Restaurant Floor Plan
Each restaurant has a unique set of physical characteristics—from Victorian architecture to chrome-and-glass ultramodern—but thoughtful floor plans help to organize efficient seating arrangements, proper equipment placement, clear traffic-flow pathways and easier access to supplies and deliveries for all types of restaurants and cuisines. No single approach works for all restaurants, but general principles help restaurant designers organize space in the most efficient way possible.
Floor plans start with an appreciation of space, but they directly affect the profitability of the restaurant. This is true for both the layout of the seating area and work areas like the kitchen. Although you may be tempted to put as many seats into your restaurant, comfort and seating configuration can be equally if not more important. You may even make adjustments for busier periods, but you also have to be careful that it does not affect your level of service and efficiency. It is a balancing act that should be approached systematically.
Online Software Applications Offer Design and Drawing Resources
Owners and managers can create professional designs by using floor plan templates, and management can use these blueprints when applying for construction permits, health department approvals and insurance coverage. Accurate plans help make financial projections and impress potential lenders and investors, so include them in business plans.
- Restaurant layout influences service speed, food quality and sanitation.
- Designs try to minimize the distance between supplies and staff members who will use them.
- Movable equipment needs cleaning, so put heavy equipment on casters to enable easy cleaning and quick access. Leave enough room to transport the equipment from storage areas.
- Measure interior space accurately and obtain the specifications for all furnishings and equipment so that floor plans include features at the proper scale.
- Start with a general sketch and remember to include doors, windows, plumbing and fire exits.
- Seating arrangements require various sizes of tables, booths and chairs to accommodate different-sized parties of diners. Restaurants typically need to rearrange tables to get the most efficient seating configurations.
- Floor plans need to include kitchens, dining areas, takeout counters, waiting areas, bars, server stations and restrooms.
- Designs should leave enough space around tables for customers to sit comfortably while allowing enough clearance for servers and guests to get to each table.
- Machinery needs breathing space to operate efficiently, so ice machines, quality Vulcan ovens and flat-top grills need space between their backs and walls for cleaning access and air flow.
Style of Cuisine Influences Design
Regardless of restaurant type, floor plans help to eliminate crossing paths among servers and guests. For example, cafeterias work in one-way directions, channeling guests through serving lines to tables to cash registers, Circular traffic flows in one direction to eliminate head-on collisions and facilitate smooth movement of supplies, food and guests, working on the same principle as traffic circles.
The faster the service, the greater the need for efficient design will be. Fast-food kitchens need to supply food quickly to serving staff, so designers need to organize easy access between kitchen and service staff. Restaurants that sell lots of takeout food need drive-through windows or dedicated parking close to entrances to encourage sales. Open kitchens require the highest levels of sanitation and safe food-handling practices, and kitchen staff must work without displaying any hint of inappropriate behavior.
Restaurants that offer tableside cooking need to store supplies nearby and create paths that carts can negotiate. Paths to fire exits must be kept clear at all times for safety and to satisfy fire and insurance regulations. Remember that some busy restaurants often generate lines at cash registers, seating areas and restrooms, especially during lunch service when guests have limited time to eat.
Tips for Planning
Each aspect of planning helps to encourage faster service and guest turnover, which proves crucial to profitable operations. Tips that help restaurant designers focus on speed, service and sanitation include the following pointers:
- Place beverage stations and supply cabinets close to dining rooms so that servers can reach them easily.
- Mobile equipment needs clear pathways from storage areas.
- Restaurants receive lots of deliveries, so design floor plans that make it easy to receive big orders.
- Diner-style eateries encourage friendly interaction by removing barriers between guests and staff.
- Formal dining rooms keep back-of-the-house operations hidden from guests.
- Cafés and coffee shops need comfortable gathering places with appealing décor.
- Cafés and coffee shops need comfortable gathering places with appealing décor
Restaurant floor plans help to organize seating, reception areas, and takeout service. Planning and the clever use of space provide the best ambience for all types of restaurants, and strategic designs are the secret ingredients in successful restaurant operations.