To run a successful restaurant, everything in the dining room must be efficient for workers and attractive for diners. A dining room is more than just tables and chairs. It sets the tone, the ambiance of your restaurant. The impression it makes on first-time diners will play a major role in whether they become repeat customers.
Lighting, noise, and view are key considerations when planning the design of your dining room. The furniture you choose is also important. It should be sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of a busy restaurant, while at the same time look attractive and add to your ambiance.
Flexibility is also important when planning a restaurant dining room. Being able to move tables, chairs, and wait stations will allow you to accommodate both large and small parties easily.
To get the most from your restaurant's dining room, here are seven significant tips to consider during the planning stage:
Be careful of crowding too many tables into a tight space. While you want to have plenty of seats to accommodate customers and make more money, you do not want people to feel uncomfortable or crowded. A good rule of thumb for placing restaurant tables is to leave a minimum of 24" between the corners of the tables.
By having a portable wait station, you can move it to fit your needs on a daily basis rather than having it take up too much waiting room on a busy night when it has a permanent location.
To make a large, open room feel more private, an easy solution is to add half-wall dividers set on casters. They can be positioned to create small nooks for two tops, or larger alcoves for big parties.
One way to spot problem areas before opening day is to sit in every single chair in your dining room. Study the view from each seat to make sure you would enjoy eating a meal from that location. Also, make sure that no seating area receives a draft from the front door or looks directly into the kitchen. Experiencing each seat before opening night allows you to make changes before customers complain.
When purchasing tables and chairs, look for easy-to-clean designs and avoid styles with intricate carvings and crevices. They will be harder to wipe down and keep free of crumbs and other debris. Also, make sure your furniture is sturdy enough to handle upsized customers.
If your chairs or booths have fabric seats, be sure to treat those fabrics with a stain resister and plan to spend money on a professional cleaning at least once every six months. Booths offer multiple advantages over standard seating because they are great space savers.
Just like chairs, booths come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be customized to fit any restaurant design.
How loud is too loud for your dining room? Some restaurant concepts are better suited for a loud environment, like a bar or other casual setting. Fine dining, on the other hand, requires a much quieter setting.
If you have wood or tile floors, sounds will echo. The same applies to vaulted ceilings. If you need to drown out some sound, area carpets help dilute a lot of noise.
If the summer sun is making your dining room uncomfortable for customers, invest in some window shades. Look for window treatments that are easy to clean and easy to open and close.