Foodservice operators calculate turnover how frequently seats or tables are occupied by new customers in a given time period to increase revenue flow. Seat turnover is the number of times a seat is used by different individuals during a particular meal period or time; table turnover is the number of times a table is used by different parties during a particular meal period or time.
Consider a restaurant that has 100 seats, is open for 4 hours, and serves 200 diners during those 4 hours. Its seat turnover would be 200/ 100 = 2.0 turns per seat. Table turnover is equally simple to calculate: If a restaurant has 30 tables, is open for 4 hours, and serves 90 parties during those 4 hours, its table turnover would be 90/30 = 3 turns per table. These calculations help operators measure how well their restaurants use seating capacity.
Table turnover is generally higher than seat turnover, depending on discrepancies in a restaurant’s mix of party and table sizes. Larger tables generally turnover more slowly than smaller tables because serving larger parties requires more time. Obviously, turnover will be lower in a fine dining restaurant than in a fast casual restaurant due to longer preparation and service times. Some restaurants feature banquet style seating at large tables for all customers, in which case seat turnover will be higher than table turnover.
Kimes, S. E. (1989). The basics of yield management. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 30(4), 15.