A lot more goes into running a successful restaurant aside from tasty food. The ambiance and layout of the establishment matters as it plays a key and, beyond the food, could also determine whether people will be coming back again.
Creating the ideal seating plan depends on many factors, such as if patrons need to wait to be seated or seat themselves, where the views are in the establishment, proximity to restrooms and kitchens, and many more factors.
Do they get to choose?
Some casual establishments, like coffee houses, allow patrons to sit where they wish, given the opportunity. Such liberties are also usually associated with casual dining while formal restaurants necessitate a reservation and seat patrons according to plan. Decide which kind of restaurant you want to host, for it will help you decide on the right kind of seats, benches, and booths.
Rate the restaurant views.
Rate sections of your restaurant according to view and comfort. Where are the tables or booths people gravitate toward when no one else is in the place? You need to decide to pack more places to sit in desired areas, or situate tables so other sections don’t seem so inferior. This may cause you to eliminate existing tables or order more seating solutions and restaurant booths for sale.
How many servers to a section?
How many tables designate a server’s section? On a busy night, this may differ from an evening when people are slowly coming through the door. It matters since service dictates whether patrons feel comfortable and enjoy their stay. Having a section’s tables and booths in close proximity can be advantageous for the waiting staff and also allow the restaurant to accommodate more people at once, but if the customers feel cramped, it can be a real let down and turn them off.
Consider table shapes.
Even the shape of the tables can dictate how patrons engage with your restaurant. Large round tables, for example, invite bigger parties and louder conversation. Small rectangular tables make an impression that a place is better suited for couples, business lunches, and date nights. Benches and booths are great for large families and those with kids. Along with your food, the kind of seating invites certain customers to your restaurant.
You can also examine different table arrangements for different areas in the establishment. Couples will be more appreciative of windows with views, families with children will be more appreciative of larger tables with more seating space and good proximity to restrooms and outside areas.
Do you want them anchored or mobile?
Traditionally, anchored booths are more inviting, as to inspire patrons to linger longer and help create a secluded dining area. Portable chairs and tables allow for rearrangement and can easily accommodate elderly or handicapped guests.
Create a bar or lounge area.
Restaurants may feature a bar or lounge area, a place for casual dining, drinking, and conversation. The arrangement of your bar area could help increase business profits if done properly. You want walk-ins to feel as if they have options; perhaps they can get a drink and a snack and then decide to sit down at a table for dinner, for example. A gregarious bar or lounge area gets locals coming back and provides them with a spot to “hang out.”
Want to explore more in seating, flooring, soundproofing, and more? Download our free eBook “Restaurant Remodeling: Getting Your Front of House in Order” today!