Restaurant Tables Capacity - Which Table to Use

Opening a restaurant is an exciting endeavor with many challenges posed to restaurateurs. Planning a restaurant table layout and seating capacity for any dining space entails more than furnishing a room with tables and chairs. Deciding on the right furniture for your venue can be taxing. Having a table seating plan ready in advance can reduce a lot of stress, not to mention, save a lot of time. It can affect your profits as well. Regardless how you choose to set up your restaurant, a guideline can help you with your seating capacity. A seating expert can further assist you if you are short on time.

The diagram below shows recommended seating capacity for the various table tops available:

If you need additional assistance or are interested in custom table tops, our seating experts are happy to help you. They can be reached at (877) 442-0008.

Seating Capacity

Safety Procedures

There is a lot to consider when it comes to restaurant table spacing. First, overcrowding tables can make for an unpleasant dining experience among patrons which can hurt your business. But most importantly, there is a safety concern to cogitate as well. As such, restaurateurs are required to comply with occupancy limits mandated by state or local fire codes. Therefore, it behooves you to consult your fire department or other government agency prior to calculating seating for your restaurant.

Calculating Table Capacity

Determining your maximum seating capacity depends on a number of factors such as the number and size of exists. You should also follow regulations in regards to aisle width and number of square feet allotted per guest. Doing so involves measuring the dining space. Multiplying the length times the width can help you find the square footage for a rectangular area. Measure the adjoining areas or alcoves if any and calculate the square footage.

Allocating space for wait stations can also help with your restaurant table arrangements. A small wait station only needs 6 to 10 feet while larger stations may require up to 40 feet. Measurements should be made on other areas of the restaurant where customers won’t be seated immediately such as a decorative fountain or waiting area. That necessitates subtracting the square footage of that area from the total area of the dining room to find the amount of space available to seat customers.

Finding an Adequate Table Size

The standard size for a restaurant table in the industry is 300 square inches per customer. Dimension specifications for tables may vary by eatery. For instance, a fast food chain or a café may use tables that measure by 30” X 42” or 1,260 square inches. When you divide that dimension by 300 square inches per diner, you can potentially have enough table space to fit 4 people. However, there are other matters to factor in when trying to determine the table bases & table size you need.

Design Layout Considerations

Menus and the interior design are also important components of you table seating plan. Some venues may need more space to accommodate more utensils, plates, and service. The number of trays being used in cafeterias is one example. A family-style dining motif be it Mexican or Italian may need more plating. Table size which is calculated by the table top and base, is a critical aspect that helps you determine the likelihood of your patrons having a comfortable and enjoyable dining experience. Table sizes that are not proportional with the chairs overall with the size of dining space can be off-putting to patrons. On top of poor service, furniture that is of low quality or doesn’t sync with the décor can generate terrible reviews of your establishment.

A Break Down of Table and Chair Spacing:

  • 14 square foot per person allows enough space for chairs, tables, and aisle.
  • 12 square foot table is recommended for a cafeteria or restaurant style seating.
  • 10 square table is suitable for a banquet hall, institution or closed seating.
  • 18 inches is needed for a person seated at the edge of the table to the back of the chair.
  • Diagonal seating can save a lot of floor space.
  • Deuce tables and wall space allows more room.
  • Minimum of 42 inches needed between square tables and chairs.
  • Minimum of 54” inches for round tables and service space.
  • With limited space, booths need to measure 8 ft. square feet per person including aisle space.

Dimensions for comfortable seating may need adjustments when considering seating options for them like arm rests, foot rests, etc.

Implementing Damage Control

As a restaurateur or a manager of a commercial establishment, ensuring a sufficient amount of seating and table space without having a crowded room should be your priority. The right table size and shape can reduce wait time for hungry diners. Monitoring traffic flow is also essential since congestion in busy establishments can increase noise pollution, result accidents, and slow down services. An illustrative table seating chart can help you with your design process.