Chances are most have fallen victim to poor restaurant floor plans at one time or another. When a guest gets lost on the way to the restroom, smacks foreheads with a server rounding a tight corner or is forced to sit with strangers to allow someone else to pass through an aisle way, a flawed restaurant floor plan is to blame.
When developing your own restaurant floor plan, avoid these disastrous situations by analyzing your restaurant’s specific needs before jumping into design.
Your restaurant’s business plan represents its concept and vision. Revisiting it will help influence your restaurant floor plan, reminding you of your original financial projections, construction budget and space requirements. It should also define any specific design or operational needs for your restaurant, such as a bar or cigar lounge.
Your restaurant business plan must outline your branding strategy because it can often affect your restaurant floor plan.
When redesigning its Cancun location following Hurricane Wilma, Señor Frogs incorporated its spontaneous and interactive brand into its new design by placing a hot tub in the middle of its restaurant floor plan. Additional floor plan space also had to be allotted for a waterslide that dumps guests into a nearby lagoon outside of the restaurant.
There are several vital components that must be considered in every restaurant floor plan, particularly the location of the kitchen, dining areas and restrooms. Every restaurant should have a functional and practical floor plan that takes into consideration the flow of wait staff from the kitchen to the dining area or from the dining area to the restrooms.
Hostess stations and waiting areas must be in the front of the restaurant where people first enter. Other front-of-the-house areas include the dining room, bar and public restrooms.
Restaurant floor plans for kitchens should also encourage a natural flow of traffic, making it easy for employees to move about quickly and efficiently. Designate space in your floor plan for prep areas, cooking stations, a dishwashing zone and food storage space. You may also choose to include an office, employee bathrooms or a break room in the back of the house.
Each member of your staff has different demands concerning the restaurant. Your manager will be concerned with delivery access and security issues, while your chef will be more focused on kitchen maneuverability and functionality.
Make a detailed outline of your restaurant floor plan, and examine the potential successes and failures of your conceptual floor plan through the eyes of your managers, chef, servers, busers and bartenders.
Study other restaurant operations before developing your own floor plan. Note what works or doesn’t work for them.
Fast food restaurants are usually boxy floor plans so that guests can move through them quickly. Casual and fine-dining restaurants are usually divided into multiple dining areas to create a more intimate and leisurely environment.
Once you have carefully considered the needs of your restaurant, you can begin generating measurements and drawings for your restaurant floor plan. A team of restaurant concept development professionals can help draft your initial floor plan for maximum efficiency, taking the overall circulation within the restaurant into account.
While your restaurant floor plan is being drafted, you can begin determining seating capacity, dimensions of restrooms, bar area and storage facilities and locations for server stations.
The dining room and bar must have adequate seating for your guests. Your entire restaurant should be ADA compliant, meaning that people with disabilities can maneuver through your establishment with ease.
Unlike menu covers or restaurant uniforms, floor plans are not easy to modify once they are in place.