Restaurant interior design and layout.

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The restaurant layout and design in my humble opinion is a very personal thing. It is like walking into the extension of someone’s home and more specifically ones own kitchen. Yes, while a particular style of the restaurant says Italian or Indian normally has the same look and feel to it, its how the layout is completed by the individual owner that puts your own mark on the premises.

I find some new restaurant owners, that yes while being excellent proprietors and chefs have very little idea as to the layout of premises. If you want to churn and to get people in out as quick as is possible then use sharp lighting and very little attention  to comfort of the table and chairs if at all.

My interest, however, is the owner and chef that is wanting to create an ambiance and to let patrons come in and experience comfort – good wholesome wonderfully presented fine dining.

All too often they try to get as many tables and chairs in as possible or in some instances too few.

So here are some tips that I have picked up over the years.

  1. Allow approximately 60 cm of space for each patron side by side i.e. if you want to seat 6 people at a table the table top should be 1200mm long by 800mm.
  2. If you want to work out the average space to work out how many chairs and tables you want in area, assuming that the top is between 800mm and 1000mm square – a simple rule of thumb is allow for 3 meters square per table and set of four chairs.
  3. Rather err on the side of caution when buying furniture – you can always buy later – my reason for saying this is a restaurant is an organic and ever-changing environment – rather learn how your restaurant operates or flows over a six month period, before trying to fill it up with furniture

  1. This will allow you to understand where the tables end up – literally, they almost move.
  2. It will allow you to see over time if you need a couple of smaller tables for couples and single patrons
  3. Allow you to get larger tables
    1. These can either be a permanent fixture
    2. Or have tables (for big groups) that you can easily bring in at as moments that is easily storable as space is always an issue!!
      1. PLEASE BE CAREFUL when buying foldable tables as there are foldable tables and then there are foldable tables – I have yet to see a table base commercially available that is not weak – rather have a table custom made with trestle legs that you can quickly “bolt” the table together.
    3. As each building or premises has its own dynamics also account for the flow of the waiters path to and from the kitchen and bar area
      1. Be aware of blind spots in your layout – so you can either move a table away or dedicate waitrons to the
    4. Legs on a table
      1. For quick dining or easy packing away at night / end of day, a pole leg is ideal
      2. For fine dining PLEASE!!!! use a four leg table , size dependant use more legs for larger tables
      3. If you insist on using a pole leg for stability please make sure that the base plate is as wide as the table top i.e. 1000mm square top = 1000mm base plate. My experience is that these table bases ar not commercially available and as a result we have started making our own for this purpose – they are obviously available for you to buy from us.
    5. For tables under 1000mm, unless you have a little café NEVER have round tables – let me repeat that NEVER use round table An 800mm round becomes a three seater never a 4 seater table. Square or rectangular tables allow you to quickly put two or three tables together for larger groups – it never works with round tables. As it is more user / patron friendly when you have specifically designed the restaurant for round tables that accommodate 8 patrons and up this caution obviously is not important.

For additional information and ideas, I have included some links  by other industry specialists at the end of the article, to assist you to quickly lay out your restaurant. I have also included other articles that offer other advice that is pertinent to a restaurant set up.

Should you require a consult please feel free to contact us.


Restaurant Design – Restaurant Layout

Cafe and Restaurant Floor Plan

How To Create Restaurant Floor Plan in Minutes

This article was written by Gary da Silva of IYC office and restaurant furniture

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