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A Guide to Table Shapes for Restaurant Furniture

Small differences between two objects can make them seem indistinguishable from a bird’s eye view, but there are two things that can make these differences seem more pronounced. Firstly would be to take a closer look at them, although this is not something that people usually do at restaurants so it’s unlikely that you’d need to worry about that. The second thing that can make differences harder to ignore is scale, because seemingly innocuous variations can become considerably more disadvantageous when you zoom out and see the big picture.

Restaurant owners might be aware of a particularly potent representation of this when deciding what table shapes they should buy for their eatery. Restaurant chairs are arguably easier to figure out, because their shape related factors have more to do with intuitive aspects like comfort. Tables are gauged by a different set of metrics though, and their shape will have a large part in their potential viability for your eatery. It’s not uncommon for restaurateurs to not pay much attention to table shape save for parsing them based on aesthetic preferences. However, table shapes are important from a practicality perspective as well.

The three most common table shapes for restaurants are circular, square or rectangular. Oval shaped tables are far less common because they are a bit inconvenient. That’s a great example of how practicality comes into play as far as tables are concerned. Oval tables are simply too long in the middle, and that makes their lack of corners a real sore spot. They might force you to seat fewer customers while taking up much more space, and replacing them with rectangular tables can increase your restaurant’s capacity by anywhere from ten to twenty percent at the bare minimum.

Continuing with this analysis of rectangular tables, it is important to address some of their other qualities that can make them so appealing. If your restaurant seeks to cater to large parties such as families and group gatherings, you can’t afford to not have some rectangle shaped tables on hand. They are the most effective seating solution for larger groups, because they let people sit in a single space without placing them too far from one another. A table that’s extended lengthwise can probably seat around six to twelve people based on what size you go for, which means they far outstrip the four to eight maximum occupancy of oval tables.

The fact that rectangles have corners is also a useful aspect of the shape. Corners create some separation and clearly demarcate available seats. Customers can walk in and see exactly how many of their group can sit at a particular table that’s shaped like a rectangle at a single glance. They therefore avoid some of the hesitance that can make them leave your restaurant because they can’t tell if the table would be suitable for them.

Corners are also a big part of what makes square tables so great. A square table has four distinct spots that customers can be seated at while they wait for and subsequently enjoy their meals. An unexpected advantage of this is that your servers would have an easier time organizing the layout. Additionally, you can fit in far more square tables into a given area, so if your restaurant is short on space you can make the most of it with tables that conform to this design.

If you plan your furniture layout more strategically you can create clear pathways to the kitchen and leave just enough space between tables that your waiters won’t have any accidents. Keeping a minimum of two feet distance between the chairs at each table is usually adequate. It might look a bit cramped, but it wouldn’t be all that uncomfortable. Indeed, it can give your restaurant a very lively and congenial air because square tables facilitate extended conversations.

However, this doesn’t confirm that all of your tables should have corners. As we have mentioned previously, many restaurants prefer round tables as well. Their lack of corners actually ends up being a part of their appeal for many smaller eateries that want to maximize customer capacity. With a round table, you can seat as many people as you like. A party of four to six can be suitably seated at a round table if they are willing to squeeze in a bit, and popular restaurants can use this to their advantage since people might forego the cramped seating due to the prestige of your menu.

A unique phenomenon noted in many round tables at restaurants is their prevalence in outdoor dining areas. There are any number of contributing factors that have led to this, but we feel like the main factor is aesthetic in nature. Round tables just look right in an outdoor setting, and if you opt for a glass top you can protect your table almost entirely from the elements.

Square tables can look a little empty if only two people are sitting on them, but that doesn’t happen with round tables. That makes round options a bit more versatile in some situations. Whether the table has two occupants or six, its round shape will keep your restaurant looking well occupied. If there is one thing that you should keep at arm’s length, it is a restaurant interior that looks desolate or barren. Empty looking tables can give customers stepping in the wrong impression, so it’s great that round tables can help you out with that. Different factors should be considered as well, such as raw materials and whether or not you want to splurge for cushions, but deciding on a table shape is a good place to start.

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