Why Do Restaurants Put Chairs on Tables?

A lot of restaurant owners say the major reason why restaurants put chairs on tables is that they want full access to the floors when sweeping or vacuuming. The chairs, while staying on the floor may disrupt the cleaners from reaching most areas of the floor surface.

But could this be the only reason?

I just left my favorite restaurant about an hour ago, it is not too far from my workplace. Whenever I’m going home and I pass by the restaurant, I usually observe that they put chairs on the tables in the restaurant towards the close of the day’s sales.

And it appears this happens in most restaurants – even at the food chain where my sister once worked at.

This made me wonder why restaurants put chairs on tables?

I mean, I believe the seating area is the heart of any restaurant. This includes the table, chairs, tone, and overall ambiance of the restaurant.

Why then do they put chairs on tables?

Personally, it is not only delicious food and great customer service that keeps me returning to the same restaurant; it is the environment, the decor, HYGIENE, and the overall atmosphere of the establishment.

If there was something logical about putting chairs on tables, I wanted to know the end of it.

This urged me to do some deeper research and even reach out to my sister who once worked in a restaurant. I also reached out to David, the manager of the restaurant I usually visited, and ask him about this.

I was able to gather some facts, and that’s what makes this post.

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Reasons why restaurants put chairs on their table

When I contacted these Individuals for accurate and straight-to-the-point answers, they took the question so likely.

It sounded like they thought it is a common thing everyone should know.

“Who the hell doesn’t know why we put chairs on tables?”

Now, the major reason why restaurants put chairs on tables is that they want full access to the floors when sweeping or vacuuming.

The chairs, while staying on the floor may disrupt the cleaners from reaching most areas of the floor surface.

Since most of the space is taken the chairs, they are kept in a way to clean the restaurant floor and surroundings. And apparently, if it is not done that way, there is no space for cleaning staff to clean the restaurant.

Having understood this, this was my pointers in answering the questions “why do restaurant put chairs on tables”

  • To create space for cleaning staff to clean the restaurant
  • For sweeping, brushing, and mopping the floors
  • So that all crumbs and foods on the chairs will fall off for easy vacuuming
  • To indicate a sign of the restaurant closing
  • For space management in rare cases

If you have wondered why restaurants put chairs on tables, it is a very good observation. And the above pointers are possible answers to whatever the situation may be.

In my opinion, putting chairs on tables to indicate a sign of the restaurant closing may not be effective for a smaller restaurant that is right on the main street.

For instance, the small restaurant which I visit during evening break at work may still have customers in the restaurant, but what David does is to put the first row of table chairs up on the tables to deter additional customers from coming in.

This pretty much explains why most restaurants set up would include chairs that are lighter and easy to maneuver.

What to do whenever you get into a restaurant and realize the chairs are on their tables?

Why Do Restaurants Put Chairs on Tables

Imagine having waited the whole day to get a seat at the talk-of-the-town restaurant in town and finally, the hour has come. You roll up just in time and about to walk in.

You open the door and… you’re seeing that most of the chairs in the restaurant are placed on the table that is directly beside them?

You look around and it is just the same for every other chair, what do you then do?

This is a very negligible situation especially when it is a small restaurant right beside the main street. If the restaurant places chairs on tables to indicate that they are closed for the day, then you are left with no choice but to look elsewhere to eat or get your favorite coffee.

Chairs placed on tables in a restaurant can mean different things. However, with the understanding of the answer that has been provided in this article, you should know that it is either the restaurant is about to clean and mop, or they are about to close.

None of these two possible situations encourages you to still remain inside the restaurant.

It is therefore advised at that moment to consider sitting outside on the covered “porch” area. Just pray that it is at lunchtime Monday to Thursday because that is when the least crowd would be there.

Alternatively sitting in the middle of the outside is fine as well.

Another option is to can call for a reservation or if you have an account with a restaurant online website, you can make your reservations online.

If you are not in the best position to do any of these, then Just be prepared to wait.

But since the overall cleaning of the restaurant floor is usually done towards the end of the day’s sales, you may likely never get into a restaurant for lunch and meet chairs on tables.

Restaurant owners understand that the seating is literally what keeps guests to the table, so they always make sure that their customers get the most from it.

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Is it hygienic for restaurants to put chairs on their table?

On second thought, some people do argue that it is not a hygienic approach for restaurants to place chairs on tables.

There are some café and other food places that wipe the tables down. It is after this that they now put chairs onto the tables so that mopping/vacuuming of the floor becomes easier.

The worse part Is that the table is not being wiped after the chair is place back on the floor in the morning.

This is quite unhygienic because the dirtiest part of the chair is plonked, with all its weight onto a wiped clean table.

But logically, customers eat food off a plate rather than the table. So the above argument proves immaterial.

My sister who worked in a pizza food chain says the tables are wiped first thing, frequently throughout the day and then the last thing at night.

Judging from these measures, which most restaurants do take, I do think there is nothing Unhygienic about placing chairs on tables in restaurants.

After all, people aren’t dropping down dead after visiting restaurants, are they??

Can this approach be used in the home at the dining table?

In terms of approach, you only would want to try this in the home at the dining table for the purpose of cleaning or mopping.

Yes, you can place chairs on your dining table when you are washing the kitchen floor. In my opinion, it is the best way to have access to all the floor area surfaces of the kitchen or dining.

However, it would only be best when the chairs are easy to carry and maneuver. A heavy-duty chair can not be easily carried and placed on the table.

Even when you successfully have it placed on the table, you run the risk of having the table broken.

Applying the approach of placing chairs on tables makes it easier to run the mop around.

In addition, even at some schools, the students would have to put their chairs upside down on their desks in order to make it easier for the school custodians to get dirt, dust, crumbs, ants, etc off the floor.

Apart from the home, other public places where there are a lot of chairs and tables do this because there are janitors in the building.


In conclusion, I have come to realize that placing chairs on tables in restaurants is really no big deal. Apart from the ‘restaurant’ scope. It is simply a better and logical method to make cleaning the floor easier and faster.

I am sure you now know why restaurants place chairs on tables. If at all it is not for the purpose of cleaning, mopping, and washing the floor easily, it would be to serve as a signal of indication that the restaurant is about to close or is closed for the day’s sales.

Finally, understanding that the seating area of any given restaurant is the heart of the establishment, it is crucial for restaurant cleaners to exercise maximum hygienic measures while placing chairs on tables to clean the table.

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