Seating Design Tips

Things to consider

The design of your venue is an integral part of its success. The design is responsible for the venue theme, layout, flow and furniture, and inevitably your brand. Design isn't singularly an aesthetic aspect, it can be key to an efficient working space for your staff, increase your turnaround and if successfully applied, keep your customers coming back.

At Hill Cross our clients are regularly asking questions such as 'how large should my tables be?' and 'can I fit more covers into my space?'  our brochure area should hopefully be answering some of those more puzzling questions at a rather stressful time for any new or current business. If the design of a venue is successfully attended to and adequate time is appointed to this crucial aspect, your efforts will undoubtedly be a push towards a great customer experience. And who isn't after satisfied customers?

ASK HILL CROSS: Have a question about your venue? We have experts on hand to answer any query you may have whether you are looking for new furniture, or how best to make use of your existing furniture. We are happy to help if we can. Send us a message today with your enquiry

Furniture flowFlow patterns

The flow of a restaurant must be considered carefully. How smoothly things run will affect the experience the customer has and ultimately return trade. The layout of any venue is key in ensuring a hassle free flow of people. Fast and professional service requires an efficient flow pattern.

furniture distanceDistance

Very important. There should be at least 45cm (18") between chairs, ensuring customers don't get bumped by staff or other customers. Extend this distance for finer dining. The distance from the back to front of house is also a crucial element of any floor plan.

Furniture ArrangementFurniture arrangement

For venues that have greeting or waiting areas, this area must be close to the front door so it can be seen but not too close to block traffic entering and leaving the restaurant. If larger groups are common, a larger greeting area will be required. Greeting areas should be comfortable but relatively hard so customers don't relax too much, it is advised that the tables should be difficult to move.

When large groups book for your venue, it is essential to encourage interaction between guests with face-to-face seating.

When your venue is required for private dining needs, the following advice can be applied:
• Wide spaced tables.
• Tables at angles to each other to restrict views.
• High backed seats.
• Chairs in a row, creating a barrier.
• Booth seating (although this is inflexible so requires careful thought)

It is also important to remember the following:
• Square tables allow flexibility and re-arrangement, depending on the size of group booked.
• Light chairs can be moved easily and don't damage floors.
• Heavy chairs give a more elegant and regal feeling. If you are worried about damaging the flooring we can attach felt glides which will protect you flooring and reduces noise.
• Having a mix of table sizes and seating arrangements creates a visually interesting restaurant.

SpeedSpeed and turnaround times

Depending on your type of business you will want your customers to stay for different lengths of time. Turnaround times are a very important part of running a successful business. In a fast food place or café, everything should be laid out for speed. Flow lines must be kept short and must not cross. The seating shouldn't be too comfortable as ideally people should only stay for about 30 minutes, and all the surfaces must be easily cleaned.

Whereas, a fine dining establishment requires thought about how many sittings you plan to have, e.g. 1 sitting or 2 and the comfort of your seating must correspond with the length of time you wish customers to stay.

Every tables needs to be the best in the house in some way - if it has no view, add armchairs instead AND... always keep the customers needs at the forefront of the design.

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