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How to Calculate the Maximum Capacity for a Restaurant

It can be difficult to make money in the restaurant business, so owners are constantly looking for new ways to boost their profits. One way of increasing revenues is to maximise the dining area so that a greater number of people can eat at the restaurant. For example, if your restaurant has large banquet tables that aren't used, remove a couple of them and insert smaller tables that can accommodate more groups of people. Before you can maximise your dining space, however, you'll have to know the maximum number of occupants your restaurant can hold.

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  1. Measure the length and width of your dining area. If you have separate dining rooms or dining areas, measure these separately.

  2. Multiply the lengths and widths of each dining area separately. Record each of these calculations.

  3. Measure the length and width of any parts of the dining areas that are not used for seating. Multiply the lengths and widths of these areas together separately. Add these figures together and record the number you obtain.

  4. Add together each of the calculations you made in Step 2. Subtract from this figure the final figure you obtained in Step 3. This figure is the total square footage of your restaurant's seating area.

  5. Divide the square footage of your restaurant's seating figure by 15. Generally, 15 square feet per person is the accepted amount of space restaurants should allocate to each customer. The figure you obtain is your restaurant's maximum seating capacity.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator

About the Author

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordan Whitehouse has been writing on food and drink, small business, and community development since 2004. His work has appeared in a wide range of online and print publications across Canada, including Atlantic Business Magazine, The Grid and Halifax Magazine. Whitehouse studied English literature and psychology at Queen's University, and book and magazine publishing at Centennial College.

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