Restaurant Floor Plan: Examples and Tips

The restaurant floor plan is a map of the restaurant’s physical space. With a good design for the restaurant floor plan, it is possible to increase efficiency, improve profit margins, create ease of movement, secure the safety of staff and guests leading to extreme customer satisfaction.

Whether your floor plan will be permanent or temporary, you will refer to it daily. So, it is worth spending time and money on designing it.

A restaurant floor plan helps to visually break down a restaurant’s physical space to maximize efficiency, profitability and overall guest experience not only for the customers but for the employees as well.

To build a new restaurant or to change an existing venue to a restaurant, the plans must be submitted for approval within the restaurant business plan. Having a restaurant floor plan is not only beneficial for the customers, but also a guide for the restaurant owner before initiating the construction process.

Only an effective restaurant floor plan allows the employees to work efficiently and happily. A perfect restaurant floor plan reduces the chances of traffic jams in the corridors, provides ample space for food preparation and results in a great flow between the dining room seats. When employees are happy, they serve the customers whole-heartedly, leading to great customer satisfaction.

A restaurant floor plan is a blueprint illustrating the distance and relationships between the rooms and physical structures existing within a specific restaurant space.

A restaurant floor plan includes:

  1. Locations of fixtures like furnaces, sinks, water heaters and electrical outlets
  2. Annotations on materials used to build certain spaces of the restaurant
  3. Details of how parts of the space are built

A restaurant floor plan can be designed by a professional architect or interior designer. Alternatively, you can also make use of online software to design it yourself.

A properly designed restaurant layout is essential for smooth flow of operations. The entire foot traffic in the restaurant gets streamlined. This includes the spot where deliveries are picked up, how servers pick up orders, the method in which chefs move around the kitchen space, and much more.

When Should a Restaurant Floor Plan Be Created?

A restaurant floor plan is usually designed when you are looking for a commercial space to start your business. Once the space is finalized, the design can be created by the restaurant owner or with the professional intervention of architects and interior designers.

Factors to Consider When Designing Restaurant Floor Plan

As a restaurant owner, you now know what a restaurant floor plan is and why it is needed, let us now look into the factors that must be considered when designing it.

  1. Building Codes – You must be informed about the city’s building codes to ensure that you have taken care of and made provisions for emergency exits, adequate lighting and ventilation, occupancy and other aspects before accommodating the public.
  2. Accessibility – The restaurant floor plan must conform with the rules and regulations laid down by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and city-specific accessibility standards. Reasonable provisions must be made for individuals with accessibility needs. This includes creating ample space for guests using wheelchairs to access and use the washrooms.
  3. Profitability – Examine your business plan and pull up your socks to do some math as you need to know the capacity of your restaurant, that is, how many visitors and staff your space can hold to ensure you meet your profitability goals.
  4. Efficiency – Every element included in the restaurant floor plan design must aim to improve workflow and efficiency in the operations of the front-of-house and back-of-house. The inventory must move easily from the goods vehicle to the pantryserser and then through the kitchen up to the guest table. The servers require a clear path from the kitchen to the dining table to be equipped with the ability to deliver orders quickly and safely.
  5. Aesthetic And Ambiance – The restaurant floor plan intersects with the brand experience through the elements of aesthetic and ambiance. It is time to revisit the business and marketing plans to ensure the interior design and décor are in unison with the concept, brand identity and trendy too. Those documents will act as a guide in helping you decide the color schemes, furniture choices and other related decisions.
  6. Safety – This is a primary concern. It is important to ensure the safety of both the staff and customers. As working in a restaurant can be dangerous, create a hazard map that identifies areas where mishaps or injuries might happen. Also consider invisible hazards like transmission of infections. This is particularly applicable in the new normal, post Covid-19 era. Remember to follow the government mandates and city-specific rules and regulations.

Tips For An Effective Restaurant Floor Plan

  1. Allow the brand to dictate the restaurant floor plan – The brand influences how the target audience perceive the business. As the brand impacts the restaurant floor plan in a great way, define the brand even before conceptualizing the way you are going to design the space.
  2. Prioritize HVAC – HVAC is nothing but heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This gains prominence while designing the restaurant floor plan as commercial kitchens produce a lot of heat, aromas and smoke. Proper ventilation ensures that the byproducts do not seep into the dining room and affect the customer experience adversely. For setting the air conditioning temperature, consider the temperatures outside the building and the body heat of the people inside.
  3. Ambiance And Seating Capacity – The number of diners the restaurant will be able to serve efficiently at a given point in time is an essential variable that will dictate the design of the restaurant floor plan and the business’ profitability. Ambiance is the character and atmosphere of the space and is closely associated with the brand. Balance the elements of ambiance and seating capacity while drafting the floor plan.
  4. Minimize Bad Tables In The Plan – Bad tables are the ones placed in problem areas within the restaurant floor plan. Usually, the problematic spots are located near the kitchen, near the restrooms and near the front entrance. They are so because customers do not want to sit in these spots. Restaurant owners can sit on each chair themselves to identify the bad tables and analyze the dining area. These problems can be addressed by installing dividers or by setting up tall plants to hide the visibility of certain areas.
  5. Special Consideration For The Bathrooms – After the dining areas, it is the bathrooms that must be given significance in the restaurant floor plan. It is not just a stall with a sink but an extension of the brand. One must replicate the ambiance, character and color scheme in the washrooms as well. By doing so, customers will not lose the feelings and experience that were created by you in the dining area. Give special attention to its upkeep and cleanliness as well. Keep it tidy and stocked with supplies.
  6. Set Aside Space For Extra Storage – Restaurant owners often tend to forget about storage facilities until it is too late. Providing ample and easy-to-access storage space is essential for smooth operation and efficient operation of the employees. Examine the restaurant’s purchasing and inventory process while designing the restaurant floor plan. The storage space requirements should be based on whether you receive bulk deliveries once a month or small deliveries every week and whether the inventory requires special security. The space should be at the back of the restaurant, away from high-traffic areas. But the hallways must be wide enough to shift or move large boxes in and out without great effort.
  7. Restaurant Illumination – The light fixtures contribute significantly to defining the restaurant floor plan. You can opt for dim lighting to create an intimate ambiance or bright lighting based on your concept. Choose lighting fixtures from the vast variety available these days instead of simply opting for the ordinary everyday fluorescents. While choosing lights for the restaurant, keep in mind the four variables of color, temperature, brightness and directness. If you are finding it difficult to make decisions about lighting fixtures, use LED lights in the restaurant floor plan.

Who Must Design the Restaurant Floor Plan?

Do not hesitate to hire a professional architect or interior designer to get your restaurant floor plan ready. It is additionally beneficial if the person has an understanding or experience in the restaurant industry.

Since the plan must conform to local building codes and regulations, professionals are unlikely to make mistakes that might turn out to be dear.

Architects possess the skill to make a restaurant structurally sound and provide a design that is in vogue. Interior designers help execute a design that results in a beautiful, aesthetic, functional space that adheres to specific regulations. Together they can create a space that is loved by the restaurant owner, staff and visitors.

This blog would have helped you understand the concept of a restaurant business plan. If you need help in restaurant website building or digital marketing, get in touch.