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RESTAURANT LAYOUT PLAN & DESIGN

For setting up a restaurant destined for success, you’ll certainly need a lot more than just a standard floor plan that is followed by restaurants

As you must already be aware, the restaurant industry is highly competitive where even the sum of finer details can make or break the restaurant’s business plan. Due to razor-thin margins, the unit economics for the restaurant should work out and be as profitable at an individual level and the slightest detail should be thought through.

This is precisely why the floor plan & all strategies surrounding it should be largely scientific and while involving an architect in the process during the get-go itself is a great idea, as an owner, it is a great idea to involve yourself in this from a strategic standpoint.

HOW TO CREATE A FLOOR PLAN?

If you’re simply looking at floor plan designs, then simply scroll down below to see our gallery of floor plans for restaurant to choose from!

For most upscale restaurants, it is the architect who creates the floor plan and ensures that the restaurants’ seating arrangement meets these specs in the most optimum way possible.

However, if you plan on doing this yourself, or you simply wish to be more havily involved, you may also use any of the below software to create your own restaurant floor plan with decent accuracy.

  • ROOM SKETCHER
  • FLOOR PLANNER
  • CONCEPT DRAW
  • ROOMLE
  • SMART DRAW

Creating a floor plan has a number of advantages, owners can have a clearer picture of the layout & seating in their head and make arrangements for segregation or merging of different sections accordingly. For instance; a restaurant may want to seat couples & family visitors separately. 

Alternatively, several workflows which require the work of vendors will also get carried out rather smoothly thanks to a clear, systematic floor plan. Several legal requirements, like fire exit plan, real estate laws, etc also require the owner to have a floor plan in place. 

RESTAURANT FLOOR PLAN COMPONENTS

Thanks to the multiplicity of areas within a restaurant area, a floor plan spans a number of different areas that are also interdependent on each other. Some of the restaurant sections and things to keep in mind while prepping their floor plan is listed below.

  • KITCHEN AREA – Should be designed to ensure movement for the busboys and the chefs & sous chefs remain unrestricted
  • STAFF RESTROOMS – Restaurant & commercial dining businesses can get hectic. Make sure these rooms are comfortable!
  • WASHROOMS – These must strategically be located as far away from the nearest dining table & it should also be closely located as many dining stations as possible
  • DINING AREA – The most crucial aspect of the entire floor plan. Ensure that the dining area is well-spaced to allow for quick and easy serving. The entire restaurant furniture plan plays a critical role in this
  • LOBBY & RECEPTION AREA – The reception area should be segregated from the dining area but should also be a small travel
  • OUTDOOR DINING AREA – Per-unit diner profitability increases drastically when a restauranteur has access to any outdoor seating arrangement like streetside patios, garden cafes, and rooftop diners
  • BAR COUNTER AREA – Bar counters come in a variety of sizes & designs, each with its own seating requirement. To know more about your bar counter design, click here
  • CHECKOUT COUNTER/POS SYSTEM – The focal point of the restaurant where all stakeholders congregate. Staff use the station to accept orders and pass them onto the chefs. Busboys use them as refilling stations. Waiters use them for executing orders and customers may sometimes use them for faster checkout. We will list a few checkout counter samples towards the end of the post as well 

STANDARD METRICS BASED ON TOTAL RESTAURANT AREA

Before beginning with these metrics, you should already have a clear idea of your target market of diners, service-related aspects, foot travel for the busboys and staff, the distance between washroom and kitchen/dining area, and several such other important aspects that may seem trivial but which can have a make or break impact on the eventual success of the business.

In most western countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia & Canada a typical 65:35 ratio is considered the golden ratio for the distribution of the total “dining area” OR “seating area” VS the “service area” within the restaurant.

As an example, this means that a typical 10,000 sq ft restaurant will have 6,500 sq feet exclusively reserved for dining & 3,500 sq ft reserved for other miscellaneous activities.

DINING AREA OCCUPIED/DINER

TYPE OF
RESTAURANT OR CAFE
AVERAGE AREA
/ DINER
TOTAL SEATING CAPACITY
[10,000 Sq Ft Area]
Brunch Cafes  16-18 ~550 Covers
Evening Bars & Clubs 18-20 ~520 Covers
Fine Dining Restaurants 20-22 ~450 Covers
Banquet Halls 13-15 ~750 Covers
Food Courts 11-12 ~900 Covers
Casual Dining Restaurants 13-14 ~720 Covers

As you may have gotten a distinct impression already, these decisions are best not taken arbitrarily but should be taken after anticipating a number of different variables. For creating a full-blown seating plan the best thing to do is to get the architect & civil works personnel onboard from the get-go.

It is also a very prudent decision to include the supplier of furniture to assist with a few recommendations. Several restaurant furniture companies, like FurnitureRoots provide a free consultation regarding furniture placement that helps both in terms of form, meaning the aesthetics, and also with function, i.e, with the most optimized seating arrangement in terms of minimum travel time,  spanning the most number of seats, etc.

Before finalizing the layout, finalizing the furniture combination is also a great idea. Not only to envisage the best possible seating arrangements based on the expected combinations of guests you expect (couples, group of friends, families) etc, but also to provide for the best type of furniture to arrange for.  

dimensions and distance between different sized restaurant tables
COST PER SQCM
( IN CENTS)
TABLE DIMENSIONS
(IN CM)
TABLE SIZE
(IN SQCM)
TOTAL COST
(IN $)
# OF OCCUPYING GUESTS
0.09 24″ X 24″ 576 50 2
0.09 30″ X 30″ 900 78 4
0.09 36″ X 36″ 1,296 113 4
0.09 42″ X 42″ 1,764 153 8

RESTAURANT TABLE FLOOR PLAN

Tables come in many shapes and sizes. There really is one for pretty much every type of requirement. Especially in terms of styling, components used, features, strength etc. But here we will only cover size and dimensions. 

Square tables are, by far, the most popular & also the most suitable for a variety of occasions. The standard size for square restaurant tables are (24″ X 24″) and these are ideal for occupying 2 persons comfortably but seating any more than 2 is out of the question. 

Alternatively, a (30″ X 30″) seating arrangement is also an option. This will enable you to accommodate 1 or 2 more diners at a lower incremental cost per diner. 

Confused? Simply refer to the table to the left to get a clearer picture.

This type of differential seating arrangements & floor plan related decisions are ideal when done from scratch at a strategic level to allocate differently seating arrangements to different diners based on the comfort you want to provide, which will depend on the price they’re willing to pay.  

DISTANCE BETWEEN EACH SEATING

This may seem like a trivial thing to worry about but for the consumer’s psyche, it matters a lot. Research conducted by Cornell University concluded that spacing between table seating and table arrangements reduced the amount of time that the guest spent within the restaurant but this did not directly result in a decrease in total amount spent, but, this also reduced the likelihood of the customer returning to the same restaurant in the future. [Information Source: Social Science Space]  

This study is a great reference point to conclude the different seating arrangements you should be finalizing. If you see a fairly long queue of guests spread out fairly well during peak hours, cramming the area may not be a bad idea. 

Conversely, if you’re struggling with establishing a loyal base of customers, spacing the area out may be a good strategy after all, at least, temporarily.

In any case, the standard spacing that restaurants are expected to maintain for different types of table arrangements are as follows. 

*PLEASE NOTE: New Covid-19 Guidelines Dictate that the Space between Table-Chair Sets should be at least 6 feet apart for preventing the spread

back to back table size
TABLE ARRANGEMENT SPACE BETWEEN
Standard Adjacent Rectangular Tables 16″ Chair To Chair
Diagonal Table Layout  24″ Table Edge To Table Edge
Wall Supported Tables 30″ Chair Back to Wall
Tables Across Aisle Areas 36″ Table Edge To Table Edge 
distance between booth seating

DISTANCE BETWEEN RESTAURANT BOOTHS

While booths may definitely be a more expensive option and also a more space-consuming one, it is a great option for fine dining restaurants and niche restaurants that thrive on repeat & loyal customers 

Moreover, dining booths are also ideal for businesses where rent and real estate costs are low, which lowers the cost of housing the restaurant or cafe with dining booths but ensures maximum comfort and intimacy.

Booths are rarely used by themselves and are usually used in combination with standard dining sets, bar counter seating, and sofa-style seating.

While there are no said rules for spacing between booths and even back-to-back facing booths ensure a lot more privacy than generously spaced dining sets, booths themselves are quite large and commodious. So understanding their dimensional requirements is important. 

SEATING & DINING HEIGHT

The standard seating height has been pegged keeping all ergonomics & health related aspects in mind. This is also universally accepted by all commercial dining businesses 

Standard seating height is around 18″ from the ground. Although commodious seating arrangements also take this a notch higher to around 22″ from the ground, provided a back support is place. 

Table Height is pegged at around 30″ for 18″ of seating height. Any adjustment is one of them should also result in a commensurate adjustment in another.

Seating arrangements at bar counters are much higher, standard restaurant bar counters are 35-40 inches off the ground, allowing 12″ of space for dining is ideal so the bar stool height should be around 23″ to 28″  high.   

chair and dining table height diagram
height of counter and barstool

RESTAURANT LAYOUT PLAN & SEATING PLAN EXAMPLES

We’ll also be adding a few layouts and seating plans for a few different types of restaurants and cafes for you to choose from. These are different standard dimensions of the furniture and example of seating layouts of different restaurant types.  

STANDARD 50 SEATER RESTAURANT WITH BAR COUNTER

50 seater restaurant layout plan

SIMPLE 40 SEATER RESTAURANT WITH MULTIPLE SEATING OPTIONS

different furniture options for restaurant seating layout

RESTAURANT/CAFE/BISTRO WITH OUTDOOR SEATING

outdoor restaurants and patio floor plans

LARGE RESTAURANT FLOOR PLAN

RESTAURANT'S KITCHEN AREA FLOOR PLAN

kitchen area of restaurant diagram

CONTACT US TO KNOW MORE

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