Table Spacing & Dimensions

Guidelines for restaurant and cafeteria table tables.  Capacities are based on standard chair sizes. 

Having the right combination of sizes of tables in a restaurant can decrease wait time for customers and can maximize seating capacity and profit.

 Use small tables in small restaurants and then combine them to accommodate parties of varying sizes. Be aware that combining tables may cause some temporary seating capacity loss (e.g. two 4-person tables combined to seat only six customers).

Table spacing and aisle allowances

What determines Table Size?

The architectural standard for dining suggests that 300 square inches be allowed per diner.

The table on the left (above) would be an appropriate size for fast food restaurants, cafe and coffee shop dining. 30" X 44" = 1320 Square inches. Divide that number by the suggested 300 square inches per diner and you arrive at more than adequate table space for four persons. The table on the right still seats four however, the 24" X 44" table top size yields only 264 Square inches of space per person suggesting that this size table would be appropriate only for fast food restaurants or the most basic, quick-serve coffee shop, diner, employee lunchroom or the like.


Some menus require larger than the recommended minimum 300 square inches per diner. Fine dining restaurants, Pizza restaurants, Mexican restaurants and many Asian style restaurants require more table space for utensils, condiments, serving platters and other serving style equipment. Some food service operations, like hospital cafeterias and school cafeterias use trays. The primary considerations for determining the tabletop size you need is WHAT you are serving your customers and HOW you are serving them. If you have space limitations, consider placing fewer tables in the room rather than creating an unpleasant experience for your customers and additional problems for your wait staff.