How to best design your restaurant for efficiency

8 Things to consider before deciding to open a restaurant

Efficiency is crucial to the success of any business. It may seem obvious, but while many business owners are aware of the benefits, they still don’t know what exactly they can do to make their restaurant more efficient. 

When planning the fit out of your restaurant it’s important that you make the most out of every aspect of your space. A poor, inefficient design can confuse your guests, create more work for your employees and will cost you more money.

Making certain design choices that maximise your restaurant’s efficiency may seem expensive at first but you’re ultimately making an investment in the success of your restaurant – and it will pay off!

Here are some tips on how to best design your restaurant for efficiency. 

The entrance and waiting area

Many restaurants make the mistake of overlooking the entrance and waiting area. This can lead to people flooding into the main dining area which can make it harder for your staff to do their jobs and make your diners feel uncomfortable. 

Many restaurants like to take advantage of their bar area and use it as a waiting area too – this is a great opportunity to boost your drink sales. If you have the space you’ll be able to keep your guests happy as they wait for a table while also keeping them out of everyone else’s way. 

The dining area

If you were to ask a friend about a certain restaurant experience they’d probably just tell you about the food and the service. It’s doubtful that they’d remember anything about the floor plan – unless it was a bad one. 

There should be sufficient space between each table (between 24 and 30 inches), with pathways which are wide enough that customers and employees aren’t bumping into each other and hurting themselves as a result. 

Clear pathways to the exits are also crucial to people’s safety in emergency situations, for this reason, you may also want to install hooks for bags and coats to create even more room. 

Experiment with different table arrangements, even after you’ve opened, this will help you to maximise the number of customers you can accommodate. 

A common mistake that a lot of restaurant owners make, is that they fill their space with larger tables that seat four people or more in a hope of attracting large groups. While it’s understandable that owners would want lots of large tables, it’s actually more efficient to have multiple small tables that can be pushed together for bigger parties when needed.   

Mixing up the style of seating in your restaurant can really help in terms of efficiency. Make use of your wall space with benches and corner booths, customers love them and they’ll improve traffic flow for your employees. 

The kitchen

In order to run your kitchen safely and efficiently, you should make sure that you have separate stations for separate kitchen jobs. It’s important that your kitchen staff have everything they need within that space in order to do their jobs and are able to access to the fridge, sink and pass with ease. Creating specific stations will also help your staff to avoid cross contamination.  

The bathrooms

It’s important that your restaurant’s bathrooms are easily accessible to your customers, while still being entirely separate from your dining area. There’s nothing worse than a bathroom door which opens directly onto the dining room floor, especially if there’s a table nearby. 

You may want to place your bathrooms near the kitchen to save money on your plumbing, but this isn’t always possible. Bathrooms should be large enough that customers don’t feel cramped and that your employees are able to clean easily – you can also make your employees’ job easier by installing features that are easy to clean.  

The manager’s office

The office should be as small as possible, but not so small that your employees are unable to do their jobs comfortably and safely. The restaurant’s safe is normally stored inside the office, so this room should be in a secure location, far from the restaurant floor so that customers cannot access it. 

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