How to Determine Table Sizes

Determining table size is an important step in the process of creating the right piece of furniture. There are many elements to be considered. Included here are several illustrations to provide guidelines for restaurant and cafeteria table sizes and capacities. Measurements are based on standard chair sizes. Any larger chair proposed would increase the recommended measurements.

Table dimensions and accommodations

Space Capacities

A well-designed room with the right number of tables and chairs can maximize profitability and capacity for any restaurant. Here are some helpful factors to consider:

  • In a smaller restaurant, avoid using large dedicated tables. This limits your options and reduces flexibility.
  • In some cases, combining smaller tables has been a proven method to maximize capacity and customer experience. However, be mindful that you may lose some seating capacity if merging two tables in the event that the customers only need 6 out of the 8 available seats, for instance.
  • With bigger restaurants, dedicated large tables (eight-person plus) provide a special ambiance and unique dynamic. Also, these tables can reduce the appearance of crowding many small tables into a larger space. Larger restaurants can justify these tables because there are a greater number of sizable parties dining at the establishment.

When laying out a room, the function, size and shape of the room should be considered. The pictures below provide standard aisle allowances. Other typical layouts and spacing between furniture are also included. A general rule of thumb is that there can never be too much room when considering a pleasant and comfortable experience for your customers. Local codes provide restrictions and safety requirements that should be explored for any public place.

Recommended table spacing
Banquet, Cafeteria, lunchroom seating spacing

When laying out a banquet or cafeteria space, minimum space between rectangular tables is 60” and 54” for round tables. Also, a minimum of 24” should be considered for service space, but larger in heavier traffic areas.

Table Sizes

The architectural standard for dining is approximately 300 square inches for each diner. Below are four different options that would be appropriate, depending on the type of restaurant.

Fast food dining table sizes

Option one (left, above) seats four and is 30” X 44”, which is 1,320 square inches. This comes to 330 square inches for each diner. This would be an appropriate size for cafés, coffee shops and fast food dining. Option two (right, above) also seats four and is 24” X 44”, which comes out to 264 square inches per customer. This smaller size would only be best for certain diners, fast food restaurants, basic coffee shops and employee lunchroom scenarios.

Fine dining table sizes

Options three and four (above) represent a range of 360 to 432 square inches per diner. Several types of restaurants require this additional space for a pleasant dining experience. These establishments would include pizza restaurants, Mexican restaurants, Asian restaurants, fine dining, etc. Something else to consider is that some cafeteria-style restaurants will have food trays, which require additional space. The overall principle here is to think about what you are serving your customers as well as how you are serving them. Furthermore, when weighing your options in a limited-space scenario, it is best to have fewer tables to prevent an unpleasant experience for your customers and/or wait staff. This information forms the basic principles and considerations for table sizes. If you have additional questions, please contact CIX Direct.