The table design in your restaurant can make or break the atmosphere. Finding a balance between a style that is aesthetically pleasing and one that is fully functional can be tricky.
You want to create a dining space that is easily navigable without feeling cavernous. You may want to create intimate spaces, but don’t want them to feel cramped. The right table design for your restaurant will depend on your personal style.
Here are a few options that may be a good fit for your space.
If you’ve worked in a restaurant with booth seating, you know the truth — when given a choice, guests will almost always ask for a booth over a table. And, why not? We all have a table at home, but a booth? That is a unique dining experience.
Booth seating is admittedly more costly than a table and chair setup. But, customers love the privacy that comes with a booth because it often feels as if you’re in your own small room and conversations feel more private within its confines. There’s also an increased sense of security — bags can be tossed casually against the wall with virtually zero risk of sticky fingers coming near them.
Booth seating also creates less traffic in the dining area and is easier on servers as they have a single access point to a booth rather than the four sides of a table.
The area formerly reserved for drinkers or those waiting for a “real” table is seeing a recent shift in purpose. Many restaurateurs are opting to expand the service of the bar, opening it up for full dining from the restaurant’s menu.
Guests often enjoy having the option to order a full meal while sitting in an area that is more relaxed than the dining room and a bit more interactive and social.
Restaurant owners have noticed an additional benefit; customers who sit at or near the bar tend to order more drinks.
Casual Lounge Seating
Lounge seating — think comfy armchairs and loveseats — encourages guests to come in, sit back and stay awhile.
Traditionally found in cafes, more restaurants are offering laid back seating arranged around low coffee tables, creating intimate spaces perfect for romantic conversations. Even if you only tuck a few of these spaces on the outskirts of your dining room, they can quickly become the most sought after table in your restaurant.
Lounge areas are typically best for couples or groups who are interested in drinks and shareable appetizers.
Banquet table seating is having a MOMENT. The picnic-style seating once reserved for beer halls is being incorporated into restaurants with increasing regularity.
If you have a large dining space, using long banquet tables can help fill up space and maximize the number of guests. Parties are seated next to one another, encouraging socialization between guests.
This seating is perfect for large parties as it allows guests to decide just how close they want to be to one another.
High Top Tables & Stools
If you have a tight spot in your dining room, you may want to consider adding a few hightops. Because more floor space is visible, the area will appear bigger to guests.
High tops also offer more flexibility to guests. If a party of four is seated at a high top and additional guests join them, they can easily stand around the table and still feel part of the group.
High tops encourage socialization and allow people to come and go with ease, so they are best used by casual parties, looking to enjoy drinks and appetizers together.
Restaurant owners and designers are embracing wildly creative seating alternatives in dining rooms.
Sofas, bleacher seating, wooden logs, and even saddles have been used to create a unique seating experience. While it isn’t the right option for every business owner, when used appropriately creative seating can make your dining area stand out among competitors.
Consider having custom chairs created for your dining room. While this is certainly an investment, it can also provide an artistic element to your dining area.
If your restaurant has an obvious theme, you may want to consider incorporating it into your table and seating options for a truly memorable dining experience.
As in most aspects of life, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when choosing the perfect table and seating set up for your restaurant. With careful consideration and a little creativity, you can choose an arrangement that optimizes your space and heightens the dining experience for your guests.
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