Restaurants are spaces for food and beverage service and preparation. Organized differently depending on the type of food service model, restaurant layouts attempt to optimize seating arrangements, group sizes, circulation patterns of customers and servers, waiting areas, and degrees of comfort and privacy. Restaurant floor plans are commonly comprised of specific furniture elements such as dining booths, moveable tables and chairs, and bars/countertops. When planning the dining area of a restaurant, issues of flexibility should be considered in order to adapt to unexpected demands.

What should you consider when designing a restaurant layout?

Ambience and comfort are two key elements to focus on when designing a restaurant, as these two working hand in hand lead to successful business and happy customers. Color, lighting, music, and aroma are aspects of ambience that should be considered while the layout of the dining, kitchen, restroom, outdoor, and waiting areas with consideration to seating capacity are aspects of comfort that should be considered.

How many square feet is needed per person in a restaurant?

Safety regulations for capacity in accordance with square footage of the restaurant influences the layout and seating of a restaurant. On average and for fine dining, the range is 18-20 square feet (549-609 cm) per person. Full-service has one seat per 12-15 square feet (366-457 cm). The minimum for space between occupied chairs is 18 inches (48.23 cm).

What are the different common types of restaurants?

The different common types of restaurants include fine dining, casual dining, family style, fast food, cafe, and buffet with newer kinds on the rise. There are also delivery-only type of restaurants that work with services like UberEats. Fine dining restaurants are typically saved for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings while casual dining restaurants are more commonly visited due to moderate prices. Family style restaurants only service shareable dishes and fast food restaurants place emphasis on quick service via a drive thru or counter. A buffet offers an array of food or “all you can eat” at a set price.

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Restaurant

Banquette Seating

Banquette Seating is a space efficient dining layout that pairs a continuous bench (typically upholstered) with moveable tables and chairs to seat a maximum amount of people in a restaurant. Typically attached to a wall  or backed by another set of banquette seats, banquettes provide simple and flexible options for various party sizes and privacy demands that can be rearranged by combining tables for larger groups, or further separating tables for greater privacy.

Minimum banquette seating clearances space tables 12”-14” (31-36 cm) apart, which is the depth of an average human, and require an overall zone of 36”-38” (91-97 cm) per table. For better privacy, recommended clearances for banquette seating separate tables by 24” (61 cm) and require an overall area of 54” (137 cm) per table.

Plan drawing of banquette seating with dimensions for minimum and recommended table sizes and clearances
Banquette Seating is a space efficient dining layout that pairs a continuous bench (typically upholstered) with moveable tables and chairs to seat a maximum amount of people in a restaurant.

Minimum banquette seating clearances space tables 12”-14” (31-36 cm) apart, which is the depth of an average human, and require an overall zone of 36”-38” (91-97 cm) per table. For better privacy, recommended clearances for banquette seating separate tables by 24” (61 cm) and require an overall area of 54” (137 cm) per table.

Plan drawing of banquette seating with dimensions for minimum and recommended table sizes and clearances
Banquette Seating
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Minimum Clearances:
Table Spacing: 12”-14” | 31-36 cm
Table Width: 24” | 61 cm
Table Depth: 30” | 76 cm
Overall Table Zone: 36”-38” | 91-97 cm

Recommended Clearances:
Table Spacing: 24” | 61 cm
Table Width: 30” | 76 cm
Table Depth: 30” | 76 cm
Overall Table Zone: 54” | 137 cm

Drawings include:
Banquette Seating minimum plan (tables), minimum (people), privacy (tables), privacy (people)

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Restaurant Seating Arrangements
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Service Aisle: 2’6”-3’ | 76-91 cm
Passage: 1’6” | 46 cm
No Passage: 0-6” | 15 cm

Drawings include:
Restaurant Seating Arrangements plan layout (perpendicular groups), plan (angled groups), plan (mixed groups)

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