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Table and Chair Setup Guidelines

Fearing chaos at your social gathering? With helpful guidance about table and chair setup, you'll never be at a loss about seating arrangements again.

Since the success of any get-together depends largely on seating arrangements, it's a small wonder so much emphasis is placed on seating at wedding receptions, reunions, and seminars. The secret to a wonderful seating arrangement is to strike a balance between making the most of table space and ensuring the guests are comfortably seated.

Cosco Heavy Duty 5-Piece Table and Chair Set

Type of dining
The nature of the occasion at hand should drive the type of seating arrangement you decide on. For sit-down, served dining, at least 12 to 14 square feet of space per person is required. This type of seating allows for a table, chair, and a full service aisle.

For restaurant or cafeteria type seating, 12 square feet of space is required while buffets, banquets or seminars need at least 10 square feet to comfortably seat your guests. A little more space-efficient, cocktail and theatre style seating requires around 8 square feet of space per person, including the isle.

Things to keep in mind
Lateral seating requires at least 24 to 30 inch of space in between, while diagonal seating is the most space-efficient type. However, if you are planning to have arm chairs or oversize chairs at the tables, they will end up taking more space than estimated.

Minimum aisle dimension should be at least 36 inches in perimeter areas while 42 inches is preferred between rows. When chairs are placed back to back, make sure there is enough space along the service aisle even when chairs are pushed back.

Seating made Easy
The following guide will help you determine how many people will comfortably fit around each size table. For seminar uses, there will be seating on only one side of the table, so make sure you calculate the number of people accordingly.


  • 36-inch table seats four people
  • 42-inch table seats five people
  • 48-inch table seats five people
  • 54-inch table seats six people
  • 60-inch table seats eight people
  • 72-inch table seats 10 people


  • 24-inch x 60-inch table seats two people
  • 24-inch x 72-inch table seats three to four people
  • 24-inch x 96-inch table seats four to five people
  • 30-inch x 72-inch table seats six people
  • 30-inch x 96-inch table seats eight people

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