LAYOUT

Layout and design are major factors in your restaurant's success. You'll need to take into account the size and layout of the dining room, kitchen space, storage space and office. Typically, restaurants allot 45 to 65 percent of their space to the dining area, approximately 35 percent to the kitchen and prep area, and the remainder to storage and office space.

 

Dining area. This is where you'll be making the bulk of your money, so don't cut corners when designing your dining room. Visit restaurants in your area and analyze the décor. Watch the diners; do they react positively to the décor? Is it comfortable, or are people shifting in their seats throughout their meals? Note what works well and what doesn't.

 

Much of your dining room design will depend on your concept. It will help you to know that studies indicate that 40 to 50 percent of all sit-down customers arrive in pairs; 30 percent come alone or in parties of three; and 20 percent come in groups of four or more. To accommodate the different groups of customers, use tables for two that can be pushed together in areas where there is ample floor space. This gives you flexibility in accommodating both small and large parties. Place booths for four to six people along the walls.

 

It’s smart to consult a professional restaurant designer as they have seen hundreds of restaurants built and operated. They may have ideas or suggestions you would never think of on your own. Moreover, professional designers can tie your concept together with the physical space to create a whole experience for your customers. People will come back again and again if a restaurant makes them feel good to be there.

 

Production area. Too often, the production area in a restaurant is inefficiently designed--the result is a poorly organized kitchen and less than top-notch service. Keep your menu in mind as you determine each element in the production area. You'll need to include space for receiving, storage, food preparation, cooking, baking, dishwashing, production aisles, trash storage, employee facilities and an area for a small office where you can perform daily management duties.

Arrange your food production area so that everything is just a few steps away from the cook. Your design should also allow for two or more cooks to be able to work side by side during your busiest hours.