It’s Time to Look at Your Restaurant Tabletops in a New Light

Your dining room’s tabletop is where all the magic happens. Guests experience most of what you have to offer on your tables. Great food, cool drinks, warm service and most of your direct marketing all happen there.

But are you doing it right? That is a question we have decided to ask with this four-part series on what great tabletop execution looks like. Our goal is simple: make you think differently about your tables and how you manage them.

No doubt you have seen tables in a dining room that look more like a hoarder is in charge than a professional restaurant manager. Understanding this key real estate in your restaurant is our first topic on this exploration of how the tabletop influences the guest experience. We offer you some tried and true best practices, while allowing you to see your tables as more partner in your business than a thing that constantly needs repairing, cleaning and clearing.

Here's what you can expect over the next few months.

De-escalate Your Tabletop Clutter: A Best Practices for Tabletop Set Up

Tabletop space is prime real estate. So many of us are already forcing our guests to eat at tables barely big enough to fit one person’s dish and drinks, let alone two or more. And even if your establishment has larger tables, how you set up your tabletop can play into your guests’ overall experience and satisfaction.

How often do we see our guests move or rearrange our tabletops? This is a good sign that maybe our tabletops are a little too cluttered. At the same time, we don’t want our guests painfully trying to flag down their server to get a condiment they need. In this post we’ll look at best practices for tabletop set up. What should be on there, what can be regulated to asking the server, how to keep it tidy, and more.

Technology & Your Tabletop

Nearly three-quarters of restaurant owners and managers know that restaurant technology provides a competitive advantage (73%) and increases profitability (73%), but almost half say they’re lagging behind in tech adoption (43%).

That’s insane and it’s hurting a lot of businesses.

In this post we’ll look at current and emerging technology that’s changing the tabletop landscape. There’s a lot to choose from outside of mobile payment, so figuring out what will make the biggest impact on your restaurant’s business will be key.

National Branding & What it Says About Your Business

Studies have shown that 76% of consumers are more likely to visit your restaurant if you’re partnered with a leading brand. This is important when building promotions but it’s also important to your overall image. You wouldn’t sell generic brand soda over Coke or Pepsi, right? Why would you put some no-name condiments on your tabletop instead of French’s, or generic salt when you could go with McCormick’s? Aligning your restaurant with well-known and well-respected brands can go a long way to improving the prestige of your restaurant and the overall quality of the food.

This post will go into more depth about choosing the right tabletop brands and how to work with them so you can give your guests the best experience you can.

The Tabletop: Your Most Effective Place to Market

Most of us are good at marketing to potential guests to get them to visit our locations, but we’re not as vigilant at marketing to guests who already in at our tables. Marketing to your existing guests that are sitting at your tables is a great way of getting them to come back. They already know who you are and a captive audience when in your seats. That’s doubly so for marketing to guests via your tabletop. We’ll look at what you should be marketing through your tabletops and the most effective ways of getting those messages across to your guests.


Get ready to look at your tabletop in a whole new light.