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QUESTION: Dear Brian

Do you recommend to have separate rooms for customers seating which classifies as vegetarian and non vegetarian food served in a restaurant?.


ANSWER: I don't know how things are in India, but that seems a little excessive in my opinion. When I owned my restaurant, the only way we seated our customers separately was smoking or non-smoking or indoors vs outdoors on the patio.

In the US, vegetarians have to be around meat eaters all the time, so they have to learn to adapt.

Are you worried that if someone is a vegetarian and they see or smell someone at another table eating meat, they might be offended?

If that's a big concern, then I'd consider having two separate restaurants. Because if they're that concerned out in the dining room, then they'd also probably be concerned about what's going on back in the kitchen and worried about their vegetarian food coming in contact with utensils or cutting boards that had meat on them.

So bottom line, I either wouldn't worry about it at all or if it was a big enough concern, then I'd have two separate restaurants. But separate dining rooms into vegetarian vs non vegetarian doesn't make sense to me.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Brian


Do you recommend to have three different rooms for customers seating which classifies as vegetarian, non vegetarian and both food service in a Restaurant?.


Having three separate rooms seems like more overkill than having two. I wouldn't do it.

I'd either have them all together in one dining room (and not worry about who is vegetarian and who isn't) or I'd open completely separate restaurants (one that is vegetarian and one that isn't).

But I wouldn't recommend separating customers in the dining room based on whether they're vegetarian or not.

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Brian Ash


I can answer any type of question related to the restaurant industry. I started and owned my own restaurant for 15 years. I now own a web based business selling a piece of kitchen equipment (The Drain Strainer) that I invented in my restaurant as well as own my own marketing agency (Calibrate Marketing). If you have questions about running or marketing your restaurant, then feel free to ask me anything.


I started and have owned three restaurants for over 15 years. We started our restaurants from scratch and learned it all along the way. My duties included financials, marketing, hiring (everything except cooking). Before owning my restaurants, I was an engineer. My main job title is "problem solver". If you've got a problem and you're stumped on how to proceed, then even if I don't know the right answer, I can at least point you in the right direction.

Rotary Club of Springfield MO, American Cancer Society Action Network, Springfield MO Chamber of Commerce

Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Master's Degree in Engineering Managment from the University of Missouri - Science and Technology.

Awards and Honors
Awarded 2008 Restaurateur of The Year by the MO Restaurant Association.

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