It’s never easy to guarantee that your business will maintain profitability in the long term, but choosing an industry that is already well established can make matters a bit easier. The restaurant industry is often considered one of the easiest ones to start making a profit in, and that’s because people always want to go to restaurants over the weekend or when they have something special to celebrate. Hence, investing in a new eatery can bring a lot of new customers to your door, although there are some things that you’d need to iron out before you can open your restaurant to the public.
Some aspects of starting a restaurant would already be clear to you, such as coming up with a unique menu and hiring staff that can provide customers with a good experience. However, there are some factors that you might slip your mind, or you might forget certain elements of these factors that are just as important. For example, you likely already know that you need some restaurant furniture for your patrons to sit on, but arranging this furniture efficiently is a different bag altogether.
It is crucial for restaurant owners to lay their furniture out with a functional plan in mind. A cluttered eatery will make a lot of your patrons feel uncomfortable, so you should space your tables and chairs out to avoid creating such a discomfiting ambiance. One way to ensure that your furniture, and subsequently your patrons, have some room to breathe is to create an open space in the center of your dining area. This lets your customers walk towards their seating arrangements without having to jump across unnecessary obstacles.
Another benefit of centering your furniture layout around an open space is that it can make the job of your waiters a bit easier as well. It can be difficult to balance multiple plates of food and maintain the beautiful plating that your chefs had worked so hard on if your waiters have to wind and weave through a complicated table layout. Leaving some empty space will give them clear paths to the tables they are serving, and they would probably be grateful for the extra tips their speedy service would help them receive.
There are also some psychological impacts that such a layout can have on people. If a customer enters your eatery and finds it to be congested, they might decide against placing an order. A claustrophobic layout can make any restaurant seem unappealing, even if the food is the best that money can buy. On the other end, customers that enter a relaxed and roomy area would not feel so overwhelmed. Rather, they would be eager to get a table as quickly as they can. They would also feel calm enough to place a large order and spend more time in your eatery, which might lead to them placing subsequent orders too.
Placing your tables and chairs along the walls is a great way to provide this empty central space. Customers will automatically veer towards the sides of your dining area instead of crowding around the center and getting in the way of waiters trying to bring orders to tables. On top of that, an efficient layout like this makes it possible for you to use heavier furniture. It can be tough to use high quality, durable furniture if you have to keep moving it around to serve a frequently altering level of foot traffic.
Hence, a roomier layout makes it easier to use tables that are durable enough to last a really long time. Such tables are far less prone to chipping or scratches, and since they are placed along the side walls of your restaurant, your waiters wouldn’t have to worry about moving them so often. Instead, they can just leave the tables where they are because their placement is permanent. Forcing your waiters to move heavy furniture can cause injuries which would make your employer insurance sky rocket. Even especially strong workers might throw their back out if they’re picking up heavy tables too often. The best case scenario is that their backs or other body parts would endure significant wear and tear over time which is not much better than them sustaining a serious injury instantly.
Now, it’s important to address the elephant in the room, which is that this layout won’t work for everyone. If you own a small scale eatery or a café, you might not have a large enough dining area to make such a layout feasible. The best practice for restaurants at this scale is to opt for lighter furniture so that tables can be shuffled based on how many customers are waiting to be seated at that time.
It’s quite common for restaurants to start small and eventually work their way up to a larger space. When you finally upgrade your location to a bigger storefront, you can try this layout to see if it works for you. Don’t forget that employee input is of paramount importance here. They are the ones that would be doing the bulk of the work, so it can be useful to ask them what they think.
Putting some time into figuring out which furniture layout would be most efficient can pay dividends as the years go by. It’s an aspect of restaurant management that many new restaurateurs fail to think about, and that leads to less than stellar customer experiences which can often lead to a decline in your business. A minimalist layout can be your staunchest ally in your quest to establish a restaurant that people won’t stop talking about for a good long while.