Top Tips to Consider While Designing a Restaurant

Top Tips to Consider While Designing a Restaurant

To run a successful restaurant you need to have an extraordinary mix of skills. Before starting your restaurant venture, build these 30 skills that restaurant owners always have in the back of their minds at all times.

There’s no substitute for learning from experience. But you can learn from restaurant owners and managers who have been there, done that, failed and won. These are the 30 most important, time-tested keys to unlocking the door to restaurant success.

The goal of restaurant design is to create an environment that caters to your guests, from the beginning of their visit until they walk out the door. Your restaurant should be a comfortable place for them to return to time and again.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

First Things First

When you’re out shopping for a new location there is a lot to consider about how suitable the space is for your restaurant concept, budget and target customer. Keep these things in mind at all times.

How to divide the space

The shape of the property, what it was used for in the past and a number of other factors will influence how you divide the space. Start with the ones you know you’ll need—tinghe kitchen and the dining room.

When viewing a property for the first time, examine the space closely and get a rough idea of what areas will be front of house and which will be back of house. From here you can start to make a mental image of the end result.

If you think it has potential, get a copy of the floor plan with square footage. This will help you understand the limitations of the space and if it’s going to work.

Back Of House And Kitchen

Give yourself enough space to work

Don’t make the mistake of not planning adequately for the production area of the restaurant. Production includes:

  • The kitchen
  • Busing and washing area
  • Dry storage
  • Walk-in
  • Prep area
  • Receiving
  • Break room
  • Back office

And any other space off limits to customers but used to get the job done.

Back of house needs to be designed for smooth operations so you can deliver quality products out of the production area consistently. If the production area is cluttered, disorganized and cramped, service is going to suffer.

Kitchen size matters

If you sacrifice the production area for a larger dining room, you’ve got to think of it like a big car with a tiny engine. Your team will always be struggling to keep up.

The size of the production area directly determines how many guests you can serve. There is no use having a massive dining room with a disproportionately small kitchen.

Read More: 8 Tips On Opening A New Restaurant

Front Of House

Your Restaurant’s Theme

The theme of your restaurant is part of the concept. It’s a way of decorating that makes your space seem unique and cool, but also makes your target guest feel familiar and at ease.

To get started creating a strong and appealing theme for your target guest make a list of all the things they probably like. It doesn’t have anything to do with food at this point.

  • What style do they like? Retro or modern?
  • What colors are they attracted to?
  • What TV shows do they watch?
  • What sports are they into?
  • What style of music do they like?
  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • What kind of jobs do they have?

This will get you thinking about developing a strong theme for your restaurant. You can even list these questions on a survey and give them to members of your target market to get a better idea.

Pick an interest that resonates across your audience and mine it for a theme. If your customers all seem to like classic rock go all out with a classic rock theme. If their interests are luxury and glamour then your restaurant theme should reflect those values. Restaurants with a strong theme stick with it and make it an integral part of their brand.

Strive for comfort

The theme helps your restaurant stand out and make an impression. It’s like a bull horn attracting your target customers. While the theme might tell you what color the walls should be, it doesn’t tell you anything about how to make your guests comfortable.

Luckily, there are some universal recommendations for guest comfort:

  • Make sure everything is clean
  • No wobbly tables
  • Chairs shouldn’t be too soft
  • Space out tables so it’s easy to navigate
  • Use appropriate lighting to create a mood
  • Set music to a level that invites eating, drinking and conversation

The more comfortable your guests are the more enjoyment they’ll have. And the more likely they’ll tell their friends.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

The Waiting Area

Depending on the size of your restaurant and how large the dining room is, you may have room for a waiting area. A waiting area can greatly increase guest comfort on a busy night.

This will reduce the chances of guest abandonment—people who leave discouraged when waiting. The waiting area should comfortably accommodate the number of guests you expect to keep waiting.

Adding A Bar

You can further improve the waiting experience by adding a lounge or bar for guests to relax in while waiting for their table. This also monetizes their wait time as they will likely order drinks.

If you have enough room and it suits your target guests you can feature a full bar in your restaurant. A full bar takes up a lot of space in the dining room but can generate a lot of additional sales.

Outdoor Seating

If you’ve got a small dining room and the weather is nice, some locations are perfect for adding outdoor seating. This can help you maintain the space you need for back of house while accommodating additional parties.

Take as much care designing your outdoor area as your indoor dining space. Make sure that your theme carries over and the same high level of service and comfort are maintained.

Read More: 8 Tips On Opening A New Restaurant


Designing your restaurant takes a lot of forethought, from choosing a location to planning your layout. Don’t sacrifice your production area’s space needs for a larger dining area. If you have an insufficiently small back of house you’ll be unable to provide quality service to all your guests.

Choose your restaurant theme based on the interests of your model customer. This will help you connect with them and show you understand their preferences.

Stick with your theme throughout the restaurant. It’s an expression of your brand and should integrate with your marketing message.

Consider your dining room space and how to use it efficiently to increase guest comfort. Adding a bar or outdoor seating can help attract additional guests and reduce the annoyance of waiting for a table.

This free guide to designing your restaurant is brought to you by Rezku. It is part of a series of articles to help entrepreneurs opening their first restaurant. Rezku provides cutting edge solutions to help you manage your restaurants or bars, from reservations management, customer loyalty programs, point of sale and much more.

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