Your restaurant or bar may have had to close during the Coronavirus outbreak and may be looking to open back up soon if you’re lucky. While you may be accepting and seating customers again, it will be crucial to set up your dining space to promote healthy distancing. We’ve compiled our ideas to help you maximize the number of guests you can serve while continuing to keep distance between customers. With some planning and the right equipment, you can set up your restaurant to serve your customers and keep them safe.

Distancing in Restaurant

Front of House Layout for Social Distancing

If your restaurant has a dining room area, it’s important to properly space out customers in all points of the space. Whether it’s in an order line, seated at tables, or even in the restroom line, your customers should always be spaced to keep six feet of distance. This can be challenging in small spaces, but we’ve laid out some tips for the best way to do this.

Space Out Tables

Tables should be spaced so that customers can maintain six feet of distance while eating. Some customers might be dining together but should still be separated from other customers. Ensure your table and seating layout reflects this. 

Tip: Do you have countertop seating? Consider spacing out stools for additional room between guests. 

Eliminate Unused Furniture

If you’re spacing tables out, you will find you likely have extras that cannot fit in the space. Store the tables instead of blocking them off if you are able. Guests may be uncomfortable by the look of blocked off tables as it serves as a reminder of the tough time everyone is in.  

Tip: If you are unable to move furniture, consider adding a tablecloth only to the tables that can be used, and use signs to block off the other tables. 

Offer Sanitizer or Disinfectant

If you can stock sanitizer and/or disinfectant wipes at your restaurant, have some out for customer use. This can add to the comfort level of customers and will also promote sanitary conditions. 

Mark Spacing for Lines

The restroom or checkout line may not be on your mind when thinking of reopening your restaurant to guests, but it’s essential to space your lines for proper distancing. Mark off properly distanced spaces for lines in the restroom and at checkout/ordering areas to keep customers safe. Utilize ropes or signs to mark off six feet of distance for guests. 

Restaurant patio seating

Utilize Outdoor Space for Additional Seating

If your restaurant space isn’t optimal for social distancing, but you still need room to seat guests, try your outdoor spaces. While you may not have a designated patio, you can still easily seat customers outside using some creativity.

Patio Seating

Your restaurant patio is a no-brainer when it comes to additional seating. Space out tables like your indoor seating to continue promoting social distancing. Be sure to store extra furniture that cannot be used due to space constraints. 

Parking Lot Space

Do you have your own parking lot for your place? Utilize part of your lot for additional guest seating. This space can help accommodate more customers that you may not be able to seat otherwise due to spacing issues.

Tip: Don’t have any outdoor seating? Try folding tables and folding chairs for convenient and quick seating.

Crowd Control Products

Central offers a variety of helpful products for controlling crowds and promoting social distancing. Shop helpful products for reopening your restaurant to the public here. 

Additional Resources 

Looking for more information on best practices for Coronavirus and food safety? Learn more here.