Table Spacing in Restaurants – Ideal Distance & Layout

The most difficult part of opening a restaurant is planning the layout of the table spacing. A minor mistake can ruin the entire interior.

So, it’s essential to plan the table spacing wisely. By doing it correctly, you can increase the seating area capacity by up to 25%.

To be honest, planning a proper layout is hard. And with various seating style ideas, it becomes even more difficult.

Keeping all that in mind, our research team has collaborated with experienced interior designers to guide you properly. So, read on to maximize your diner capacity.

Restaurant Table Spacing Standards

There is no one size that fits all. You might want to set the table for two in one corner, while there must be at least 4 chairs per table in the family corner. 

That’s why there are set standards for the hospitality industry. Know what would be the minimum distance between two tables and chairs.

  • Space Between Chair And Table: 15-18 inches
  • Space Between Two Chairs: 16-20 inches
  • Space Between Chair From Wall: 12-15 inches
  • Minimum Space For Service Asile: 26 inches
  • Height Of Table From Ground: 25-28 inches

With changing styles and interior design, the height and width of tables and chairs are not tangible. But, there must be enough space for everyone to walk between the tables.

How Far Apart Should Tables Be in a Restaurant?

Two tables must be at least 30 inches apart. There must be enough space for anyone to walk between the tables.

Ensuring a safe distance will also provide a sense of privacy to costumes while enjoying.

How Much Space Should Be Between Chairs In A Restaurant?

It is best to put chairs 20 inches apart. You can minimize the distance in bar-style chairs. 

The general rule of thumb is to keep chairs an arm’s length away.

What Are The 3 Types Of Table Settings?

Most designers categorized table settings into three styles. 

  • Basic
  • Causal 
  • Formal

But bar-style seating is also quite popular in small cafes and pubs. In high-end cafes, buffet arrangement is also considered a style.

Restaurants Table Size Guide

The other thing that matters is the size of the table. You can’t use the same table for two or ten people. 

That’s why you’ll need different types of tables in different sizes. 

1. Diagonal Tables – Best For Two

These are suitable for one or two people only. The standard size of diagonal tables is 30 x 20 inches.

If you are a DIY project fan, we recommend keeping the dimensions at least 36 x 24 inches.

2. Square Tables – Sufficient For Four

Mostly, you’ll need these in your cafe and eateries. Square tables are perfect for four people.

The ideal size is keeping both length and width at least 45 inches. Generally, you’ll be serving meals on them. So, it’s best to keep them wide.

3. Dining Tables – Best For Families

Dining tables are most essential for every type of restaurant. There would be families and groups coming for dinner.

These are wide and used for fine dining. It is best to have a 6 feet long and four feet wide dining table. You can set multiple chairs across it.

4. Bar Tables – Ideal For Smaller Places

Bar tables are small and mostly placed around the walls. They can also be used to serve single individuals dining out.

Their unique feature is height. Usually, they are 42 inches above of ground. They are narrow and only suitable for serving snacks or breakfast.

5. Classic Round Tables – Perfect For Events

Round tables are mostly preferred for events. The wide space allows for serving numerous persons at once.

The size varies. But, usually, they are 5 feet wide. On average, a five feet wide table can serve 7 – 8 people.

Ideal Table Size Depending On Number Of People

You’ll be expecting people either alone or in groups. So, how to accommodate everyone? 

Luckily, we have researched over 500 people sitting plans. So, here’s how you can accommodate everyone.

Number Of PeopleTable Size (WxL)
220 x 20 inches
4 – 636 x 45 inches
7 – 1050 x 65 inches
10 – 12 70 x 90 inches
12 – 15100 x 100 inches

Things To Consider While Planning Table Spacing

Before you put the furniture, there are a few things you must follow:

  • Every table must have easy access to the emergency exit.
  • Keep the restaurant lighting plan in mind.
  • Measure the seating area to get a spacing idea.
  • There must be enough space for service aisles.

The common mistake most designers make is neglecting the quick access to fire exist. Ensure that there is nothing blocking the fire exit door.

Types Of Restaurant Seating

You could style your place in any possible way. But, there are five styles that are considered standard in hotel services.

  1. Timeless Booth Style
  2. Party Banquet Tables
  3. High Pub Setting
  4. Classic English Seating
  5. Sofas For Refine Delicacy

Mostly, tables are designed keeping these methods in mind. Party Banquet is suitable for fast food restaurants.

Timeless Booth and English seating style are perfect for families and places that serve three-course dinners. 

6 Best Restaurant Seating Ideas 

Well, you can put the same types of tables in your place. Eventually, you need to mix and match them. 

So, to increase your seating capacity, we got you covered with our amazing tested ideas.

1. Go For Patio Style Seating – Best For Large Space

Mostly, in tropical-style hotels, they use patio style. In the modern hospitality business, it is often labeled as luxury. 

  • All the small diagonal tables are aligned in one line.
  • There is a separate space for families space.
  • Distance from one table to another is kept at 4 feet.

The only problem is you need an exceptionally wide floor plan to ensure maximum benefit of it.

2. Try Banquette Layout – Perfect For Modren Diners

If your cafe is located where you expect families most. Then, we recommend you go for banquette seating.

  • Instead of chairs, you need wall mount sofas.
  • Keep the booth circular and brightly colored.
  • Put a small table in the middle.

With a booth, you can utilize empty corners. It would be a fun place for children and love birds looking for privacy.

3. Show Elegance With Square Tables – Ideal For Small Cafes

Sometimes, there are few customers who love to order a lot. In such situations, this layout will come handy.

  • Assemble five square tables vertically and diagonally.
  • Keep them away from walls.
  • For better settings, ensure a distance of 12 inches from two chairs.

Mostly, during the soft opening of restaurant, this seating style is preferred. With the free space available, you can add more chairs to serve.

4. Save Space With Pub Style – Best For Small Restaurants

For small family-owned places, this cozy seating idea is perfect. This will give an airy feel and doubles the capacity.

  • Put diagonal tables straight to one side.
  • Go for banquette sofas to one end of the wall.
  • Install pub tables and place a wooden stool to make it a group area.

Mostly, this setting is preferred in narrow pubs and cafes. Also, you don’t need a lot of budget to try it out.

5. Try Classic Round Tables – Suitable For Event Hosting

If you’re expecting many visitors, save yourself from all the fuss by trying timeless round table seating.

  • Set 10 chairs at each table.
  • Keep the edges clean.
  • Ensure a 20-inches distance from one table to another.

This seating concept is mostly seen in high-end NYC or downtown Manhattan hotels. The idea of preserving classic elegance is vivid and beautiful.

6. Stick To Basic – Best Seating Idea For Outdoor Restaurant

If you run an outdoor restaurant, then the seating layout might confuse you the most. The best way to tackle it is by keeping things simple.

  • Place a DIY square table in the street.
  • Balance it with four chairs around.
  • For aesthetics, place a decorative piece in the middle.

We suggest keeping the seats inexpensive. It is best to use sturdy wood or plastic for outdoor seating.

Table Spacing In Restaurants FAQs

Why is table setup important?

It gives the feeling of connection and harmony. With more people sitting sharing one table, they feel more pleasant being together.

To minimize the chatter noise, it’s recommended to keep the 30 inches difference between the two tables.

How many square feet is a restaurant seat?

10 to 14 square feet is the minimum required space for proper seating. It varies depending on the type of diners. 

In some fast food places, it is compromised to 8 square feet. While luxury hotels prefer to go beyond 20 square feet.

How big is a 4-person restaurant table?

A table for four people is at least 45 inches long. The width must be 30 inches. It is best to ensure maximum width to serve all people properly.

How many chairs can fit at a 6ft table?

You can adjust six people on a 6ft long table. On a round 6ft table, you can set 8 chairs easily.

What Is Seating Capacity In Small Restaurants?

Usually, it is one person per every 15ft². But, to serve more people, sometimes owners reduce the capacity to 10ft².

The general rule of thumb for ideal seating is a person must be 1 arm’s length away from another in every direction.

Wrapping It Up!

Before you start seating, it is best to plan things accordingly. Ensure that every table has access to the emergency door.

By right planning, you can increase space capacity by up to 20%. For an airy environment, it is essential to have at least 30 inch distance between tables.

When it comes to seating style, a Banquette layout is preferred. As it utilizes corners too. 

We hope that, with our detailed guide, you’d be able to use the best out of your seating area. While in the meantime, keep on celebrating your restaurant.

Steve here! I like to research and write about best kitchen and home appliances. If you are on the hunt for the best products, quick hacks, and interesting food options, my writing will surely help you out!