Is your restaurant so crowded it's turning off some guests?

Owners of bars and restaurants all over the world naturally want their business to be running at full capacity. While of course this is ideal financially, sometimes when things go well and this happens, a sudden lack of room for customers can cause problems. In addition to unwanted pressure on bar and kitchen staff, crowded bars and restaurants can quickly become uncomfortable for your guests. This means your thriving, crowded establishment could even begin to put off loyal patrons. Here are some changes that bar and restaurant owners can make to remedy the problem.


When business owners find that their bar or restaurant is consistently busy and overcrowded, many consider relocation as a means of easing congestion. The recent success of the business is likely to mean that investment in a larger space is an option, however it is vital that in such cases, bar and restaurant owners think ahead. The sad fact is that just about all bars and restaurants go through quiet periods just as they do busy ones. So, while relocating to a large premise might seem like a good solution—or even a necessity—at one time, it might be regretted later on.

Relocation could also cause problems for existing clientele. The reason for your venue’s popularity might be partially due to your location. If you cannot find a larger space in the same vicinity, moving elsewhere might mean your bar or restaurant is no longer convenient for your customers. This could result in their rarely visiting in the future, if it all.

Additional Premises

Similarly, some bar and restaurant owners opt to open an additional space. Again, this might be ideal and successful in the short term, but there is no guarantee that the popularity of your establishment will last. All too often restaurant owners decide to invest in a second venue, only to suffer later on and be forced to close one, if not both.

It’s not only foot traffic you need to consider in opening additional premises. Business owners also need to honestly evaluate whether they can give the required attention to both/all bars and restaurants. If one or more venues get neglected, it will almost certainly fail as a supplementary business venture.

Installing a Mezzanine

Rather than choosing to take on the task of finding new or additional property to move into, there is a far less interruptive option; installing a mezzanine floor. A mezzanine in a bar or restaurant can offer the additional floor space needed. Whether for more seating, a second bar, a bigger kitchen or toilets, a mezzanine can be designed with specific requirements in mind. It’s worth being aware that mezzanine installation causes minimal disruption as well.

Mezzanines also offer a charming feature to this kind of venue, which can help bar and restaurant owners achieve the inviting atmosphere they’re looking for. With warm lighting, foliage, and soft furnishings, this space could soon become your customers’ favourite area. In a bar specifically, many owners and managers choose to reserve this space as a VIP area, or for private functions.

In the current climate, property prices are high and optimal locations are difficult to find. While it’s a blessing to be in the position of simply needing more space because business is booming, it can be a tricky balancing act between accommodating more clientele and maintaining the status quo. The last thing you want is to lose customers, or put people off visiting your establishment, which is why installing a mezzanine floor could be the right solution.

Kirstin Monk is a marketing manager at Hi-Level Mezzanines, one of Europe’s leading mezzanine floor manufacturers.

Expert Takes, Feature, Restaurant Design