Social Hour: Redesigning Your Space for (Socially Distanced) Indoor Dining


Restaurants reopening after COVID lockdown this year have followed government guidelines on stages of reduced capacity to allow a safe environment. But reduced capacity isn’t just about removing a certain number of tables and chairs and calling it a day. There’s a lot of planning that needs to happen to ensure your space satisfies safety concerns and provides a comfortable experience for your customers.

Katie Perkins of Kaper Design has switched gears this year from designing new restaurants to helping restaurant clients rearrange their space for post-lockdown indoor dining. She shared what she’s learned from the experience and offered tips to event professionals during this week’s Social Hour virtual roundtable.

Perkins said the top considerations you need to get started with redesigning your space for socially distanced indoor dining include:

  • Establishing a customer zone and an employee zone that defines where these two groups will move through your space
  • Defining the paths of travel that customers and employees will take
  • Noting areas that are not movable to other areas of your venue, including the kitchen, bar, host area, and server station
  • Identifying the tables that are your “profit tables,” based on which tables usually generate a lot of business and consider if you can create a safe zone for those tables

You can view the recording of our discussion, Social Hour: Redesigning Your Space for (Socially Distanced) Indoor Dining, below:

More resources for event professionals

If you’ve missed our past roundtables, you can access recordings of Social Hour online. Event professionals can also find more tips for the hospitality industry on our blog; by listening to our Two Chicks, Three Seats podcast; and by joining our Facebook group, Event Manager Community, to connect with peers and discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the events industry.

Perkins recently appeared on an episode of our podcast, and you can find the full episode in our blog post, Two Chicks, Three Seats Episode 17: Tips for Adjusting Your Restaurant’s Space with Design Expert Katie Perkins.