Communal dining design was a trend that took the restaurant world by storm and is only growing in popularity today: communal dining. Maybe it’s a throwback to the time we all sat around big family tables and talked politics and economics in between bites of Aunt Misty’s apple pie. Maybe it’s a bow to the beer gardens of Europe or too old teahouse traditions. Either way, these large, multi-group seating arrangements are springing up around the country, made popular by places such as Belgian-based Le Pain Quotidien.
When you include a communal dining table in your interior design you’re making a statement to the people you serve: we value your society. You’re also taking a big step toward nurturing a community centered around your food, and a culture unique to your own brand.
Communal Dining Design in Interior Designs
From an interior design standpoint, communal tables are one of the easiest seating arrangements to implement, as well as the most economical. Although communal tables require much less floor space than do individual seating arrangements, it is important to make sure seats are spaced to allow sufficient table space for each patron. No one likes someone else’s elbows in their meals, and enough room to spread out multiple courses put down a phone or tablet, and have a little over is essential.
Communal tables work best when they’re more than just blank cafeteria-style eating spaces. Add some flavor and a little bit of unique décor to give the space a cozy feel and allow your patrons to have an immersive experience. Some of the most successful communal dining tables are centered around grills, banquet-style service, or chef’s counters.
Leaving Room for the Introvert: Space to be Alone
Not everyone wants to be part of a block party, and even if you decide to convert the main seating area in your restaurant to communal-style dining you’ll want to offer more private seating options as well. Window seat booths and tables-for-two are good options and provide an easy escape for the introvert as well as a more focused environment for date nights.