Why Restaurant Table Numbers Matter

Numbering tables is a standard, day-to-day practice in the hospitality industry. Find out more about how digital systems take restaurant table numbering into consideration.

For more on keeping control over a venue’s table capacity, read our article “Time Limits on Reservations? — Restaurant Booking App” for top tips on what today’s customers want.

Why Implement Restaurant Table Numbers?

Numbering tables is one of the basic methods front of house staff use to manage the restaurant floor. This includes everything restaurants need to operate, from seating customers, combining tables, and delivering food and drink. Restaurant table numbers also provide for more advanced services — optimising floor plans, for instance. 

Restaurants create table plans to ensure efficient service. Contact with customers depends on knowing where and when they are in the table plan. The bigger the venue, the larger the table count. 

So how do restaurants arrange these numbers?

Restaurant table numbers function on the basis of sequential order. This is basic mathematics, and nearly every restaurant works the same way. A small venue with twenty tables will use table rows — just the same as a large restaurant. Staff will typically know tables according to their row number — the 10s, 20s, 30s, and so on. This arrangement makes it easier for staff to locate customers.

Restaurants optimise their seating through such in-house operations and arrangements. Assigning guests their tables becomes much simpler when a restaurant can pinpoint them on a table plan.

table numbers matter with carbonara app
via No32

Where Do Letters Come In?

To help identify tables, some restaurants use table letters as a key to understand table plans. A table letter can indicate the location in the restaurant. For example if a restaurant has an annexed bar, table letters may come under “B”, that is, B10, B20, B30, and so on. 

However, this is sometimes superfluous. Restaurants can simply use numbers to mark table type. Letters aren’t necessary, as restaurants can simply stick to numbers. For instance, restaurants can simply label tables in the bar as “210” etc. instead of “B10”.

What About Digital Table Inventories?

A tech solution speeds up processes such as guest turnover, helping restaurants make use of online reservations. Smartphones are helping to speed up restaurant services — but the transition from physical to virtual keyboards has formulated an issue.

In 2007 when the Apple iPhone first came into popular usage, people became familiar with smartphone keyboard software. This smartphone feature came with an array of options, providing various on-screen keyboards, all with auto-correct and multi-touch functions.

Virtual keyboards include a number pad to facilitate typing numbers. However, the number pad is separate from the standard virtual qwerty keyboard, meaning restaurants that want to use letters to signify tables must switch between the virtual keyboards, stifling their time in doing so.

keypads
courtesy of Canva

Apps Account For This Need

On a digital system, sticking to a number pad is quicker than inputting letters. 

Using a smartphone, users have to switch between alpha and numeric keyboards. So when identifying tables in a restaurant, it is best to stick with a numeric keypad for typing in restaurant table numbers. 

To adopt a singular method, follow these steps.

  1. Arrange numbers. Choose which numbers precede a table to place it in a plan. For instance, if a restaurant has a bar and patio, categorise these with different first numbers. Bar tables can go under 200; patio tables can go under 300.
  2. Practice them. Give your arrangement a trial run. If staff are happy with locating tables both quickly and efficiently, then you’re good to go.
  3. Make table orders easier. Now you’ve done it, your venue has successfully made it easier to distinguish tables without having to use letters.

Find Out More About Carbonara App’s Table Ordering Service

To complement speedy table numbering, Carbonara App also provides a free table organising service.

Integrating a digital solution to table management improves order efficiency. From the staff’s point of view, physically jotting down restaurant table numbers with a pen-and-paper notepad can be awkward. To be quick, servers have to speedily jot down customer orders, risking illegibility later on. Learn more.

Did you know mobile ordering increases sales? Read our article, “Mobile Drinks Ordering to Promote Restaurant Drink Sales” to learn more.