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Restaurant BizTalk

A forum for restaurant owners, managers, and other industry professionals.

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Mirasa Joined
Jan / 2007

For cafe seating, how many seats per square foot is reasonable?

I have about 665 sq ft bascially (a rectange\le) of seating and am trying to plan on how many people I can cram into there. I am going to do a bench seating along two walls and have a larger kidney shaped table (9' x 4')with bar stools for several groups of people somwhere near the middle of the floor.

Is there a standard number to go off of here? This is not fine dining but more like a cafe environement.

drsmokeJoined
Feb / 2007
drsmoke

Your local Fire Dept will give you the final answer.

CrescendoJoined
Feb / 2007
Crescendo

It sounds like our cafe's seating area is similar in square footage to yours. We went with small tables. We have two footer marble squares and rounds with iron bases. That way we have the versatility to reconfigure easily by pushing tables together for large groups or move things out of the way for parties, art openings or other events. When everything is spread out for a typical day we can seat about 25 comfortably. Most of our seating are standard padded ladder-back chairs but we also have a big artsy couch and an old fashioned armchair. Nothing is too tightly packed together and there's still room for further cramming if we find it necessary. Depending on the laws in your area, you may be visited by your Fire Department's fire inspector or building inspector as part of your cafe's permit approval process. They will determine a maximum occupancy for your dining room which will set a firm limit on your seating capacity. It may be helpful for you to contact them before they inspect your property to see if they can advise you in your planning. One other thing to think about when planning your dining room layout: If you plan on encouraging laptop users to patronize your cafe and providing them wireless access, don't forget to add a circuit or two worth of conveniently located 110w outlets near each of the tables in the dining room for customer access. However, if you don't want to encourage laptop users to monopolize your tables then don't forget to eliminate all power outlets from the dining room and wrap the walls in metal shielding and concrete to prevent wireless signals from getting in or out. :-) Regards, Steve

YVETTEJoined
Mar / 2003
YVETTE

Quote: "For cafe seating, how many seats per square foot is reasonable?" Absolutely not more than one under any circumstances. lol Y

OldschoolmikeJoined
Jan / 2007
Oldschoolmike

Give everone a 6' . At least 4' if you like crowded. Do servers need to navigate? So from table edge 8' to next table edge=4' personal space. Local fire regs. will set max. opp. But I know folks do not like feeling crowded.

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