Restaurant seating capacity guide – what works and what won’t

Published On: November 9, 20200 Comments on Restaurant seating capacity guide – what works and what won’tTags: Last Updated: February 9, 20242.7 min read

There are various methods that are standard for getting the seating capacity right in a restaurant; you can follow these and make sure that you do not mess up as these are some tried and tested formulas depending on the type of restaurant that you plan to have you need to set up different seating plans for the restaurant. Once you have settled on the type of restaurant, it will become easier for you to simply apply the formula to figure out the seating capacity and prepare the restaurant seating layout.

Restaurant seating capacity guide

For more information on how to actually start a restaurant check this Kitchenall article. The following are the guidelines that you can observe depending on the type of property that you wish to have.

Fine dining restaurant

For a fine dining restaurant, one needs to be able to dine elegantly and enjoy all the courses of meal peacefully. As diners will be spending quite a long time, they need to be comfortable and hassle-free. You need to have at least 18-20 square feet of space per diner in your restaurant to be able to guarantee comfortable dining for your guests.

Fast food restaurant

As such a restaurant needs to keep guests moving at a face pace, so the seating capacity differs from the one above. 11-14 square feet of space per head is deemed perfect for a fast-food restaurant.

A full-service restaurant

You will need to have a minimum of 12-15 square feet per person if you are planning to have a full-service restaurant. It will make sure that you will not have any problem with restaurant booths while servicing your customers, and they are able to enjoy their meals comfortably.

Restaurant seating capacity guide - restaurant

Table service

The minimum required space per person in such a type of restaurant is 15-18 square feet. It is the general seating guideline that any business owner can follow and maximize the output out of the available resources. The seating layout also depends on the type of service you wish to offer to your customers, utilizing the maximum of the available real estate and not wasting precious real estate.

Another key factor that will ease the process is the simple ratio of the dining area compared to the kitchen area. So the key takeaway is 60% dining area and 40% kitchen of the total available real estate. It is the rule of thumb that you can follow whether you are buying an existing restaurant or in plans to open a new one.

What won’t work!

If you have a restaurant that is too crowded patrons will not be able to move freely and disturb each other while moving around. Even servicing will become difficult for the waiters as they have to move around quickly on the floor and a crowded restaurant will either slow them down or increase their workload. Having too much space is also not a good idea as you will be losing on precious real estate and wasting potential income. So the seating plan of the restaurant is a major challenge that business owners have to overcome in order to maximize their profits.

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