How much seating?

I have a chance to add 1,700 more sq ft. to my delco and was considering adding some tables. My question is after adding the restrooms about how much seating could I comfortbly fit in that space?

How much of that 1700 square feet would be dining space? One thing to keep in mind is that the more space you have to fill by customers, the more it will take to make the place look busy.

Hi Knightwing

There is much more to planing seating then the sq ft of the space available;

First is the need to determine the local code rules and regulations. The number of seats will determine the number of stalls, commodes, urinals and sinks in the rest rooms. The more seats the more facilities. That will determine the space devoted to rest rooms.

Where the room is accessed, path ways to the rest rooms, path ways to emergency exits. path ways to and from the kitchen are determined by the positioning of the seating area in relation ship to those facilities. Aisle ways take up lots of room and how best to place them is dependent upon the locations of the facilities.The type of seating size of tables etc also needs to be determined as again that will be a factor in seating capacity…

Now that I have complicated what appears to be simple, I guess it is only fair to offer to do a seating lay out for you. We will do that for you at no charge if you would like.

George Mills

This is how it is figured: Building code dictates 15 sq ft per person for a restaurant. Dividing 1700/15=~113 seats. Plumbing code dictates seating area above 49 seats requires 2 holes in each restroom (hole equals two toilets in womens, 1 toilet 1 urinal in mens). A single hole toilet runs around 56 sq ft (to accomodate ADA wheelchair circle etc etc). Double that for two hole toilet = ~112 sq ft times 2 = 224 sq ft for mens and womens. 1700-224=1476/15= ~98 seats.

Hi Pallinos:

Excellent post: You have, no doubt, spent much time studying the situation.

You do not indicate if you are quoting the national code or a local one. I admit I have not purchased a copy of the up to date national code. To much to pay for the 1% of the code book that applies to what we do.

Please note that the local jurisdiction can set requirements above the national code so always check the local requirements.

George Mills

Another consideration to adding more square footage is parking. In my jurisdiction, I’m required to have one parking stall to every 100 sq. feet of space. This ratio is significantly different than normal retail at 1:500 sq. ft. If the overall space is 3000 sq. feet, I must have 30 parking spaces in my parking lot, which doesn’t include the spaces for the other tenants in the shopping center. In my case, I completely maxed out the space and had to get a variance for the two missing parking stalls… we added a bike rack.

Of course, this is my county. Yours may be and is likely different.

George is right, local codes can trump national building codes, though my experience has been in terms of sq ft allotments and plumbing requirements (for number of people), most places around the country defer to International Building Code, and Plumbing code. And there always can be an overzealous local inspector demanding something outrageous. Like most Health Departments.

For the most part, the numbers I gave are a general rule of thumb to quickly figure number of seats per a set amt of sq ft.