How to Design Your First Restaurant

 In Bar & Restaurant Operations

Restaurant design can vary wildly depending on the specific preferences of the person in charge. That said, there are a few fundamentals that promote more attractive, efficient operations. If you’re planning a new restaurant, consider the following basics for smarter designs.

The Dining Area

Accounting for the majority of space, the public part of your restaurant is the face of your business. In addition to being attractive and inviting, it must be flexible and accommodating, so guests feel comfortable and welcome. You can optimize for this with the following design strategies:

  • Use tables for two that can be pushed together to accommodate various party sizes.
  • Provide at least 15 to 18 square feet per seating area to assure guest comfort.
  • Choose fixtures and furniture that’s consistent with your concept and the target market.
  • Consider tablet POSs to improve efficiencies and cut down on server traffic.
  • Create a uniform atmosphere throughout all public places.
  • Make sure you offer comfortable, sturdy seating for guests of all sizes.

The Production Area

When it comes to effective production areas, the misuse of space is as problematic as the misuse of labor and machinery. To make sure your production area is clean and efficient, focus on the following critical planning tactics:

  • Plan the shortest possible route from entrance to exit for baked goods and ingredients.
  • Try to have many duties performed at each stop to minimize handling.
  • Avoid potential bottle necks at strategic locations.
  • Eliminate backtracking and overlapping of work by adjusting your food prep steps and sequences
  • Design your dishwashing area, so it functions like a production line.

Your restaurant should also have clean, convenient restrooms for men and women. If possible, equip these areas with efficient low-flow faucets and toilets to cut down on water costs. They should also be easy to locate, so your customers won’t have to ask servers for guidance.

Other Considerations

In addition to your dining and production space, you will also need space for inventory storage. This typically accounts for about 8 percent of a restaurant’s total space. Be sure to position these areas so they are accessible to delivery vehicles. A good restaurant design plan should also include an office for administrative duties, along with private rooms for employees with lockers for valuables and personal belongings.

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