In restaurants and other hospitality outlets, the seating layout/plan refers to the arrangement of tables and chairs; where the designer would have tried to optimize the available space to accommodate the maximum number of seats, while keeping in mind the circulation spaces needed for service and minimum appropriate distance between two adjacent tables.
Most layouts include tables for larger groups (up to ten people) or have the flexibility to join tables together for the convenience of a larger group. In buffet areas, there are typically more options for seating of larger groups.
In large sit-down dinners or formal banquets, seating layouts indicate the position of each guest at the table. This helps to avoid chaos and confusion among the guests and to follow the etiquette.
Seating layouts/plans are also used in theatres and auditoriums, where the audience is seated on numbered seats, in rows, with aisles separating the rows in a way that enables maximum people to get the best view of the stage/screen, and also for convenience.
In trains, buses and airplanes too, seats are placed on either sides of aisles and numbered for the smooth operations of the travel service as well as for the convenience of the passengers.