Post Covid-19 challenges in restaurant seating and overcoming them

24 May 2020
Post Covid-19 challenges in restaurant seating and overcoming them

At this unprecedented point in time almost all the businesses have changed the way they have been operating in past years and somewhat got used to a new normal. Amongst them, restaurant owners with a large on premise business model in particular are facing increased challenges that require a great deal of flexibility, patience and strategy in order to overcome the financial burden that has mounted on them.

Biggest challenges for restaurants with large dining capacities are the new seating recommendations and capacity levels implied by governing bodies.
This article will offer new strategies and standards to consider that will help you adapt and embrace the changes.


Occupancy level of a restaurant will be adjusted to limit the number of people that can occupy at a time and it will largely depend on the size the floor area. Some provinces may instruct 50% of the capacity level while other could mandate a six-foot distance protocol. In either case, it is wise for restaurants to prepare its resources for a lesser financial goal as there will be lesser on-premise foot traffic.

Seating arrangement

It’s advisable to have a plan for your relocation of furniture. Make sure when rearranging tables and chairs that you have a dedicated place for storage so that they wouldn’t take up the precious space in your restaurant unnecessarily.

When revising the seating arrangement, it is important to increase private and semi-private dining customer experiences. Also, to increase spacing between tables following the six-foot guideline.

Booth Seating: This style of seating is considered to be beneficial since seats can be modified with higher barriers allowing better ventilation.

Banquet seating: This arrangement can be modified by reducing the number of chairs per table. It is advisable to set them up for groups of two with appropriate spacing.

Standard Seating: This could be the most flexible style of seating as it allows restaurants to remove as necessary yet keep a balanced mix of two-tops and four tops.

Bar seating: This seating could be the least suitable at this time as it allows close proximity between chairs.


With appropriate adjustments, we’re looking at twenty to twenty-five square feet per guest instead of twelve to fifteen square feet per guest. This will help you to get the best out of your space and optimize your profit opportunities.