet chairs, the fabric can make a big difference in terms of aesthetics and durability. The MityLite Encore Banquet Chair and the MityLite Elite Banquet Chair are available in over 1,000 high-quality, durable upholstery fabrics that have been vetted as being easy to clean and maintain. You can also use a custom fabric. Fabric treatments are recommended when selecting light-colored fabrics to avoid fading, stains, and other discoloration.


Both these commercial banquet chairs are highly rated for comfort (we give them a 4 out of 4 comfort rating) and are part of our Comfort Series. They feature our FormFlex seat base and a plush foam seat. The Encore is slightly more comfortable thanks to its slightly larger proportions, so think of the Encore as 4.5 out of 4.

The MityLite Elite Banquet Chair provides compact yet comfortable seating, ensuring your guests can enjoy events without discomfort. It is built with a comfortably cushioned seat that’s made of MDI foam and a padded backrest. Adding the Flex-back (which allows guests to lean back slightly during long events) will increase the comfort level. While the Elite Chair has a narrower seat, it does offer a high degree of comfort compared to other chairs on the market of similar proportions. In addition, its slightly more compact build saves space, allowing you to squeeze a few extra chairs into assembly rooms.  

The Encore Banquet Chair is designed with the utmost comfort in mind, providing the highest level of support for extended periods and a generously sized seat. The wider and deeper seat adds comfort and gives your guests slightly more personal space, which creates a more pleasant seating arrangement for guests during conferences and events. When compared to the Elite Chair, this commercial banquet chair seat is 2” (5 cm) wider and 1.5” (3.8 cm) deeper, which contributes to its spacious feel. It features an extremely comfortable seat cushioned with custom-molded MDI foam.

Customization Options

Both these stackable chairs come with many options. Many customization options are available, from fabrics, to back styles, to comfort-enhancing options like our patented flex-back feature. Some factors can affect the durability and stability of the chairs (such as a stack bar across the legs of the chair), or how easy they are to set up (like adding chair ganging to the sides of the chairs, which connect chairs into neat and tidy rows).

“MityLite staff were creative and ensured our ideas were incorporated into the chair design and ensured the integrity of the design was secure and worked properly. MityLite did not hesitate to create sample chairs and revised designs to accommodate our requests and comments.”

Teri Orton

General Manager, Hawaii Convention Center

Other customization options add comfort (like the Flex-back feature that allows guests to lean their chair back slightly for individual comfort), and other customization options add to the aesthetics of the chair as a design piece (such as adding an angled, mitered leg style).

In addition to add-ons that affect the chair’s structure, there are also many customization options related to the look and feel of the chair. You can make an incredible impact with artfully chosen frame finishes, colors, and fabric options.

The Elite Banquet Chair offers six back styles, including the exclusive Lattice-back style. You can select from the classically styled Crown, Hourglass, Oval, Round, Square Open, or Arch back. It is available in over a dozen frame finish styles. The Encore Banquet Chair comes in two elegant back styles: the Arch and the Square Open. We carry over 1,000 fabrics for your selection, plus C.O.M. (Customer’s Own Material) is also available.

The Verdict

In conclusion, both the MityLite Encore Banquet Chair and the MityLite Elite Banquet Chair offer unique benefits and features that cater to the needs of event centers and other commercial properties. Your choice between the two will depend on budget, comfort, and customization options. The Elite Banquet Chair is slightly more compact and could save a little space, but it is a little less comfortable than the Encore Banquet Chair. By considering these aspects carefully, you can select the perfect banquet chairs for your venue that will impress your guests and enhance their overall experience.

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