Hospitality table tops are available in many shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a custom size table top or a bespoke option, it’s important to consider how many covers are required and what the table is being used for.
We’ve compiled a furniture specification guide on table top sizes to ensure you choose the right dimensions, thickness and edging options to maximising the number of covers within your restaurant or bar area.
Take a Seat: What is Cover Size in Restaurants Referring to?
In the hospitality industry, a table top cover is a term used to describe how many guests a restaurant dining room will seat. The number of guests dining are referred to as so many ‘covers.’
À La Carte: The Right Table Top Sizes
To determine how many covers will fit in a restaurant, understanding table top dimensions is essential. For example, for ten covers, a circular table top would require to be at least 1800mm in diameter and a rectangular top would need to be a diameter of 1300mm x 750mm to seat guests comfortably. Table top size is also dependent on the service you are planning to provide – drinking tables require 20% less space than quick meals, while fine dining requires significantly more for extra cutlery and tableware. Using smaller square tables and arranging them at a 45 degree angle is a useful tip to increase the number of covers in your hospitality setting.
When planning how many covers are needed, you will also need to consider that restaurant dining chairs will extend these dimensions around 450mm from the table, and another 450mm between the backs of dining chairs to allow enough room for the circulation of waiting staff. For specific table top cover dimensions, download our handy table top size guide.
Image source: The Metric Handbook
Top of the Table: Table Top Shape
Square tables with a straight cut, arissed or updercut chamfer table edges are popular within the hospitality industry, mainly because they can be used alone or adjoined flush side by side when reconfiguring the dining space to extend the number of covers around one table.
Bullnose or chamfered edges work best on tables which will not be used for maximising covers and are stand-alone round tables for smaller groups of diners. Most hotel restaurants use a combination of shapes and sizes to create interest withing their design scheme and to make the layout less uniform, which also gives different options for when reconfiguring the space.
Check Please: Table Bases
Table bases should also be considered when it comes to table top shape, as they can affect the amount of space available underneath the table for your guests legs, you don’t want your guests sitting uncomfortably while dining with a table leg obstruction their seating position or not being able to push their chair in (this can also be obstructed by the height of the arms on your restaurant chair but that’s another story). The ratio between the size of the table top and the base is important for the stability of your restaurant table, this also will help when staff are manoeuvring the tables. The thickness, height and edging options all needing to be taken into account.
The most popular bases specified within the hospitality industry is single or twin pedestal bases because of there versatility and the following reasons:
- Available in a wide range of finishes, styles and sizes
- Do not obstruct diners leg space like conventional table legs and are unobtrusive
- Will work in numerous configurations
- Good value
- Durable and less likely to weaken like a 4 legged table when being dragged
A Tall Order: Table Height
While there are many different table height options available, there are also standard sizes that are used in hospitality environments. One of the most important considerations when choosing the appropriate table height for your hotel and restaurant furniture is allowing enough space for guests to sit comfortably and without restriction. Ensuring that restaurant chairs can fit easily under table tops may seem an obvious point, but people will feel more relaxed while dining if they are able to cross their legs without feeling constrained.
- Poseur tables – for a comfortable seating experience, poseur tables should be around 1100mm in height. This is to accommodate bar stoolswhich are typically taller in design.
- Restaurant tables – the ideal restaurant table height is 720mm. It’s important to ensure that aren’t too high (sometimes caused by a thick table top on a standard base), as this can create too much space between the chair and the table creating an uncomfortable dining experience
- Bar tables/side tables –are a good option for accompanying in a bar or restaurant waiting area and should be around 600mm in size. Giving the ideal height to perch a late night drink.
- Coffee tables – coffee tables are rarely used to eat at, which is why their typical height is around 450mm. But they are occasionally positioned in front of lounge chairs if serving afternoon tea or snacks.
Food for Thought
Following this dining table size guide will ensure that your restaurant or bar accommodates the maximum covers, without having an over-crowded room. A well-designed dining room can decrease wait time for guests, with traffic flow being a crucial consideration. A restaurant dining room with too much traffic will increase noise and accidents, whilst also decreasing overall turnover.
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