AJAR.id – Hello Ajarian! A floor plan is a map of how the tables are to be positioned in a dining area or restaurant. A new floor plan is created in many hotels for each and every service session.
While these floor plans may all be similar, there will sometimes be subtle variations, and at other times big differences between them. Much of what we do in the hospitality industry is based on intelligent and adequate planning. A floor plan is one aspect of that planning.
A floor plan sets out:
- Where the tables will be physically positioned
- The number of covers on each table
- The table numbers
- Which waiters will serve which tables
Table arrangement and placement can vary according to the type and style of the menu being served, and each floor plan must take a number of points into consideration to ensure customer convenience and safety. These points may include:
You may need to check reservation details for some information, such as: number of guests, size of bookings, customer’s arrival time, special requests, needs of guests, etc. This information will affect the table arrangement.
- Shape and design of the room
This involves taking into account the structure of the room in relation to issues such as:
- Tiered floors – split level dining areas are notoriously difficult to prepare a table plan for as they tend to waste a lot of space.
- Location of windows.
- Number and size of entertainment areas.
- Required thoroughfares to allow both guest access to tables, toilets etc. and to allow staff sufficient room to move around the floor and service the tables.
- The amount of room required for staff movement must reflect the style of service being offered. For example, more room is needed between tables if gueridon trolleys are going to be used as part of the service. Most floor plans will allow several primary service routes for waiting staff to take on the floor so that all the tables can be serviced.
- Location and number of booths or alcoves that exist in the room – if applicable.
- Immovable objects
Within most rooms there will be various objects that cannot be moved and there is therefore a need to plan around them. They include: waiters stations, pillars, staircases, display cases, etc.
- Style of furniture
These will also influence the layout of the floor plan. Factors involved are:
- Shape of tables – round, square, half-moon, quarter-circle.
- Size of tables – two-person, or four-person.
- Type of chair used at the tables.
- Exits and doors
The location of doors and whether or not they open inwards or outwards must be taken into account in relation to service doors, fire exits, restroom doors and main entrance to the room.
It is standard practice to try to seat guests away from doors wherever possible as these areas are likely to be high-traffic areas that can detract from the guest enjoyment of their dining experience.
These are the considerations you need to take into account when creating a floor plan. Further points that may need to be factored in include leaving space for guests to move in and out from their table with safety and without having to ask others to stand up and providing customers with enough space around the table to grant a level of privacy. Also, avoid placing tables in draughty areas, directly under speakers or air conditioning, or too close to waiter’s stations as this will make guests feel uncomfortable.
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Written by: Alan Hickman, Nick Hyland
Subject Matter: Provide food and beverage services