Did you know that 65% diners say that getting their preferred seating arrangement in a restaurant would increase their loyalty? Investing in a perfect seating layout means investing in the success of your restaurant. A smart seating layout is an important element of Restaurant Revenue Management (or RRM). RRM is basically examining the most effective ways to sell the right seat, to the correct customer, at the best price, and for an ideal duration of time.
Decoding a seating layout that helps your restaurant sales can be daunting. You might be doing many small yet major mistakes, affecting your restaurant’s sales. What are those mistakes and how you can overcome? Read on to find out!
#1 – Not Utilizing Restaurant’s Data To Drive Business Decisions
The idea behind collecting any sort of details from customers is to drive better business decisions. Collecting this data on a digital platform allows you to recognize your restaurant’s trends that can help you improve your service. Identifying and analyzing simple metrics like average wait time by cover size, most used sections/tables, preferred table types of your customers, average time spent on each table, etc. will give you important insights that would help you optimize your seating layout.
For example, if the average waiting time for 3 people is more, then you should increase the number of tables having 3 or more seating.
#2 No Clear Paths
Having plenty of seats to accommodate your customers is surely one of the major aims of a smart seating layout. But, people’s comfort should be kept at the forefront. Ensure that you have mapped a clear and direct path that would take your servers from kitchen to serving station (kitchen) to table, bar, etc. Similarly, the pathway from door to tables and then to the washroom for your customers should be clear. The space between seating should be at least 2 feet. Most importantly, keep a clear pathway to fire exits in case of emergencies.
#3 Not Investing In Millennial Seating
If you wish to attract insta-savvy millennials, don’t go for yesteryears’ seating and tables design. Invest in tables and chairs that can be easily moved. A mashup in flexy furniture design, communal tables, variable tables, riotous amount of bright tone pillows is surely in. Create a communal dining environment by impromptu shoving tables, something like younger patrons expect.
#4 Boring Uniform Seating
Same seating for your complete restaurant might be easy but unfortunately, it’s boring! For example, having fixed high booth seating everywhere might make your customers feel like a maze. It also obstructs the view of your restaurant for other diners. Diners might struggle to contact the staff and vice versa. Booth seating is fab but when placed on the perimeter of your seating area. Experiment with the middle area with open tables which are easily movable in order to accommodate both small and large parties.
#5 Keeping Everything Public
While an open kitchen and right-in-front bar attract your customers, areas like wait stations, restroom areas, and storage area should be kept out of your customer’s sight. Make them easily accessible with proper signage and without keeping them in the full view of the restaurant.
Do you have any useful tips for a more efficient seating layout? Do share in the comments.