How to Arrange Your Restaurant Dining Room Seating
Before you open the doors to your restaurant, it is important to have your restaurant seating set up and ready for customers. Your restaurant dining area is the most important area of your restaurant. It determines your ambiance and the spending culture of your clientele. It represents your theme and your brand. As you look over your available space, you will need to determine how to arrange your seating to make the most of your space, while also allowing your guests to feel comfortable. Aside from tables and chairs, you will also need room for wait stations, POS systems and storage.
Your first consideration is your space availability. The size of your dining room is crucial to the way you will be setting it up and the amount of seating that you will have to offer. Look at the space and determine how many people you can seat at one time. Then decide how you want to split up your space. Do you want multiple dining areas, or one large open area. Do you want booths, how many anchor tables, and floating tables can you accommodate? Do you want private dining rooms that can be reserved in advance? Take all these ideas into consideration before you decide.
Keep in mind that it is much easier for staff to maneuver if you keep as much open space as possible. This makes it easier for them to keep an eye over the dining area and take note of any problems or tables that may need service. It also allows the host/hostess to see available tables easily so that he/she can seat customers quickly.
Keep in mind your target market to help you determine how to design your dining room. Consider what type of customers you expect to frequent your restaurant. Each target market has different preferences which will assist you on how to arrange the dining area. Some customers prefer a nice quiet booth while others will find that tables and chairs are more suitable to their needs. Keep in mind that booths tend to make the most use of space, although they somewhat limit staff maneuverability.
Don’t forget to include wait stations in your dining area plan, They should be easily accessible by your staff, but invisible to your customers. Make sure to keep them well stocked with items that your guests may need such as extra plates, bowls, cups, saucers, flatware and napkins, as well as condiments that are particular to your type of restaurant.
Anchor Tables and Floating Tables
Regardless of your target market, there are a few things that customers generally prefer. They prefer tables and booths that are anchored to the wall, rather than floating in the center of the room. This gives the feeling of having more privacy and tends to make people like the restaurant experience more. Placing columns in the middle of an open dining area or partitions, screens or curtains, can create anchor areas when there is not enough wall space available. However, floating tables can also serve a purpose. These tables can accommodate people who are in more of a rush and not looking to stay a long time. As these tables are often situated in high traffic areas, they experience a higher turn over rate making them more profitable for the restaurant. A good idea is a mix of both types of tables, with an emphasis on anchor tables when possible.
As you design your dining room, keep in mind what works best for the customers you are hoping to attract. Allow plenty of room for customers and staff to move around with ease. Do not over-crowd the room, since it will leave the customers feeling uncomfortable while dining. Finally, don't miss the opportunity of incorporating your theme and brand into your dining area design