For customers, any restaurant’s layout might be the last thing that they notice. But restaurant owners know that layout plays a very key role in simplifying management and attracting more customers. Restaurant layout basically involves knowing or mapping the position of every single thing in the restaurant. This includes seating or dine-in area, the kitchen & storage area and even something as seemingly insignificant as walls, partitions, columns and windows!
Depending on where your restaurant is located, what your kitchen serves & what kind of customer you wish to be catering to, your layout might change. Drive-throughs don’t pay much attention to the seating area. Rather they have very specific ways to design the navigation of the kitchen for maximum productivity in minimum time and motion. Cafes don’t have to worry about having large cold storage the way large chains or bars would do. The main focus of the former is to find appropriate space for placing and storing the coffee equipment and ingredients. If you are an aspiring restauranteur looking for a profitable layout, then this blog is for you!
Why Should I Focus On My Restaurant’s Layout?
Seems like a fair question. To inexperienced eyes, a restaurant layout might just mean putting many tables and chairs at equal distances and installing kitchen equipment for cooking. But there is so much to it than that. The placement of every single structure inside the restaurant can be used to trick customers into buying more or spending more time. There is even consumer behaviour and human psychology involved in creating restaurant design & layout.
If you notice closely, many restaurants have food pictures on the wall. It helps increase customers’ appetite and offers the assurance of food quality. The same applies to great music, books and board games. They are strategically placed or played in a way to keep the customer engaged & entertained while in the outlet. Factors such
- Having plants and pots indoors makes the space look calm and earthy.
- As per psychology, animals feel the most vulnerable while eating. The same idea applies to humans too! And therefore by creating regular partitions between tables, you can provide customers privacy.
- Floor-to-ceiling windows help make the space look bigger and brighter.
- Fast music tends to make people eat faster. That is the reason why many QSRs & shopping malls have upbeat music and many fine-dines prefer to play slow jazz that makes people focus on their meals and the ambience.
- Keeping your cooking counters, bars, dessert nook & coffee counter in visible sight helps catch customers’ focus. This increases sales as people buy what they are seeing.
How To Create Profitable Restaurant Layout?
The secret of creating a profitable restaurant layout lies in its placement for accommodating customers and convenience for your staff members. If you are looking for a floor plan that is aesthetically pleasing and convenient for the staff then keep reading!
1. Understand Your Space
The first step in creating a profitable restaurant layout is first understanding the potential of the space. This includes knowing what kind of theme would be used, the design of furniture & various other aspects. How you wish to utilize the space would help formulate the floor plan. The areas which are included in the floor plan are
- Dine-in area which includes space needed for tables and chairs
- Waiting area which could be inside or outlet the main space
- Billing area
- The kitchen area
- Kitchen equipment installation area & storage area
- Lavatory for both staff and customers
- Staff break room
- The bar counter
- Emergency exit
- Space for cleaning items, vessels and cutleries
- Smoking area & outdoor seating
- Area for restaurant’s centre piece or signature attraction
- Gas line, water storage, fitting & fixtures
Depending on how much space you have and how you wish to utilise it, these components may vary. Many owners like to create separate dine-in or eating areas and drinking/smoking areas. With the rise in trend, many outlets have even started creating separate spaces allocated for pets & kids.
2. Leave Breathing Space
Due to the pandemic, many businesses entertaining in-house guests had to remodel their setting area. This became essential in order to follow the safety protocol. But now that pandemic is under control, does not mean that dine-in areas can be crowded. For any outlet type, despite its area & size, it is important that there is space kept between tables. This space is important for customers as well as for the movement of staff amidst them. By strategically measuring the tables & chair sizes, floor space, space capacity and the space needed for other things, you can create a spacious restaurant.
3. Focus On Kitchen & Storage
Many restauranteurs would agree that the kitchen is the most important place in any outlet type. It is the centre of power through which the entire restaurant is operated. And so, it is important that kitchen equipment, floor space and storage are efficiently managed. If there is a lack of space to install the needed equipment, then that would affect the output of the restaurant. At the same time, there should be space kept for staff to rest, easily walk about with hot items, dispose of waste and ventilation.
4. Be Creating With The Dine-In Space
The dine-in area is the first place the customers see when they walk into the restaurants. It is also the area that can be leveraged to market the business. Understanding the potential of the space, many restaurants have started putting unique murals, statement walls, centrepieces and much more in their restaurant. The idea is to make the space ‘Instagram worthy’!
5. Follow Protocols
There are many real estate protocols and licenses which need to be approved and acquired before remodelling the restaurant floor plan. Failure to get them could result in heavy penalties and even business shut down. These licenses are essential in creating a safe space for the customers and the nearby area. Since restaurants employ and consume more resources such as water, gas, inventory, electricity, etc. they need to make sure that they have all the needed documentation done, doing wastage management and following sustainable business models.
Creating a profitable restaurant layout might seem like an overwhelming and confusing task. To assist in the process, you take the help of interior designers or architects who would be more qualified and experienced in these areas. Depending on the outlet types, the layout might change. But listed above are the crucial aspects which should not be missed upon.
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