For those who want to know everything.

What is table mapping?

Q: What is table mapping?


A: Important!


So, here’s the deal. Anyone can seat a four top at a four top and a two top where the two top’s go. The real skill is:


  • Making your guests as happy as possible.
  • Making your servers as happy as possible.
  • Getting maximum BIS (butts in seats)
  • Not to overwhelm the kitchen.


This is done by a good table mapper. The table mapper:


  • Makes the guest’s happy by seating them the in the right part of the restaurant based on what they are celebrating, how old they are (a 100 year old usually can’t hear as well, so you don’t seat them next to the 8-top bachelorette party), or what their objective is (business meeting, celebration, proposal, etc.). You can also make the guest happy by seating them with an appropriate server. In this sense table-mappers are match makers.
  • You can make your servers happy by seating the right type of guests in their section. (Ever worked with a really hyper, cheery person? They should get the party tables and maybe not the table that is coming in after a funeral.)
  • Sometimes turn times are tight. A great table-mapper will know (as best one can) how to seat tables to get maximum turns out of those tables. (Usually a couple bringing in a toddler is not going to dine for as long as, say, a date-night table that is “getting away from the kids for the first time in two years.” If you need to seat a table for a second turn 90 minutes after its first seating, you now know who to seat there, and you get that information by taking a reservation like a pro.)
  • Mapping out tables as to not seat two big-tops at the same time is an example of how to NOT overwhelm your kitchen team.


Unfortunately many restaurants don’t think this far ahead, but the more streamlined a restaurant becomes, more pro they grow, the more proper table mapping makes sense.



For more on how to be the best host/maitre d/hostess, read these helpful articles:


Should you become a hostess? Read Hostess Job Description to find out. (Don’t let the name of the article fool you, this article has a lot of information on how to be great at the job.)

New to hosting? Training a host at your restaurant? This article will help you: Be a great hostess

Need a great resume to get in with the best restaurant in town? No problem. Look at Create a Great Server Resume for ideas and templates.

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