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How To Choose Restaurant Seating To Maximize Space - And Profits

Booth seating continues to be a popular choice among restaurant patrons and an invaluable part of good restaurant design. Not only does restaurant booth seating offer your guests more privacy, but it also makes it easier for wait staff to serve patrons, since they don't have to maneuver around all 4 sides of a table. Booth seating can also capitalize on the outside edges of your prime service real estate, maximizing your potential for seating during peak dining times.

How To Choose Restaurant Seating To Maximize Space - And Profits

While booth seating for restaurants may demand a higher initial investment, they are more durable than tables and eat up significantly less dining space than a table that seats a comparable number of guests. For instance, a 4-person booth takes up approximately 3,000 square inches of floor space, while a table seating the same number of guests will eat up more than 5,000 square inches of floor space in comparison. Choosing booth seating over table seating can provide up to 30% more revenue by allowing you to seat more customers in the same amount of space during your busiest hours and highest revenue nights. 

When it comes to choosing restaurant booth seating, there are a number of different factors to consider. In addition to style and design, there are a number of different comfort and spacing issues to address as well. Small spaces with overly large booths can create traffic flow problems, while larger spaces with overly small booths can be a waste of prime real estate. For the comfort of both your guests and your staff, it is important to choose the right booth restaurant seating. Here is an overview of how to choose just the right booth seating for your restaurant. 

1. Layout

Before you choose a design, style or color, you need to determine what the right layout is going to be for your space. Some of the many options to choose from are single booths for 2 people, double booths for up to 4 people and 1/2 and 3/4 circle booths that can accommodate 2-4 people and 3-4 people respectively. Wall booths with longer benches are also a popular option for spaces with a long back or side wall. 

Another factor in determining layout is whether to fill the space with double sided booths and tables that align perpendicular to a long wall or use long benches with tables that align parallel to the wall. Layouts of this type leave one chair in place, which can be removed to accommodate wheelchairs or high chairs for infants or other patrons with special needs, such as an assistance animal. In this configuration, you can also easily seat couples at individual tables or move tables closer together in an instant to seat larger parties. 

When determining the right layout for your space, it's important to also factor in the size of the dining room tables as well. A standard table layout is one in which the table edge aligns vertically with the outer edge of the booth seat. This provides a comfortable 16-18" in seating depth for patrons. If you pair a 30" wide table with a standard depth seat, you will need 72" of clearance from the center of each top cap, whereas a 24" table will only require 66". Understanding appropriate booth dimensions and the space necessary for various pieces is critical for designing a layout that will maximize the available space, while still allowing your patrons to dine in comfort.

2. Color design and style

When it comes to design and style, the sky is generally the limit when choosing your restaurant booth seating. Some popular designs to choose from include channel back or fan back booths for a more traditional or elegant look and for a retro, sportier or more informal look, you can choose v-back booths. Benches come in both wooden and padded varieties and can be upholstered in a wide variety of fabrics and materials in a vast array of colors, textures and patterns. Wooden booth seating is both beautiful and durable and is perhaps the best choice for quick and easy clean-up. 

Benches also come in a dizzying array of configurations, which include welt cord, head roll, end cap, top cap and outside back configurations. You can also choose between single benches, double benches, wall benches and 1/4 and 3/4 circles in a wide range of lengths, widths and heights. The vast number of different heights, widths and configurations to choose from is why it is so important to carefully lay out and diagram your space before choosing exactly the right booth configuration for your restaurant. 

3. Configuration and bases

The last step in designing your restaurant booth configuration is to determine how to configure tables for the maximum convenience of both your guests and wait staff. Small tables that are paired with a wall booth will most likely be freestanding with a single base. On the other hand, when pairing a 24" inch table with a booth, you may consider a cantilevered table bases are. Cantilevered table bases anchor to the wall instead of a support base, which creates a sturdy, strong support without sacrificing your guest's valuable leg room. 

Booths also do not need to be anchored to a wall either. Creating an aisle of booths is also a popular configuration and can create more intimate space in a large area. 

Regardless of what style, size or configuration you choose, booths remain a popular choice among both restaurant patrons and owners. Booths are easy to clean, manage and care for and are one of the most durable and long-lasting choices for restaurant seating. With an almost unlimited array of style, configurations and materials to choose from, you can find just the right booth to accent the exact flavor and feel you want to create for your cafe, bakery, eatery or fine dining establishment.

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