5 Common Restaurant Design Mistakes

Common restaurant design mistakes and how to avoid them

  A good layout is crucial to the success of any restaurant business. Dining out is more popular than ever and has become an integral part of people’s lives, which is why it’s so important for restaurants to stand out. In the age of social media where everyone is an amateur photographer,  consumers have become more attentive to the details of design. When customers are choosing a restaurant, they’re likely to make their decision based not only on the quality of the food and the quality of the service, but the aesthetic look of the restaurant as well. For this reason, it’s vital to avoid major design mistakes.


When guests enter a restaurant, they should be charmed and welcomed by the design, not confused and disenchanted by clutter and mess. When planning the interior of the restaurant, remember that less is more and avoid clutter by saying no to irrelevant and unnecessary decorations, Greeting stations can gather a lot of clutter, whether it’s piles of receipts, pens or staff drinks. This area is one of the first things that guests will see when they enter the restaurant, so it needs to be clean and well organised. Host stations should be designed in a way that makes it comfortable for staff to do their jobs, but that doesn’t allow them to be messy.  

Confusing table layout

Both your staff and your guests need to be able to navigate the restaurant easily in order to create a comfortable dining atmosphere. Whether guests seat themselves, or are lead to their table by a member of staff, the layout of the restaurant should be designed with care. Placing tables in ‘high traffic’ areas, such as the entrance or right next to the kitchen should be avoided. Directional signs are a good design choice which will help customers navigate the restaurant. There should be signs which point the way to the bathroom and any other key areas of the restaurant, such as the terrace. These signs should stand out, yet still be in keeping with the design of the restaurant and the brand.  

Space Issues

When it comes to restaurants, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Larger restaurants can even run the risk of looking like a school canteen if there’s too many tables or a bad layout. Working out how many tables is too many isn’t an exact science but is crucial to creating a comfortable atmosphere. Of course every restaurant owner wants to be able to serve as many customers as possible, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing a comfortable and spacious restaurant in order to fit more tables. If there’s too little space guests will be constantly bumping chairs and with staff carrying hot drinks and plates of hot food, could even be dangerous. Additionally, if there’s too much space, you risk your restaurant looking empty. When designing the layout, be sure to leave enough space to create a comfortable and safe environment, even if it does mean sacrificing that one table.  

Unecessary Decorations

Having too many props and decorations that have nothing to do with your brand will only confuse your guests and create more cleaning jobs for your staff. When it comes to commercial interiors, the design of the business should tell a story and be centred on the personality of the brand. Restaurant owners should be taking their brand into consideration when making any design decisions. Whether they’re choosing the tables, the chairs, the wall colour and even the lighting fixtures.  

Hiding the Kitchen

Open kitchens have become more and more popular in recent years because they help to create an exciting and busy environment that customers love. Customers are more likely to trust a restaurant that isn’t afraid to show them how their food is prepared. However, this does mean there should be a higher standard for cleanliness and organisation – nobody wants to see a messy kitchen with food all over the floor and dirty plates stacked in the corner. Throughout the restaurant, cleaning areas and bins should be designed to be discrete.  
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