The Restaurant Design Process: An Overview and Points to Consider

You wouldn’t go to battle without a clear-cut plan of attack, so why go into the restaurant design process without a deliberate agenda? Restaurant design plays a strategic role in the battle for diner dollars. Half-hearted attempts to plan a new concept are often met with half-hearted customers who leave with less than the best first impression. Plan ahead and go through the full-fledged restaurant design process.

An Overview of the Restaurant Design Process

There are several stages in the restaurant design process, each intended to move you toward the ultimate goal of an efficient restaurant floor plan, an attractive atmosphere and an overall well-executed concept that resonates in the minds of guests long after they pay the bill.

How to Start the Restaurant Design Process

The restaurant design process begins with a thorough understanding of the eatery’s menu, location, customers, architectural preferences and lighting concerns. More than just a design powwow, the restaurant designer’s process includes budget considerations, timelines and coordination with city officials to secure necessary building permits.

Only after these initial issues have been tackled can we move on to the next stage of the restaurant designer’s process: developing a concept. The concept will direct every future stage of the restaurant design process to ensure consistency in the colors and styles incorporated into the restaurant interior design.

Important Considerations in the Restaurant Design Process

The designer’s process also includes practical, but vital, restaurant floor plan considerations, like the location of the kitchen, dining areas and restrooms. The most effective restaurant design considers the flow of wait staff from the kitchen to the dining area or from the dining area to the restrooms. The restaurant designer’s process contemplates the overall circulation within the restaurant for maximum efficiency.

Interior Design

With the restaurant floor plan in hand and a concept in mind, the next stage in the restaurant designer’s process is interior design. Sketches may depict color schemes, furniture placement, window treatments, artistic lighting and other aspects of the ambiance. This is also the part of the restaurant designer’s process where we consider paints, wallpapers, foliage and artwork. But the restaurant designer’s process is still not completed.


Now it’s time to take the concept from the drawing board to the execution point. This element of the restaurant designer’s process requires careful administration of subcontractors to complete any necessary build out, and conversations with vendors that supply materials necessary to bring the concept to life. After all, it’s one thing to imagine a themed restaurant in all its character and charm, it’s another thing to see it with your own two eyes.

Collaboration is Important

It’s important to collaborate with professional restaurant designers to develop a methodical road map that outlines every detail of the restaurant design process. Restaurant designers offer more than just design skills, they offer niche knowledge of restaurant industry trends. This knowledge helps you avoid overly trendy concepts in favor of stable themes that won’t require a restaurant renovation in two years. In short, experienced professionals can navigate a restaurant design process that turns your restaurant interior hopes into a dream come true.


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