The restaurant dining room, whether it is formal or casual, is the most important area in the front of the house. Its design plays a large part in the overall ambiance of your restaurant. A restaurant dining room design is more than just table and chairs. It includes spaces for a wait station, storage, and a POS system—all of which need to be hidden from customers. Read on for everything you need to know about planning your restaurant dining room.
First things first. You need to consider the space allotted for your restaurant dining room when thinking about restaurant seating. This will dictate the type of restaurant seating you choose. Compact restaurant booths save on space but are hard to maneuver, unlike traditional tables and chairs. Booths can't be moved together to make seating for larger parties the way that chairs and tables can.
Other areas to consider when purchasing restaurant seating is durability and cleanability. For example, you might love the look of chairs with a decorative groove in the seat. That groove, however, is likely to drive you crazy collecting crumbs and debris, requiring constant attention. The same can be said for fabric seats. Fabric adds a richness to a dining room decor, but it requires upkeep. Even if it is treated with stain repellent, fabric still requires more care than wood.
The design of a restaurant should be a balance between a welcoming ambience and maximum seating capacity. In other words, you want to pack in enough customers to keep busy and turn a profit, while at the same time making them feel comfortable. Some types of restaurants focus on seating capacity rather than interior design. Diners, for example, have more seating capacity while fine dining restaurants tend to focus more on ambience.
Restaurant Wait Stations
A crucial part of any well-planned restaurant dining room is the placement of the wait station. A good wait station should be accessible to staff but invisible to patrons. Wait stations should be stocked with coffee, glassware, silverware and napkins, and condiments. Read on for a complete breakdown of what goes in a wait station, including the POS System.
The host station may be part of the restaurant dining room or adjacent to it. Because the host station is usually the first area a customer sees, it should be neat and free of clutter. The actual host station itself can be as simple as a tall counter or podium or something with a little more character, such as a roll top desk. The host station is also a good spot to put a POS system if the host is in charge of taking to-go orders or putting in drink orders.
Another area that may be in the dining room itself or right next to it is the restaurant bar. No matter if it is a service bar or full—sit—down bar, it should be fully stocked, based on your liquor selections. Read more about how to set up a restaurant bar.