Restaurant plans, remodeling projects and repair jobs involve establishing budgets, making plans and hiring contractors. However, modern CAD systems, shareable blueprints and integrated designs offer restaurant owners possible savings. Of course, these advances in technology may save money if you partly do-it-yourself, but you will probably need to dedicate more time to the design. As both doing it yourself and hiring a restaurant designer are possible ways to move forward, we believe it is a good idea to know what you are getting yourself into whatever you choose.



Typically, owners need to hire contractors at the very least, but designers and architects might prove necessary for ambitious projects. If an owner chooses to take on the design by his/herself, that owners will depend on the contractors’ assistance. Therefore, it is essential that the contractors have experience in restaurants.

Although many entrepreneurs prefer to bring their own visions to life, professional help could defuse ticking time bombs and the need improvements for poorly designed restaurants. Your design will probably not be able to capture your brand like a professional designer.

Design Team

Experienced designers, and especially talented architects, have the technical skills and experience to anticipate design problems, create custom lighting options, design world-class kitchens and recommend reliable contractors who meet budget and project deadlines. Increasingly, restaurant designs incorporate branding strategies, warm color palettes, integrated color schemes and logo designs as part of the restaurant infrastructure.

Business Plans and Three-dimensional Designs

Of course, simple repairs and remodeling projects might not need this level of planning, but even the smallest change could affect integrated systems, and professional advice usually saves enough money in construction costs and synchronizing systems to justify design consultations.

New restaurant owners risk facing code violations, regulation changes, response challenges from competitors and other sticky situations that proper planning helps to identify and neutralize. The cornerstone of any business rests on planning at every stage. Restaurant design, both in functionality and atmosphere, determine the success of the restaurant.

  • Inventive architects and designers use the latest computer-assisted modeling techniques to reduce costs, and create interactive plans that contractors, subcontractors and government officials can share electronically.
  • Professional designs become part of overall business plans, and stunning building models impress lenders and potential investors.
  • Integrated designs incorporate catering, takeout, in-house dining, outdoor dining, hospitality services and retail products into master plans.
  • Restaurant designs and business plans create clear road maps to success by establishing standards of innovation and efficiency, defining branding strategies, streamlining permit approvals and creating stunning visual models to inspire preliminary advertising and promotional efforts.

Create a Guest Environment that Resonates with Customer Demographic Targets

Subtle design cues often create negative impressions, and entrepreneurs want to avoid making simple mistakes that customers notice. Restroom designs, open kitchens, server routes and tableside cooking require space planning to create harmonious flow. Congested aisles, restroom waiting lines or unappetizing views could affect customers and prevent them from having superlative dining experiences.

Commercial renovations of classic buildings impress customers looking for singular dining experiences, fusions of modern amenities and classic period designs and environmentally responsible use of resources. These projects require expert planning to meet modern health codes and satisfy customer sensibilities. Contemporary sophistication creates atmospheres that complement many cuisines, but sound engineering protects investments and keeps resale values high.

Establish Authority by Hiring Professional Consultants

Design professionals prefer involvement in the earliest planning stages, and their advice could prove crucial for ensuring cooperation among contractors, subcontractors and management staff. They prevent owners from being overwhelmed by the complexity of opening or remodeling a restaurant. Most designers make purchasing and hiring decisions, so owners might need to pay all costs in advance. Some designers willingly offer consults at hourly rates or for flat fees, and some designers might be willing to rescue projects that have become unmanageable.

The biggest benefit of using architects and designers in the early planning stages is that they can find trusted builders, electricians, plumbers, design consultants, remodeling contractors and field engineers, who know the restaurant industry. Choosing each contractor without help can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Design professionals work with groups of technicians who show up on time, respect boundaries and have the right training and experience. An integrated design team creates a more productive environment, using innovative technology to communicate with contractors, clients, tradesmen and building officials to expedite projects.

Restaurant design reflects personal standards, emphasizes unique characteristics, brands restaurant identities with the public and establishes emotional connections with diners and guests. Each restaurant is different. Some  restaurateurs who choose not to hire a designer may not break a sweat if they have prior experience in the restaurant industry. Others may not have the funds. But the benefits and reduced risk often justify the added expenses of hiring professional designers and architects.