Maximize Square Footage with Communal Seating
Have you ever gone into a restaurant and become frustrated when there was a wait because you see so many empty seats? The problem with these empty seats is that they are attached to tables where people are already seated. The majority of restaurants have tables that are built for four or six. However, not all parties are four or six.
Communal seating has become a popular way of maximizing square footage. Instead of filling your restaurant with a bunch of four tops and six tops, you can get more creative. Communal tables are built to sit anywhere between eight and 16 people. This allows you to gather your guests in a family-style setting.
The benefit to such seating is that there are no empty seats. You would be able to fill up every seat at a table, regardless of whether a party comes in for three, four, five, seven, or more. You simply allow everybody to make themselves comfortable at the communal table – and you will be able to fit more bodies into the restaurant.
Communal seating has become one of the top trends across the United States. It is not a new phenomenon, though it is in the United States. Such seating has been seen throughout history. During the French Revolution, there were large tables with a fixed-price menu. In 18th century England, there were public houses that had gathering tables for shared meals. In Germany, there are many beer gardens that feature large tables for people to sit at as well.
You have a certain number of seats that you are allowed based upon the fire code. From the very beginning of your restaurant concept, the fire commissioner tells you exactly how many people you’re allowed to have in the building at any given time. If you are told 120, you build your dining room based upon 120. This may be 30 tables of four, or a combination of a few larger tables in order to be able to seat six or eight.
The problem is that you never truly reach 120, because not all parties come in based upon your table allowances. You may sit a party of two at a table of four and a party of four at a table that can sit as many as eight. You are unable to reach your maximum allowance because of the seating arrangements – and you don’t have any more room for tables.
By taking advantage of large tables, which can be built from refurbished wood, you can sit many more people within your restaurant and still have the open floor plan that you greatly desire. You don’t have to fill your entire restaurant as a communal style, but you may want to have several large tables where people can simply go in and sit themselves. It is something that is gaining popularity and you may be surprised by how many people are excited about sitting at a community table where they can make some new friends.