Arranging your seating area is a crucial part when setting up your restaurant. It will affect the restaurant performance and customer experience, so you better get it right!

At Cafeideas we are here to help and provide advice based on our knowledge and experience. For you, we have put together this rough guideline outlining a few steps, but please note these are only recommendations. There is no single approach, as it will depend on the kind of food your serve, as well as the operating hours and several other factors.

What operating hours?

This is the very first thing to take into consideration when creating your sitting area.

Do you serve breakfast, lunch or dinner? Perhaps you serve all of them? In that case, the preparation time between each shift will be short and you will need an optimal set-up to allow your staff to operate faster.

This means, you should allow enough space between the tables for your staff to pass through and access the kitchen, as well as adequate chairs to tuck under the tables and keep all paths clear.

What type of cuisine?

The way you arrange your seating area depends on the kind of food you serve. Serving huge seafood platters or extra-wide pizza? You definitely need enough space for wide tables.

Offering take-away food? Then you won’t need as much space because your customers won’t stick and simply rush in and rush out.

What serving dishes will you use?

Think about the plates and cutlery you will use. Wooden boards, for instance, are on trend. They look great but are quite space consuming! As much as we love them, we agree they might not be the easiest kind of dish to use.

You should have a clear idea of the kind of food you will serve and the plates you will use to do so.

What table top sizes?

Once you have defined all the above, you can start thinking about your tables. For your information, the standard size is 60 x 60 cm and it comfortably accommodates 2 persons. Then you can find the 70 x 70 cm, as well as 80 x 80 cm dimensions, ideal for 4 persons. Finally, the communal tables are just perfect for larger groups.

Ideally you should select tables that you can easily move around to create different configurations. Square tables allow you to do that as you will be able to join and align them easily, which makes them ideal if you expect larger groups. Round tables do not offer this flexibility but are great for smaller places such as take-away shops and cafes.

No matter what combination you go for, bear in mind you need a variety of table sizes and shapes suitable for small and large groups.

How many table can you fit in?

Now you know the shape and the dimensions, you can define how many tables. We recommend you to leave at least 1.6 meter between tables to allow customers to pass through and staff members to circulate and operate smoothly.

We hope this non-exhaustive list of steps will help you get started. We strongly encourage you to draw a seating plan and define ahead what layout best works for your space. And if you have any burning questions, feel free to ask us and simply send an email to