Choosing the right size restaurant tables


Before you start buying tables, it’s wise to think about the size of your restaurant, the amount of tables you think your establishment can accommodate and whether you think you’ll have mainly couples dining, or groups of four or perhaps six or more.  You’ll probably have a combination of all of the above.


Working out your tables

Firstly, find out the size of your restaurant in square metres, then try and work out how many people you can comfortably fit in.  As a guide, try and allow 60cm width for each person plus 60cm width between each customer.

If you’re running a cosy cafe or restaurant aimed at the casual market, you could probably cut these sizes down a little,  but if your establishment is at the other end of the scale and caters for an upmarket clientele, increase the sizes you allow.  It’s similar to an airline: clients in first class expect more room than in economy class.
square solid wood table top

Space between tables

As a guide, try and leave a minimum gap of 70cm from the table to the walls and the tables on each side.  This is so that customers have room to move their chair out from the table and get up.  It also allows serving staff to move around without knocking customers.  Remember, it’s all about customer experience these days, and having customers squashed together with staff barging into them won’t go down too well.

To avoid expensive mistakes, you could draw up a floor plan to scale and cut out ‘paper tables’.  You’ll find these a lot cheaper and easier to move around than buying real ones.

Another consideration is the size and shape of your restaurant – if space is at a premium, you may find it more efficient to go with mainly square tables and rectangles, rather than circular ones.

Once you’ve decided on how many tables you can fit in, and how much space you can have between them, check on how many people you can sit at each – and how many chairs you’ll need:


How many at a table?

Here’s a quick guide to how many people you could seat around the various table sizes.  But note, it’s just a guide and some people will be larger – or smaller – than others:

Square tables

  • 60cm x 60cm – Two people
  • 70cm x 70cm – Two people
  • 80cm x 80cm – Two people
  • 90cm 90cm – Four people

Rectangle tables

  • 100cm x 60cm – Four people
  • 120cm x 70cm – Four people
  • 120cm x 80cm – Four people
  • 150cm x 70cm – Six people

Round Tables

  • 60cm – Two people
  • 70cm – Two people
  • 80cm – Four people
  • 90cm – Four people
  • 100cm – Four people
  • 120cm – Six people
  • 150cm – Eight people

Before buying your tables and chairs, make sure that you’ve left enough room for your waiters and diners to get in and out in comfort.