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Turns and Tables

One of the concepts that all restauranteurs obsess about is table turnover, that is, how long it takes to serve one set of sutomers and clear the table so another set of customers can eat there. Expected and actual table turnover rates will affect everything from your profitibality to your staff needs tot the way your restaurant is set up and designed - how many and what kind of chairs and tables you have and how you lay them out.

The choice between providing comfort and needing to turn tables is aconstant challenge for most restaurant operatoors. Since most of us can't add more seats, the next best way to increase volume and sales is to turn tables more frequesntly.

Accordingly, seating and spacing are important. The goal in table and chair selection and arrangement should be to maximize seating capacity, while allowing for proper flow, functionality and comfort. Also, there has to be a balance between providing comfort and needing to turn tables. the smaller and harder you make your seats, the faster your customer will move along. square and rectangular tables turn more frequently that round ones. Closely spaced tables can also help with table turns, but remember to leave enough space between table and chairs, at least 18 inches, for your service staff to do their jobs seamlessly and effieciently. Allow 24-26 inches for each chair at a table.There are no exact allocations of square foot per person but suggested per-person square footage, including aisle and service station space, is 14-16 for fine dining and 10-12 feet for casual dining. Booths and banquettes allocate space most effeciently - 10 square feet per person for banquettes and 8 square feet per person for booths. Arranging tables diagonally increases seating capacity. Fewer large tables with more seating per table increases seating capacity, but reduces flexibility.The best floor design, when possible, is a mix of open table, banquettes and booths of various sizes.

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