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How to Create a Restaurant Floor Plan


Check out these crucial aspects to consider when designing an effective floor plan for your restaurant to optimise customer experience and operational efficiency.

A beautifully designed restaurant floor plan is more than just an aesthetic appeal; it’s the blueprint for the dining experience of customers and restaurant efficiency. This guide provides a detailed review of what to focus on when creating a restaurant floor plan for different types of dining experiences. From fast food restaurants all the way to fine dining extravaganzas. 

Whether you’re opening a new business or need to modify the current floor plan, this checklist will help you make sure that your restaurant floor plan is properly optimised to maximum its impact while providing a great dining experience for customers.

How to Create the Perfect Restaurant Floor Plan

How to Create the Perfect Restaurant Floor Plan

Setting Up the Perfect Dining Area

The heart of your restaurant, the dining room, requires careful planning based on your restaurant type, although some general rules apply. Create the perfect restaurant dining experience for your target customers.

For fine-dining restaurant spaces, prioritise table spacing that ensures privacy for conversations, invest in comfortable seating designed for longer dining experiences, and consider incorporating booths for a more intimate feel. 

Casual dining and cafes, on the other hand, should strike the balance between comfortable dining space or seating area and maximising capacity. High-top tables can be a great option for smaller groups or quick bites, while communal seating fosters a sense of community. 

For quick service and fast food restaurant design, the main principle is efficiency. Opt for smaller tables with limited seating options to encourage quicker table turnover. 

Lastly, lighting and background music also have a significant effect on the mood. While fine dining might benefit from softer lighting and subtle background music, cafes and coffee shops can use bright lighting and upbeat music to create a more vibrant atmosphere.

Space Allocation & Flow

Space planning refers to the division of your restaurant into dedicated areas that cater to distinct functions. This generally means creating spaces for the entrance, waiting area, dining room, kitchen space, restrooms, and possibe extras like a bar or patio seating. 

The focus here should be ensuring space that allows traffic flow for both guests and staff. Specifically, servers should be able to traverse the space easily, and guests shouldn’t feel cramped or stuck in aisles when moving about the restaurant. Design software such as AutoCAD or floor plan management feature on your POS system is useful during the planning process to help visualise and optimise space allocation.

Target Audience

The type of clientele you want to attract will also directly affect the amount of square footage needed per customer. If your customers are families with young children, you will likely require wider spaces to accommodate strollers, while a restaurant intended to attract young professionals could find use in a far more accommodating design. 

The local building codes and regulations where you plan to operate may establish the minimum square footage per customer you can allot. Consider consulting a local architect or a building inspector to help ensure that your plan is in accordance with these requirements.

Entrance & Waiting Area 

The entrance and waiting area are your restaurant’s first impression. They should be welcoming to encourage foot traffic and establish the visual tone for the customer experience. 

Have adequate seating arrangements for guests who need to wait for a table. Fine dining restaurants may wish to have additional amenities, such as a coat check. Additionally, aesthetically pleasing visual elements can further establish a set-appropriate ambience.

Technological Considerations

Your restaurant’s floor plan should be a well-oiled machine that perfectly incorporates technology to ensure operations run smoothly. Set up your EPOS system in an easily accessible space for consumers and staff to order from. You may also want to incorporate several additional power outlets or charging hubs in the restaurant for QR code ordering.

Consider placing self-service kiosks, which can be highly beneficial for high-traffic fast food restaurants and kitchen display systems to keep chefs updated on the ordering situation. Also, don't forget to lay out a networking plan to incorporate your Wi-Fi, CCTV, and digital billboards.

Considerations for Kitchen Layout

The kitchen is your restaurant’s control centre, and its design has the most impact on food quality and throughput. Place equipment and workstations for optimal workflow designed to maximise your staff’s efficiency. To start planning your kitchen layout, first create a list of essential restaurant equipments you need to buy.

For example, you could group your equipment into stations based on the process, such as food prep, cooking, and plating. Additionally, create clear walkways, mark where hot cookery equipment will be placed, and provide proper ventilation to dissipate the heat from the kitchen area. 

If your restaurants have small kitchen, plan accordingly. There’s nothing worse than a kitchen that is laid out all wrong and gets steaming hot. Your staff won’t be happy if you don’t take note of these points. 

For some restaurants, open plan kitchens can be a focal point in their design that enhances the dining experience. Open kitchens offer added layer of authenticity increases customer enjoyment as they watch the sheds at work. However, make sure that your kitchen layout makes as little noise as possible and always presentable.

Balancing Costs & Functionality

While creating an aesthetically pleasing and functional restaurant floor plan is crucial, it’s necessary to balance this with your budget. Try to steer away from budget-friendly options when possible, as they will generally cost the business more over time as they will likely need replacing over the coming years. 

To strike this balance, select furniture that can be easily adapted to different layouts and occasions. Similarly, consider buying seating based on peak and off-peak hours. Prefer furniture with adaptable features, hidden storage, or multifunctional designs to make the most of your available space. You can also consider purchasing furniture at lower prices from closed restaurants or those planning to change their interior.

Look into materials that offer durability and visual appeal without breaking the bank. Laminate or engineered wood can provide a stylish look for tables without the premium cost. You can also bring out the artist in yourself by adding your own touch to different elements in the restaurant to enhance the appearance of budget-friendly materials.

Maximise every inch of your space. Built-in booths can offer more seating than traditional tables, while well-placed mirrors create an illusion of a larger area. Consider modular shelving or partitions for structuring restrooms or storage layouts without hefty expenses.

Think beyond immediate costs and consider the durability of your choices. Choose materials that are easy to maintain and require less frequent replacement. Invest in sturdy furniture designed to withstand heavy use, reducing future repair expenses. This ensures your floor plan remains functional and affordable for a long time.

Inclusivity & Accessibility

An inviting restaurant is welcoming to everyone. Make sure your restaurant layout is accessible according to standards and regulations for people with special needs. This may cover ramps, the entrance of lower-height buildings, wider passageways for wheelchairs, toilets with grab rails, lowered sinks, well-created signs with Braille, or high letters for the blind and visually impaired individuals. Moreover, consider offering low-top tables throughout the dining area to provide ample legroom for customers using wheelchairs. By creating an inclusive space, you cater to a wider audience and foster a welcoming atmosphere for all.

The Customer is Always Right

Let’s not forget who all of this is for — your customers. Incorporate the wants and needs of the targeted audience while designing your restaurant floor plan. If feasible, conduct surveys or organise focus groups to get a better picture of what your future customers will want. The feedback you get from your target audience can help mould the design of your restaurant in a way that you previously hadn’t thought of. 

Building by the Code

Restaurant space planning in the UK should take into consideration several laws. Make sure to check all of the laws below when planning your floor plan so that your restaurant doesn’t run into any problems later.

You should also consider local building codes and regulations to ensure compliance. These laws and acts ensure a safe and compliant restaurant.

According to these laws, the layout should meet accessibility standards, providing unobstructed access for customers, including persons with disabilities. The layout should also ensure that all visitors can be efficiently and safely evacuated in case of a fire, so adequate space should be reserved for fire exits and emergency routes. 

The Building Act 2004 requires structural integrity, which involves load-bearing walls and foundations. Ventilation systems must meet building codes to prevent health hazards and maintain air quality. The placement and number of toilets must also meet hygiene and comfort standards. Following these demands provides general legal compliance and a safe and comfortable environment for employees and visitors.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to creating your restaurant flooring plan, it can be hard to get it right the first time. It’s worth considering several of the considerations highlighted above when you initially design your restaurant. But if you don’t get it right the first time, don’t be disheartened. It often takes people a few goes to create the best flooring plan for your unique dining experience. 

For almost 20 years, 3S POS has offered one of the most flexible EPOS systems to international brands such as Caffe Concerto, Maroush, Comptoir Libanais, Pepe’s Piri Piri, GDK and thousands more delighted customers.

If you are looking for a Restaurant POS system that will not just help you accept payments but effectively manage your menu, inventory, and much more, speak to our sales for a free demo.

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