I’ve started to notice what I consider to be a rather worrying trend in restaurant layouts; the boring linear square/rectangle. Invariably involving bench seats around the walls, tables, then other chairs.
In my local area alone, the Red Roses (Surbiton, Thames Ditton), Rasoy, The French Table, Panshi to name a few all employ this layout.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think this puts the atmosphere on a back foot. A little quirkiness, or imagination, helps it no end. Maybe it reduces your peak cover capacity and/or efficiency of service a little, but I for one am more inclined to return to establishments that demonstrate some flair and creativity in all departments.
Add to that an increasing penchant to reduce the spacing between tables such that it’s difficult to squeeze out without disturbing your neighbours, I fear for some in the restaurant industry, no matter how good their cuisine is.