Dining establishmentss want us to share the dining experience–pushing aside the two-tops and setting a communal table into their dining room floor plans.
Shared eating spaces are popping up in both hip urban bistros and suburban chains, creating more welcoming environments that operators say help to build community, loyalty and sales — as long as they fit a concept’s image and don’t disrupt traffic flow or other diners.
“Communal tables deliver a more inviting, welcoming restaurant experience for two reasons,” said Judy Kadylak, marketing director for Burlington, Vt.-based Bruegger’s Enterprises Inc. “First, they send a clear message to guests that large groups are welcome, which helps to build loyalty and drive sales. Second, they send the message that this is a welcoming place where neighbors can catch up or strangers can become friends.”
Bruegger’s has been adding communal tables in new construction and remodeled units since April 2010, said Kadylak, noting that the tables underscore Bruegger’s brand message that it is a neighborhood bakery.