A crowded restaurant is good news for you, the owner. But for the patron? Not always. While a full house definitely communicates to customers the fact that they have selected an eatery that’s popular and where the food must be great, an overwhelming feeling of being crowded can have the effect of claustrophobia and irritation.
Obviously you can only provide so much seating space according to legal regulations, but make sure you take a good look when planning for space so that your patrons are not overly squished—-fine at certain bars, but not on the main floor. Talk with your waitstaff and buspersons to see what they think about serving in the arrangement and amount of between-table space you have allotted. They will be honest with you as their tips depend on service that, in turn, depends on traffic patterns that work. No customers enjoy being jostled, bumped into, dripped on, and being exposed to the other hazards and indignities (the waiter’s behind backing into their shoulder!) of trying to enjoy a meal while the table next to them is getting set up, served, or cleaned up. Think about your restaurant furniture layout before purchasing any chairs, barstools or tables.