Dining solo is not the kind of meal that immediately springs to mind for many of us. Going to a restaurant is normally an experienced to be shared. However, dining solo is on the rise and is having a dramatic impact on the restaurant industry. As the stigma of eating alone is shifting, restaurants are looking for better ways to service solo diners with booth seating solutions.
Realistically, most eateries set restaurant tables for couples or groups. Certain table booking systems only reserve a table for two. While restaurants are mostly designed as social spaces with complete menus of shared plates, some establishments are increasingly embracing the presence of solo diners. Enthusiastic by the prospect, restaurateurs and chefs are taking steps to ensure patrons who choose to eat alone are valued with hopes that they return. And they usually do, even more likely than couples.
According to Open Table, an online restaurant booking service, reservations for one have skyrocketed by 160 percent between 2014 and 2018 in the UK alone. 8 out of 10 Britons have been reported to believe that eating out alone is more socially acceptable. Almost a third of Americans dine solo most of the time either at restaurants or in their private domains. In light of this phenomenon, several restaurants fittingly encourage solo dining with single restaurant booths where interaction is minimized.
Until recently, dining alone has been taboo but attitudes have changed over the years. Diners have driven a dramatic increase of takeout and home delivery services. In spite of an uptick in takeout orders, restaurants, especially chains, have been fast to adapt with more single service options. Paying very close attention to this as a segment, restaurants have already made changes to their menus, service, design and layout to now include booth dining table seating arrangements.
Food industry spectators are claiming to see a bigger emphasis put on bar sections at restaurants with a demand for a two-person restaurant table, communal booth table, reduced wait times and smaller menu items. Because solo diners don’t typically spend more than two hours at a restaurant, table turnover will be faster. Faster restaurant table turnovers result in smaller entrees, lower priced menu items and individualized dishes.
Customers, including solo diners, look for a comfortable dining experience. Restaurant booths are a popular seating option that provides comfortable seating that bring customers closer together with family and friends or offer privacy for diners on a date or those wishing to eat alone. They also create less traffic and eliminate the need to walk around tables. Similarly, booths add a warm touch to your front of the house and are available in a variety of colors, shapes, styles and designs. Despite their initial higher costs, booth seating will ultimately help you save more valuable floor space and your bottom line. As you go about organizing your dining room layout, it is recommended to incorporate a strategic restaurant booth spacing that fits with your overall restaurant layout dimensions.
Personal preferences play a role in designing a restaurant layout. Some opt for restaurant booths with tables while others feel furnishing their layout with restaurant tables and chairs meet their needs. When pairing booths with tables, a 16 -17 inch distance between the two should be kept to ensure comfortable seating. The table from the base up to the top should stand 28-30 inches tall. Booth dimensions from the floor up to the seat should measure 19 inches high. When assembling a booth dining table, an aluminum table top paired with a cast iron or aluminum base is recommended for creating a unique piece to match your booth.