How to Create an Outstanding Restaurant Layout and Design in 2022

The importance of a floor plan for your restaurant cannot be ignored. Your floor plan is essentially the blueprint for the entire layout of your restaurant. It will show where fixtures are situated, from furnaces and electrical outlets to doors and water heaters. It also displays the relationship and distance between waiting areas, the bar, tables, and such like. 


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Without a floor plan, your restaurant can end up being chaotic. Instead, a floor plan ensures that all of your employees know how to do their job effectively. They will be able to refer to the floor plan so they know where all of the elements within your restaurant are situated.

At the same time, designing a great layout and putting together a floor plan helps to make sure that you are making the best use of the space available to you. You need to make sure there is a logical traffic flow and that you fit in as many customers as possible without overcrowding your establishment.

To help you achieve this, we have put together some top tips on how to create an outstanding restaurant layout and design in 2022.

  1. Look at some examples for inspiration

Our first piece of advice is to take a look at some restaurant floor plan examples. This can help you to get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. 

Social media is a great resource for layouts and restaurant examples. You can find more examples of restaurant layouts here too.

This will help you to get a good understanding of what a floor plan looks like and how you can optimize the space to suit your specific goals and the space that is available to you. You may come across some unique ideas and suggestions that you had not considered.

  1. Make sure you check up on any applicable regulations

Before you can start experimenting with different layouts, you need to make sure that your floor plans meet the local building codes that are in place in your state.

There are many different parts of mechanical and building codes that you will need to factor into the design of your restaurant. 

For example, in Austin, you are not allowed to have open insulation over areas where you serve food. Moreover, in San Francisco, any food establishment needs to have a three-compartment sink, a hand-washing sink, and drains linked with each of them.

The last thing you want is a nightmare on your hands because your restaurant layout has fallen foul of the law. From your payment area to your kitchen layout, there are often rules and regulations you need to adhere to, so make sure you find out about these first.

  1. Optimize the square footage per customer

Square footage per customer is important because this will directly impact your profit levels. 

This will often differ based on the style of your restaurant, the type of service you provide, and your own preference. For example, how the chef wants food to be presented at the table can impact the size of the selected table.

The square footage that is allocated to every seated guest also depends on the sort of restaurant you are opening.

In terms of service type, if you offer a fast food dining service, you will need between 11 and 14 square feet for every person. A counter service demands between 18 and 20 square feet per person. A full-service dining experience requires between 12 and 15 square feet per customer. Finally, fine dining requires between 18 and 20 square feet per customer.

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Getting the balance right is important because it has a direct impact on the level of comfort everyone experiences. At the same time, it also influences the amount of profit you can generate.

  1. Ask yourself; how efficient is the layout?

When you are putting together the perfect restaurant layout and design, it is imperative to take the time to consider just how efficient the layout is. The flow of your customers and staff within the space in question is a massive consideration. 

How will the service work? Will your waiting staff come to the table and take people’s orders? Do people need to go to the bar and place the order themselves? It is important to specify this because it is going to have a huge impact on the layout and what will make the most sense for an efficient service.

If you can minimize the movement that is required to take plates back and forth from the service area to the kitchen, this will always be best. 

  1. Work out how much money you have available to spend on your restaurant build-out

Restaurant build-outs are not cheap, so budget concerns can drastically impact how you make the most of the space available.

A survey carried out by Restaurant Owner revealed that it typically costs around $375,000 to set up a restaurant. Of course, there are restaurants that are at the lower and higher scale of this.

Your budget will play a massive role in determining how you approach the space that is available to you. For example, you may want to think about limiting the number of walls you knock out and having an efficient approach in terms of the layout of your plumbing fixtures.

You can save a considerable amount of money by arranging a layout around the current plumbing fixtures. This means you do not have to spend thousands on changing the plumbing system. However, this will mean that there are some restrictions in terms of the sort of restaurant layout you can achieve.

Whether or not this is a big deal will depend on the current placement of the plumbing system!

Your budget can also be impacted by permitting requirements, so this is something else you need to consider carefully. One of the best ways to minimize any nasty surprises is by finding a quality architect who can help you throughout the commercial build. 

  1. Make accessibility a priority 

Next, you need to make sure that your dining areas and workspaces are accessible to individuals with mobility problems. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by the Department of Justice back in 1992. This is designed to make sure that all customers and employees experience the same degree of accessibility.

When you provide seating for ambulatory individuals, it is imperative that it is able to provide them with the same sort of experience as those with more limited mobility. 

A bar counter is a great example here. Most bars are designed so that a person can either sit on a high stool or stand comfortably. You need to make sure that there is a section of the bar that is set up in a manner to meet those accessibility guidelines.

All work areas and restrooms in your restaurant also need to be accessible. Essentially, you need to make sure that every part of your establishment is readily accessible to your employees and customers. There are no exceptions to this.

  1. Don’t be afraid to enlist some professional help

If you are struggling to design the perfect layout for your restaurant, do not be afraid to enlist the services of someone who can give you a helping hand. 

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According to Sidepost, a lot of business owners view this as an unnecessary expense, feeling that this is something they should be able to handle themselves without needing to spend money on it. 

However, you need to consider how much more money you could make by having the perfect restaurant layout. 

Experts will be able to make sure you achieve your goals and that you do so while staying within the budget you have established for your restaurant build-out.

Aside from this, they will know all about the local rules and regulations, so they will be best placed to make sure that your website adheres to the rules that are in place. After all, the last thing you want is to find that you need to spend thousands on renovating your restaurant because the current build does not meet state regulations. 

To find the best architect, spend some time looking online and reading reviews that have been left by others. This will give you a great insight into what the person in question is like to work with so that you can find the best pro for the job.

Final words on creating an outstanding restaurant layout and design

So there you have it: everything you need to know about creating an outstanding restaurant layout and design for your business.

Do not underestimate just how important this is. The layout of your restaurant will have a direct layout on how effectively your employees can go about their work, how your guests enjoy their experience, and the amount of profit you are able to make.

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