Choosing appropriate table sizes is crucial for a restaurant, since their dimensions and arrangement will determine the layout of the dining area. This impacts both the diners’ experience and the ease with which staff members can navigate the restaurant. Owners and designers should keep the following information in mind to choose the right size restaurant table top.
By Space and Layout
The layout and desired capacity of the restaurant itself is perhaps the single most important factor for choosing table sizes. In most cases, restaurants will maintain multiple “classes” of seating, with a main dining area and more removed restaurant booths or alcoves, each of which may require different table sizes.
To most effectively judge how different table tops will work within the space, it’s best to spend time plotting the relevant dimensions using graph paper or design software. This will allow a wide variety of configurations to be tested and will provide insight as to how different layouts will alter the ability of staff and customers to move through the room.
By Customer and Service
The type of customer and service in a restaurant has a big hand in determining an appropriate table size. In general, the industry standard is to allot 21” to 30” linear inches along the table edge for each diner. This figure is suited for a basic service in which the diner will never have to contend with more than one plate, one or two glasses, and a single set of silverware.
Some cuisines or service levels will involve more dishes and utensils, or designers may want to provide customers with more space while dining. In these cases, the 21” to 30” specification can be increased accordingly.
By Party Configuration
Restaurant owners should determine what types of parties they anticipate. For example, large family parties are likely to be more comfortable sitting close to one another, while customers on a first date may prefer a more intimate distance between each table setting.
To maintain flexibility, designers should anticipate accommodating a variety of party types within each table, particularly for large or banquet-style table tops. To ensure maximum flexibility, consider more small table that can be pushed together to accommodate larger groups when necessary. This will allow restaurant staff to easily adjust a table arrangement as necessary to serve varying customer configurations and different service levels.