Operations – Maximizing Your Restaurant Space

By Daniel Thor

There is not a single restaurant that doesn’t have an issue with space.  The way a restaurant is laid out, whether you are a slice pizzeria, or full service restaurant, can decrease wait times and increase current and potential revenues.  Here are some tips to maximize your table layout and cash all possible opportunities.

First, think of your restaurant’s capacity in terms of tables rather than chairs.  If the tables are full, and there are a lot of empty chairs, then there is a layout issue that needs to be worked out.  The layout of your tables should be planned with a number of different factors.  How many people can comfortably occupy a table, the comfort of each seat, and the serviceability of each table?

Having a seat for each type of customer is also important.  Some customers prefer to sit in the back corner, while others would like to sit close to the bar, or in view of the kitchen.  Having a variety of options will help ensure that customers are satisfied.  But again, always make sure every customer is comfortable.  Any customer that is too close to a speaker, or is constantly getting bumped won’t be back.  Ensuring each seats’ comfort depends on your knowledge of your customer base and their preferences.

Plan your tables and layout to accommodate your menu.  If your biggest seller is an 18” pizza, having a 24” table may be a little tight for guests.  Although there are ways around this with pizza tray risers, it’s worth taking account of how your seating layout works with your menu dishes, glasses, etc.

One overlooked profit center in many restaurants is the waiting area.  If you do not have a waiting area, we strongly suggest that you create one.  A good way to divide space between your seated customers and your waiting area is a takeout counter and/or dessert fridge.  Having a takeout counter near the entrance of the restaurant allows for easy in and out service, and avoids the crowds in and around tables that could slow server times.  Take-out business is an easy way to keep your kitchen busy and selling pizza.

If you feel that you need professional help in planning your restaurant seating, first consult your Delco sales Representative.  Their knowledge and experience should point you in the right direction.

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