How to Select the Perfect Restaurant Dining Room Layout?

Select the Perfect Restaurant Dining Room Layout
  • Author: Mohsin Khan
  • Posted On: July 19, 2022
  • Updated On: July 10, 2023

How do you plan a restaurant layout?

Whether opening your dream restaurant or redoing your existing one, the first thing that comes to your mind is its layout. After all, the layout is what separates your restaurant from your competitors.

However, there is more to restaurant dining room layout than just aesthetics or furniture placement. For example, you must consider the government guidelines, the floor plan of the building, and seating capacity, amongst others.

What is the Importance of restaurant layout?

Restaurant layout not only covers the ambiance but also affects your restaurant’s operation and flow. Although kitchen layouts vary according to space available and restaurant formats, they must be in sync with your restaurant’s concept.

A well-planned restaurant layout influences the ordering preference and dining experience of your guests. The restaurant dining room layout is crucial in determining:

  • The efficiency of your staff
  • Speed of your kitchen operations
  • Movement of guests and staff
  • Connectivity between backend and frontend operations
  • Safety and comfort of your staff and guests

Now that you know the importance of layout and how it affects your restaurant business, here are some things to consider before you begin your restaurant dining room design.

1. Business Regulations and Seating Capacity

A Business Regulations and Seating Capacity Look

While planning your restaurant layout, you can consider several configurations – single room or multiple areas for allocating the available areas. However, get in touch with the local authorities to determine the minimum spacing guidelines for your restaurant. For example:

  • You must leave sufficient space for fire exits.
  • As per industry standards, a passage area of at least 18” (1.5’) is desirable between restaurant tables and chairs.
  • Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires you to keep a minimum gap of 36” (3’) for aisles to allow safe movement of wheelchairs.

Naturally, these guidelines govern the space available to seat your guests. Also, the seating capacity in your dining area depends on the type of your restaurant, cuisine, clientele, etc. As per the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM), the average space required per customer for different restaurant types is:

Restaurant Type Space required per customer
Banquet halls 10-11 sq ft
Fast Food Restaurants 11-18 sq ft
Family Restaurants 15-18 sq ft
Cafeteria 16-18 sq ft
Fine Dining restaurants 18-20 sq ft

2. Selecting Best Quality Restaurant Furniture

Restaurant furniture requires a significant investment, and you must choose it wisely. A sensible approach would be consulting a reputable wholesale restaurant furniture manufacturer for all your custom requirements.

A. Quality of Restaurant Furniture

While selecting the furniture for your dream restaurant, consider your long-term goals.

  • While it might be tempting to go for residential or less durable furniture initially, non-commercial furniture proves to be expensive in the long run due to frequent maintenance, servicing, and repairing charges.
  • Commercial restaurant furniture, on the other hand, is agile and durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of any busy restaurant and gives you peace of mind.
  • Similarly, to maintain the hygiene and safety of your staff and guests, select high-quality fabrics and furniture that is easy to clean and sanitize.

B. Shape and Size of Restaurant Furniture

Did you know that furniture shape and size can impact your customer’s dining preference and experience?

  • Rectangular and square tables are space-efficient, versatile, and give you the flexibility to augment or expand seating capacity for different functions.
  • Round tables look elegant and encourage conversation and socializing.
  • Two-person tables are perfect to offer intimate seating for couples.
  • The size and number of trays determine the table dimensions for fast food restaurants.

Shape and sizes of furniture is important to select

C. Style of Restaurant Furniture

Every restaurant’s furniture is either anchored or portable style.

  • Anchored furniture
    As the name suggests, anchored furniture is styles attached to the floor or wall of the restaurant, like booths.

    • Pros:
      • Space-efficient as they fill the space near the corners and columns.
      • Offer comfortable leg space.
    • Cons:
      • Difficult to renovate
      • Not advisable for elderly guests
  • Portable Furniture
    Also known as floating style, portable chairs and tables are versatile and flexible.

    • Pros:
      • Easy to accommodate elderly guests and large groups.
      • Can be clubbed together to augment seating capacity while hosting events.
    • Cons:
      • Require you to leave space for the movement of staff and guests
      • Compromised leg room

3. Decide Dining Room Layout

Before finalizing your restaurant dining room design, you can follow any of the two approaches – either have a single, open space or divide the area into smaller rooms.

A. Multiple Rooms

    • Pros:
      • Offer private dining spaces for an intimate theme
      • Gives you artistic freedom to design individual areas separately.
      • You can use space-efficient anchored booths to maximize seating capacity.
    • Cons:
      • Tedious for your staff to take orders and navigate between tables.
      • Permanent construction limits design options for future renovations

B. Open Rooms

    • Pros:
      • Allows your customers to enjoy the décor and ambiance of the entire dining room.
      • Suitable for flexible seating while hosting parties.
      • You can use temporary dividers or partitions for private events.
    • Cons:
      • It might get difficult for your staff to navigate the large dining area, especially during busy hours.
      • Your ambiance or interior design might get lost.

C. Bar Seating

Bar seating is an exciting way to beautify your restaurant and attract the young crowd. Moreover, since alcoholic beverages have higher markup costs, bar seating can be profitable for your restaurant. However, the bar seating layout is seldom straightforward as you need sufficient room for your guests.

    • Leave at least 2’ per barstool
    • Maintain a comfortable gap or buffer area between your bar and dining tables.
    • Divide your bar length (in feet) to arrive at the number of bar stools.
    • Leave a floor space along the bar, at least 4’ wide for the movement of your guests.

4. Best Dining Experience Creation

A Dining Experience Creation for best interior

A restaurant is more than just a business. It is a place where you share your passion for food with your guests. It’s a place where people enjoy quality time with their loved ones – friends, families, or work colleagues. It’s a place where memories get made, so make it count by providing them with the best dining experience. Here are a few tips on creating the best dining experience:

  • Sit in every chair in your restaurant before opening and check how it feels.
  • See if the tables or chairs are in direct view of the kitchen or restrooms.
  • Ensure that each table has proper and uniform lighting.

These are some of the most common customer complaint areas for a restaurant. If you can notice and address these concerns before you open your restaurant, you can make the necessary changes to reduce the number of unhappy customers.

By taking care of these points and implementing these ideas for restaurant dining room layout, you can provide a comfortable, memorable, and unique experience for your guests and a successful, profitable, and popular business for yourself.

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Author: Mohsin Khan

Mohsin has worked as one of the experienced editors with ConstructionHow since 2020 with a total span of 5 years of experience in business PR, boasting a remarkable professional trajectory, he has collaborated with entrepreneurs and startups, and certain publications over the last few years. His unwavering interest lies in the construction industry and related materials. He believes in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings, and homes that fall under the right budget. With a wide range of experience in construction, he also tapped into DIY and home improvement projects based on his extensive set of knowledge in the industry.