Question about seating / dine in.

I am looking at a spot that has a 1300 foot dining room. I am wondering about how much seating that would equal comfortably. Does anyone here have a dining room about that size and if so what does it it take to fill it?

My guess was about 30 or so tables/booths.

Hey Freddy, you need anywhere from 24-36 sq ft for each four-top table you are planning. Then on top of that you need the walkways in between. The thing I really dislike are pizza stores that get the smallest of tables and expect one or two pies, and drinks too all fit and beable to eat off a plate. So make sure you don’t try to squeeze in those 2 extra tables at the expense of all of your patrons. The easiest and least expensive way to see what will fit and be up too the local building codes as far as access and exit you should contact a seating supplier and they will design a couple of options for you at no cost. They do this with the hope you will use them too supply all of the seating items. I have been involved in a couple of restaurant layouts and even though I like to think I am good with my Autocad…the guys that eat, think, and sleep booths and tables have ways that make any space seem a lot larger than it might be.

Does 1300 seem like a monstrous size for a pizza dining area? It is difficult for me to tell when it is just an empty cube.

It all depends on your business model and what you are looking to do. You have delco’s with no seating and then you have large pizza restaurants that seat in the hundreds. You will need to know what your plan will support and work off of that. Also, if the space is right and the price is right…you do not need to fill the area with 30+ tables. Keep the costs down and start with 15-20. Put the booths in and space out the tables a little farther apart than needed. If you are filling up on a regular basis…add more tables. This all falls back on what the area will support and fits in the plan.

we have 1200 sq.ft. dining room ,90 seats.

On a typical Tuesday night how close do you get to filling the place?

How large is your kitchen and prep area?

If only two or three tables are being used does the dining room look monstrous?

That’s a decent sized dining room - a little larger than mine. I seat 40 inside. Don’t think in terms of a slow night, diners will still come in. Think in terms of when you’re busy, and how long it takes you to ‘turn’ the table.

Somewhere years ago I remember hearing a remark that it takes, and I think I remember this right, 12-15 sq ft of space for every one person you want to fit in a room. This accounts for the person, their seat, table area, and walking room around everything. It all depends on how packed you want them in there and what the building code allows for occupancy. Call you local building inspector and get their take on the space also.

To touch on your questions about how large the room looks on a slow night with 2-3 tables being used and all the rest empty. I guess my observation is still build what your business model warrants and yes you will have nights with no customers and nights with the tables are being turned over 2-4 times each. It all falls down to what your store is doing as far as sales and what you can afford to do. Every business model is 100% unique to its own situation. Hope this helps you out.

Hi Freddy:

Lots of good answers on this forum. I would say 70 to 100 capacity depending on the type of dining. Formal or casual.

Aisle ways, serving and bussing path ways have a great influencer on seating as do entrance, exit ways, restroom and kitchen locations.

It is difficult to come up with answers without knowing a lot more about the facility.

George Mills

Thanks for the reply’s guys. I think I am going to pass on this space, it is a little too big for my first place. Rents are very high here and I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.

Freddy. I think you could build a whole store in 1300 sq feet. Are you considering minimal seating and focusing on delivery and carry out? Much easier to “chew” for a beginner

George, I know your company does kitchen layouts . . . . do you offer dining room layout suggestions as well?

Yes we do dining room layouts also.

George Mills