Careers Business Ownership Eight Tips for Planning a Restaurant Dining Room How to Set Up Your Restaurant Dining Room Share PINTEREST Email Print Furniture is part of the restaurant decor. Cesar Haro via Pixabay Business Ownership Industries Restauranting Retail Small Business Real Estate Nonprofit Organizations Landlords Import/Export Business Freelancing & Consulting Franchises Food & Beverage Event Planning eBay E-commerce Construction Operations & Success Becoming an Owner By Lorri Mealey Lorri Mealey Twitter Lorri Mealey has nearly a decade of restaurant experience, including owning and operating her own restaurant in Western Maine. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 04/13/18 At the heart of any restaurant is the dining room. A dining room is more than just tables and chairs. It sets the tone, the ambiance of your restaurant. Lighting, noise and the view are all things that should be considered when you plan your restaurant dining room design. 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 around, allows you to accommodate both large and small parties easily. Leave Adequate Space Between Tables Be careful of packing tables into your dining room. When designing the floor plan of your restaurant on paper, you may think you can fit a certain number of tables into the dining room. However, you may find that what works on paper doesn’t work in reality. Yes, you want to have plenty of seats to accommodate customers (and make more money), but you also want people to be comfortable. A good rule of thumb for placing restaurant tables is to leave a minimum of 24" in between corners of the tables. Make the Wait Station Portable By having a portable wait station, you can move it to fit your needs, instead of trying to relocate a table into a less desirable area of your dining room. Try Using Room Dividers If you have a big open dining room and want to make it more private, half-wall dividers, set on casters are an easy solution. You can move them about to create small nooks for two tops, or larger alcoves for big parties. Sit in Every Seat 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. You may find that one has a direct view into the kitchen, while another gets a draft from the front door. Experiencing each seat first allows you to make changes before customers complain. Select Sturdy Furniture When purchasing tables and chairs, look for easy to clean designs. Avoid styles with lots of intricate carvings and crevices. They will be harder to wipe down and keep free of crumbs and other debris. If you are purchasing chairs or restaurant booths with fabric seats, be sure to have the fabric treated with a stain resister. And plan to budget in at a professional cleaning at least once, preferably twice a year. Restaurant booths offer some great advantages over standard restaurant seating. They’re great space savers. If you have found the perfect restaurant location- but space is small- consider installing rows of booths to maximize seating capacity. Just like restaurant chairs, booths come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and color. They can be customized to fit any restaurant design. Decide How Loud is Too Loud How loud is your dining room? Some restaurant concepts are better suited for a loud environment, like a bar or other casual setting. Others, like fine dining, require a much quieter setting. If you have wood or tile floors, the sound is going to echo more, ditto with high ceilings. Throw a few dozen customers, staff, in there, and it might be a lot louder than you anticipated. If you need to tone down the sound, area carpets can help dilute noise. Select Appropriate Window Coverings If summer sun is making your restaurant dining room too hot or is otherwise uncomfortable for customers, you will need to invest in some shades. Look for window treatments that are easy to clean and easy to open and close.