Update on Table Size Restrictions for Restaurants and Bars

The following was sent to us the morning of October 8, 2020 from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove.

Good morning,

In the past several months, we’ve spoken to hundreds of leaders and business owners in the restaurant and bar industry. We’re reaching out with an update today on table size restrictions.

Effective today [10/8/20], the Minnesota Department of Health released updated guidance increasing the table size for restaurants and bars.

The guidance includes the following specific points:

  • Limits party size in dining rooms to 10 people.
  • Limits party size in bar areas to 4 persons.
  • Requires patrons in all areas to be seated.

The change to parties of 10 or fewer, while continuing to social distance at least six feet between tables, will allow restaurants more flexibility to optimize space as they serve customers. We know based on your feedback that with the weather getting colder and the holiday season approaching, this change will provide some new revenue opportunities for restaurants.

Minnesotans have a strong sense of the common good. They know that taking commonsense health and safety steps help to slow the spread of COVID19, and in turn save lives. This change to allow more people at a table or in a party is based on this strong sense of personal responsibility to our community and, we are confident that Minnesotans – young and old – will do the right thing to keep themselves and others safe.

We believe this small change will provide restaurants a needed degree of flexibility without markedly increasing the risk. We’ll continue to partner with our colleagues at the Minnesota Department of Health to monitor the trajectory of the virus in Minnesota and respond accordingly.

Please share this information with your networks. I look forward to continuing to work together in the weeks and months ahead.


Steve Grove |Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
1st National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota St., Suite E200, St. Paul MN 55101
DEED Website