How important is it for you to design an effective
restaurant? It should come as no surprise that the core objective for your
business is to offer a specific experience that will generate a profit. In
order to maximize that profit, the design must be right. That doesn’t mean you
have to invest in new restaurant furniture, new menus, and other fancies. No,
you can take what you already have in place and give it a new twist.
What do Your Guests Want?
This question is the real motivation behind any changes you
might make. People don’t dine out because they are hungry and have no food at
home. They are searching for an experience. For many, dining out is a
self-reward. For others it is a social connection. Addressing those goals is
important if you are to draw people to your establishment.
If you wish to attract those who are out for a social
experience, reposition your restaurant dining sets in such a way as to
encourage eye contact. You may place tables on a diagonal or incorporate a
large, U-shaped bar if you are targeting younger guests. For an older
clientele, break up your dining space with partitions, small niches, and so on
to accommodate their need for a quieter environment.
Where are the “Good” Seats?
No matter what your intentions, there are going to be areas
in your dining room that are more desirable. No one wants to sit near the
kitchen, for example. In line with the door is also uncomfortable if it is cold
or windy out. Knowing which tables are best for which types of guests will help
you when it comes time to seat people.
People view window seats as more desirable, especially for
romantic or intimate occasions. For single diners, or those who plan to work
while eating, anchored seating is more attractive. Anchored seating is seating
that is attached to a permanent feature, such as a wall or low partition. These
positions allow the guest to avoid eye contact and become more a part of the
“environment” than a fellow diner.
Which Seating Choices Bring in the Best Profits?
Now that you have some idea of how people prefer to sit,
let’s address how those seats affect profit. Anchor seats are more profitable
in general, but that doesn’t mean you have to purchase new furniture to make
more anchored areas. Your old restaurant booth is a valuable asset. Booths are
a type of self-standing anchored furniture and they generate more profit per
minute than any other type of anchored seating. Conversely, banquettes bring in
To increase the profitability of other dining sets, get them
anchored if possible. The more such seating areas you can offer, the more
likely you are to see your bottom line improve. Keep the center of the room
available for larger parties and single diners who need room to spread out.