# How to Calculate Seating Capacity of a Restaurant

by Aaron Reynolds; Updated September 26, 2017When you visit a restaurant, chances are you'll immediately discover a sign on one of the walls in the front of the building that informs customers about the maximum seating capacity of the restaurant. Maximum seating capacity is a regulation designed by the fire department to prevent chaos in the event of a quick evacuation. Here's how you can calculate the seating capacity.

Calculate the square footage of the room. If the room is square, use a tape measure to find the length and width of the room. Multiply those two numbers and the answer is the square footage. For a triangular area, measure the base of the triangle and its height. Multiply the base by the height and divide this amount by two. The answer is your square footage for a triangular room.

Decide what kind of tables you will use, how long and wide these tables are, and the maximum number of seats per table. For example, say you want to use 60-inch banquet (round) tables and will allow eight people per table. Now you have a type of table, the size of the table and number of people allowed per table.

Calculate the square footage into the type and size of tables to find the seating capacity of the room. For example, if the square footage of the room is 600 feet, you'll discover that 60-inch banquet tables with eight people per table will hold a maximum of 50 people and just over five tables. Several seating capacity calculators exist online to do the dirty work for you.

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