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March 9, 2007 4:15 PM quote 
Mirasa is offline Mirasa
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 For cafe seating, how many seats per square foot is reasonable?
I have about 665 sq ft bascially (a rectange\le) of seating and am trying to plan on how many people I can cram into there. I am going to do a bench seating along two walls and have a larger kidney shaped table (9' x 4')with bar stools for several groups of people somwhere near the middle of the floor.

Is there a standard number to go off of here? This is not fine dining but more like a cafe environement.
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March 9, 2007 5:58 PM quote 
drsmoke is offline drsmoke
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Your local Fire Dept will give you the final answer.
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder ! :beer:
March 9, 2007 6:07 PM quote 
Crescendo is offline Crescendo
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It sounds like our cafe's seating area is similar in square footage to yours. We went with small tables. We have two footer marble squares and rounds with iron bases. That way we have the versatility to reconfigure easily by pushing tables together for large groups or move things out of the way for parties, art openings or other events. When everything is spread out for a typical day we can seat about 25 comfortably. Most of our seating are standard padded ladder-back chairs but we also have a big artsy couch and an old fashioned armchair. Nothing is too tightly packed together and there's still room for further cramming if we find it necessary.

Depending on the laws in your area, you may be visited by your Fire Department's fire inspector or building inspector as part of your cafe's permit approval process. They will determine a maximum occupancy for your dining room which will set a firm limit on your seating capacity. It may be helpful for you to contact them before they inspect your property to see if they can advise you in your planning.

One other thing to think about when planning your dining room layout: If you plan on encouraging laptop users to patronize your cafe and providing them wireless access, don't forget to add a circuit or two worth of conveniently located 110w outlets near each of the tables in the dining room for customer access. However, if you don't want to encourage laptop users to monopolize your tables then don't forget to eliminate all power outlets from the dining room and wrap the walls in metal shielding and concrete to prevent wireless signals from getting in or out. :-)

Regards,
Steve
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March 9, 2007 6:16 PM quote 
YVETTE is offline YVETTE
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Quote:

"For cafe seating, how many seats per square foot is reasonable?"


Absolutely not more than one under any circumstances.

lol
Y
March 9, 2007 9:44 PM quote 
Oldschoolmike is offline Oldschoolmike
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Give everone a 6' . At least 4' if you like crowded. Do servers need to navigate?
So from table edge 8' to next table edge=4' personal space. Local fire regs. will set max. opp. But I know folks do not like feeling crowded.
There are mighty few people who think what they think they think.
March 10, 2007 1:10 PM quote 
#1FoodRep is offline #1FoodRep
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You need to do some research as to the laws in your area.

Here in Dare county, North Carolina the number of seats you are allowed really has nothing to do with the size of the dining room. They base it on septic system and water impact. The size of your septic system determines the allowable number of seats.

My best advice before you put to much time into planning a floor plan or money on furniture is to look into what your local government might allow or not allow you to do.

Once you find that out - keep in mind that the price point and theme of your restaurant plays a role. I wouldn't drop $50 a head on dinner if I had people packed in around me. If I was grabbing a burger it would not be as big a deal!

Good luck!
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March 12, 2007 2:30 PM quote 
Dave101024 is offline Dave101024
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As an old hotel banquet and catering guy our rule of thumb when selling banquets was: Stand up reception = 10 sq ft/person, sit down dinner = 12 sq ft/person.
This was based on usable space = staging, buffet lines, bus stations etc. deducted first.
Hope that helps.
March 12, 2007 3:45 PM quote 
damayor is offline damayor
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drsmoke wrote:
Your local Fire Dept will give you the final answer.


Yep. I'd wait for these guys befoe I bought too many chairs.

And don't listen to Yvette, people can sit on the floor if they want to. :cool:
March 12, 2007 5:03 PM quote 
drsmoke is offline drsmoke
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YVETTE wrote:


Absolutely not more than one under any circumstances.

lol
Y



What if you did double or triple decker seating???? good idea or what?????
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder ! :beer:
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