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.
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.