Running a restaurant is a challenging yet exciting endeavor. To be successful, you need good food, great service, and plenty of business savvy. One of the most important elements of a good eatery is the dining room. It’s the front of the house and where your guests will experience what you have to offer.
You can choose the feel that suits you best. Whether formal, casual, or homey, there are certain elements that every restaurant dining area should have.
The type of seating you choose will depend on the space you have to work with as well as personal taste. Sleek modern restaurant booths save space, look great, and are intimate and comfortable for your guests. Their one drawback is that they can’t be moved around to accommodate larger parties.
Traditional tables and chairs are easy to push together when you need to seat groups larger than four. Booths along the walls with tables and chairs in the middle of the room work well for most restaurants.
Choose comfortable furniture, that looks inviting, and is easy to clean. You want your dining room to make a great impression.
When guests arrive to check in with their reservation or to request seating, there should be a clearly delineated host station. People could become frustrated if they don’t know where to go. All you need is a podium equipped with the reservation book and perhaps a POS terminal for taking to-go orders. The host station is generally the first impression customers have of the restaurant. Make sure it is clean, well-stocked, and fits the decor of the dining room.
Depending on the layout of your restaurant, the bar may be in a separate section or along one wall. It should be fully stocked with well and high-end liquors, wines, and beers to suit a variety of tastes. Have an area that is easily accessible for servers to put in and pick up orders and seating for guests who want a drink while they wait for their table.
An often overlooked but important element of a dining room is the server station. The size of the room will dictate how many you need but server stations help facilitate access to the things guests need. Silverware sets, napkins, menus, and other items servers need to get can be stored and easily accessed at a well-set-up station. Keep cleaning supplies here as well. Just make sure they are separate from the guest items.
The layout of your dining room is a balancing act. Naturally, you want to accommodate as many customers as possible to maximize profit. However, you also need to consider the comfort of guests. Dining is not a pleasurable experience if you have to keep your chair pushed all the way in because someone is seated directly behind you. Take the time to find that happy medium and you and your guests will be happy.
When going into the restaurant business, you have to be ready to face many challenges. Properly setting up the dining room will have a major impact on your success.
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