4 Helpful Tips for Your Restaurant Interior Design This 2018

Enrique Estagle

22 August 2017    |   

Your restaurant interior design shouldn’t be an afterthought, and should be designed in a way that will drive more profit to your business. But how? To help you get started, here are four helpful tips to remember when designing and constructing your next restaurant. Size Matters Constructing your next restaurant starts with looking at the bare space you are going to lease or purchase. Size is everything, and you should remember to always measure twice and cut once. Total Food Service wrote an extensive guide on how to create your restaurant’s floor plan. According to them, the rule-of-thumb is that your dining space should occupy 60% of the total area, with the remaining 40% for other spaces (kitchen, prep, storage, etc.) To add to the dining space, they also provided general guidelines on how much square footage a restaurant should allocate per customer. For them, it varies based on the type of restaurant you are running: Fine Dining: 18 to 20 sq. ft. Full-Service Dining: 12 to 15 sq. ft. Counter Service: 18 to 20 sq. ft. Fast Food: 11 to 14 sq. ft. Table Service at a Hotel or Club:  15 to 18 sq. ft. ‏Banquet: 10 to 11 sq. ft. They also recommend that you should leave a minimum of 4 to 5 ft. per table to allow free movement of servers between stations. According to Tom Strother, co-founder and creative director of interior design firm Fabled Studio, ensuring that the operational layout works seamlessly and effortlessly for the waitstaff is essential in making sure that the guests have an excellent dining experience. Take this into account when preparing your restaurant interior design. Your Cuisine Determines Your Design For Strother, the first crucial thing they consider when working on a restaurant interior design is the concept and story of the restaurant, making sure that it is translated well into  the details of the design. It’s a no-brainer that your restaurant’s layout and aesthetic should reflect the type of service and cuisine you’re going to provide. The perfect restaurant design and layout is a marriage of form and function. Not only that – in the age of social media, the perfect restaurant interior design should be Instagrammable. As part of Paula Atwell’s guide on Chron, she dished out some tips on how to lay out your restaurant based on your concept and style of service: Cafeteria-style restaurants should have a circular pattern design in order to seamlessly move customers from the entrance to the service area, down to the cashier, and to their seats. Restaurants that offer tableside cooking should allocate space for supplies and a cooking surface. Take-out-heavy restaurants should layout a clear pathway from the doorway to the counter. Start (and Finish) With a Good Impression Your restaurant’s entrance is the first and last thing your customer sees. It goes without saying that it has to be downright perfect. The balance published an extensive blog entry on how to plan your restaurant’s outdoor space. Here are some key takeaways: Invest in a professionally-made sign. Likewise, make sure that other signages (parking signs, no smoking warnings, wifi information, etc.) should be professionally done as well. Don’t settle for a monochrome print out from your laser printer. Everything has to be on brand. Provide adequate lighting that both illuminates signages at night and provides a good ambience for customers. Erect menu boards outside your establishment to give customers and passers-by a good idea of what you can offer. Complement it with a separate sandwich board that lists down the specials. If possible, provide well-appointed outdoor seating as a waiting area for customers in queue. When the weather permits, expand that area to allow customers to dine al fresco. If You Can’t Stand the Heat, You Can’t Make a Good Kitchen The heart of every restaurant is the kitchen. This is where the magic happens — where raw ingredients transform into stunning dishes for your customers. That is why it is wise for you to invest most of your time and resources to constructing your restaurant’s kitchen. There are million-and-one factors to look after to construct your kitchen. POS Sector’s blog has a definitive article on the topic. Some of the best tips they gave are: Involve your kitchen staff — the ones who will use the facility on a daily basis — in the design and planning process. Your dishwasher might have insights and perspectives that a regular plumber cannot provide. Your kitchen should be ergonomic, energy efficient, well-ventilated, and (most of all) compliant with all health and safety regulations. Don’t scrimp on kitchen equipment. Procure tools that are professional-grade. Make sure that the layout is flexible, able to easily adjust itself for the future. Define working zones: food cleaning, cutting, baking, frying, etc. This streamlines the entire process and avoids unnecessary chaos, especially at peak hours. Store tools and appliances that serve similar functions together. Your restaurant interior design definitely plays a role in your business’ profitability. Make sure that it embodies your concept and story enough to attract customers. It should also have an operational layout that works seamlessly for your waitstaff. Finally, it should enrich your guests’ dining experience. Pair that up with great food and excellent service, and you’ll see your customers coming back to your restaurant over and over again.

Your restaurant interior design shouldn’t be an afterthought, and should be designed in a way that will drive more profit to your business. But how? To help you get started, here are four helpful tips to remember when designing and constructing your next restaurant.

1

4 Helpful Tips for Your Restaurant Interior Design This 2018

Size Matters

Constructing your next restaurant starts with looking at the bare space you are going to lease or purchase. Size is everything, and you should remember to always measure twice and cut once.

Total Food Service wrote an extensive guide on how to create your restaurant’s floor plan. According to them, the rule-of-thumb is that your dining space should occupy 60% of the total area, with the remaining 40% for other spaces (kitchen, prep, storage, etc.)

To add to the dining space, they also provided general guidelines on how much square footage a restaurant should allocate per customer. For them, it varies based on the type of restaurant you are running:

  • Fine Dining: 18 to 20 sq. ft.
  • Full-Service Dining: 12 to 15 sq. ft.
  • Counter Service: 18 to 20 sq. ft.
  • Fast Food: 11 to 14 sq. ft.
  • Table Service at a Hotel or Club:  15 to 18 sq. ft.
  • ‏Banquet: 10 to 11 sq. ft.

They also recommend that you should leave a minimum of 4 to 5 ft. per table to allow free movement of servers between stations. According to Tom Strother, co-founder and creative director of interior design firm Fabled Studio, ensuring that the operational layout works seamlessly and effortlessly for the waitstaff is essential in making sure that the guests have an excellent dining experience. Take this into account when preparing your restaurant interior design.

2

Your cuisine determines your restaurant interior design

Your Cuisine Determines Your Design

For Strother, the first crucial thing they consider when working on a restaurant interior design is the concept and story of the restaurant, making sure that it is translated well into  the details of the design.

It’s a no-brainer that your restaurant’s layout and aesthetic should reflect the type of service and cuisine you’re going to provide. The perfect restaurant design and layout is a marriage of form and function. Not only that – in the age of social media, the perfect restaurant interior design should be Instagrammable.

As part of Paula Atwell’s guide on Chron, she dished out some tips on how to lay out your restaurant based on your concept and style of service:

  • Cafeteria-style restaurants should have a circular pattern design in order to seamlessly move customers from the entrance to the service area, down to the cashier, and to their seats.
  • Restaurants that offer tableside cooking should allocate space for supplies and a cooking surface.
  • Take-out-heavy restaurants should layout a clear pathway from the doorway to the counter.

3

Your restaurant interior design should start and finish with a good impression

Start (and Finish) With a Good Impression

Your restaurant’s entrance is the first and last thing your customer sees. It goes without saying that it has to be downright perfect.

The balance published an extensive blog entry on how to plan your restaurant’s outdoor space. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Invest in a professionally-made sign.
  • Likewise, make sure that other signages (parking signs, no smoking warnings, wifi information, etc.) should be professionally done as well. Don’t settle for a monochrome print out from your laser printer. Everything has to be on brand.
  • Provide adequate lighting that both illuminates signages at night and provides a good ambience for customers.
  • Erect menu boards outside your establishment to give customers and passers-by a good idea of what you can offer. Complement it with a separate sandwich board that lists down the specials.
  • If possible, provide well-appointed outdoor seating as a waiting area for customers in queue. When the weather permits, expand that area to allow customers to dine al fresco.

4

The heart of your restaurant interior design is the kitchen

If You Can’t Stand the Heat, You Can’t Make a Good Kitchen

The heart of every restaurant is the kitchen.

This is where the magic happens — where raw ingredients transform into stunning dishes for your customers. That is why it is wise for you to invest most of your time and resources to constructing your restaurant’s kitchen.

There are million-and-one factors to look after to construct your kitchen. POS Sector’s blog has a definitive article on the topic. Some of the best tips they gave are:

  • Involve your kitchen staff — the ones who will use the facility on a daily basis — in the design and planning process. Your dishwasher might have insights and perspectives that a regular plumber cannot provide.
  • Your kitchen should be ergonomic, energy efficient, well-ventilated, and (most of all) compliant with all health and safety regulations.
  • Don’t scrimp on kitchen equipment. Procure tools that are professional-grade.
  • Make sure that the layout is flexible, able to easily adjust itself for the future.
  • Define working zones: food cleaning, cutting, baking, frying, etc. This streamlines the entire process and avoids unnecessary chaos, especially at peak hours.
  • Store tools and appliances that serve similar functions together.

Your restaurant interior design definitely plays a role in your business’ profitability. Make sure that it embodies your concept and story enough to attract customers. It should also have an operational layout that works seamlessly for your waitstaff. Finally, it should enrich your guests’ dining experience. Pair that up with great food and excellent service, and you’ll see your customers coming back to your restaurant over and over again.

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How much do full time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there I went along with that, not really giving it much thought. But today the thought struck me – casuals miss out on plenty of benefits afforded to full and part timers, so are they really better off? I decided to investigate further. What follows may surprise you. First – how many days in a year does a full time employee work? Weeks in a Year: 52 Working Days in a Year: 260 So far so good. We’re going to ignore the 1 or 2 days that we’re off by, for the sake of a nice round number. Next, let’s look at this full time employee’s entitlements, in days. Annual Leave: 20 (4 weeks) Personal Leave: 10 (2 weeks) Public Holidays: 10 We’ll assume a 7.6 hour work day and 17.5% leave loading. So how many hours of leave are we paying? Annual Leave – Base: 152 Annual Leave – Loading: 26.6 Personal Leave: 76 Public Holidays: 76 Total Hours of Leave Paid: 330.6 Earlier we calculated how many days of work one can work in a year, now let’s subtract leave taken to get a more accurate figure. Days of Leave Taken: 40 Actual Days Worked in a Year: 220 Actual Hours Worked in a Year: 1672 Divide 330.6 (hours of leave paid) by 1672 (hours worked) and we get 19.77%. Remember, we are comparing this to the 25% loading paid for casual staff. So from this perspective, yes, your full time and part time staff are still cheaper – but only by 5.23%. And even that number is probably on the low side. We ignored long service leave and maternity leave because they are a bit more unreliable. Both they are also costs (or accruals) that can definitely add up! When you take into account the fact that you only have to pay casuals when you need them, it’s easy to see why more and more Australian employers are turning to casual staff. According to the ABS, this has been growing steadily since the 90’s, and today over 1 in 5 jobs in Australia are casual.

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Why Brisbane is Australia’s best city for start-ups

Since we’ve started flogging time and attendance software at Tanda, our team has bought over 40 airline tickets across Australia. We’ve been to every capital city and done business at hundreds of locations all around Australia. One thing really hit home: Brisbane is the best place to be a startup. Here are five reasons why: 1. Cost of living This is by far the biggest benefit of being in Brisbane; housing and office space are so much more within the price range of a business that’s just starting. This has allowed us to bootstrap to a considerable size without using external funding. 2. Transport This may sound like a small thing. The best advice we got when we were starting our business was “it takes a lot of shoe leather”, meaning we’d spend a lot of time on our feet talking to anyone who’ll meet with us. Driving around Brisbane is so much better than other capital cities. It’s affordable enough, and nothing is too far away. Despite what philosopher Alain de Botton might say about the Riverside Expressway, it’s one of my favourite features of the city. Because Brisbane’s not that big, we can justify having an office outside of the inner city where rent is a bit cheaper, without feeling like we are out of the loop. 3. BCC Brisbane City Council is making a very concerted effort for the future of the city to be digital. I was lucky enough to receive the Lord Mayor’s budding entrepreneur grant and have heard Cr Quirk talk about the city’s plan for the future and I’m excited about growing a business here. 4. Business community There are a number of great communities around start-ups really getting some traction in Brisbane such as River City Labs and iLab. But the other great thing about the city is how many innovative business people are willing to talk to you and lend a hand – which is particularly good for a B2B business! 5. Talent Brisbane has two great technology courses at QUT and UQ, which makes it much easier to attract and retain young talent to help build and grow our business. It’s a much tougher market for employers in other capital cities, especially those with only one technology-focused university. I’d recommend Brisbane as a great place to start a business for anyone considering starting out. The team at Brisbane Marketing & Digital Brisbane have a lot of support available to you on top of the many other benefits.

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Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should be paid in your state. First, let’s see when the holidays will be in 2014. You might be surprised! If your business is open on any of these public holidays, you’ll need to pay staff the appropriate public holiday rates. You should check your award, which will tell you exactly what multiplier or penalties to apply, often under a Public Holidays section. A common multiplier is 2.5x. Some businesses pay staff salaries, or pay casually “above award”. Public holiday penalties still apply! If you have a contract, it should cover this – check with Fair Work if you are unsure. Staff who don’t work on a public holiday If you have full or part time staff who should have worked on any of the weekday public holidays – Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Easter Tuesday in specific cases – they are still entitled to pay, even if they do not work. Generally you’ll pay at base rate for the hours staff would have been entitled to. Of course, if staff do work on the day, you’ll pay at a higher rate as dictated by the award (see above). But keep in mind: this only applies if they usually work on that day. For example, a part timer in Queensland who generally works Tuesday to Thursday probably wouldn’t get paid the public holidays because there’s no public holiday on those weekdays. Check your award/agreement to be sure! If your award dictates how rostered days off work, you should check to see if staff with an RDO on a public holiday are still paid. In some states, some kinds of businesses are not permitted to open on public holidays due to trading regulations. If this applies, you will probably still be required to pay staff who would otherwise work on that weekday. Again, if you’re not sure, it’s best to ask. Staff who work on a day that isn’t a public holiday Keep in mind that the rest of the award doesn’t shut off just because it’s Easter. For example, if you are in Tasmania and pay Saturday rates, you’ll still need to pay these on Easter Saturday (which is not a public holiday for you). Tell me some more interesting facts about payroll around public hoildays Did you know… If an employee takes sick leave around a public holiday (eg. Thursday April 24 to Monday April 28), they still get paid the public holiday if they were otherwise supposed to work that day (ie. full/part time) If an employee takes annual leave, public holidays during the leave period don’t count towards their annual leave balance Public holidays do not need to be paid for staff on unpaid leave Staff cannot be forced to work on a public holiday if they have reasonable grounds for doing so. Common reasons include: the amount of notice given, family responsibilities (especially over Easter), and whether one could reasonably expect the business to be open on a public holiday. Tanda’s employee time clocks automatically interpret industry awards – including public holidays – so you can be sure you paid staff right, without tedious manually data entry Where can I get help? Add the Fair Work Infoline to your speed dial, they are always happy to help. The number to call for any payroll queries is 131 394. What’s your favourite easter treat? We’re impartial to Lindt chocolate bunnies. Yum. Note: none of the above constitutes formal payroll advice. Always check with your accountant, bookkeeper, or Fair Work.

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About the author

Enrique Estagle

Enrique was the former editor-in-chief of Tanda's Blog.

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How much do full time staff really cost?

Being in the business of managing staff costs, we often hear people say that casual staff just cost so much more than their full time equivalents. I mean, that extra 25% is a killer, right? Especially for staff who work a fairly consistent schedule each week, it’s almost like free money. For a while there […]

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Why Brisbane is Australia’s best city for start-ups

Since we’ve started flogging time and attendance software at Tanda, our team has bought over 40 airline tickets across Australia. We’ve been to every capital city and done business at hundreds of locations all around Australia. One thing really hit home: Brisbane is the best place to be a startup. Here are five reasons why: […]

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Easter is coming! What you need to know about paying your staff

Easter is coming up soon, and that means two things! A new season of Game of Thrones to feast on, and – perhaps less excitingly – public holiday rates to pay staff. As a business owner, accountant, or bookkeeper, it’s important to be aware of how public holiday rates over Easter and ANZAC Day should […]

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