The design phase can be one of the most enjoyable yet stressful aspects of opening a new restaurant. First impressions for your customers could be the make or break of them returning to your restaurant again. So, you want to create a comfortable, functional and well thought out space as this goes a long way when it comes to customer impressions. The kind of ‘comfortable atmosphere’ you create for your diners all depends on the concept you’ve chosen for your restaurant. In a fine dinning restaurant you might find fancy light fittings, large tables with white table clothes, expensive wine glasses, elegant background music, compared to a family Italian eatery where checkered red table clothes, formica cups and paper serviettes.
One important factor is seating capacity. How many customers can you comfortable (and legally) seat. Cheaper more casual restaurants usually focus more on maximum seating capacity where as high end, fine dinning restaurants focus on ambience and atmosphere first. By now you will have decided on your restaurant’s concept so taking the next step into the design phase shouldn’t be too difficult.
Getting the Most out of Outdoor Areas
For those lucky enough to have outdoor areas, you need to ensure that adequate shade, lighting, fencing and security are all considered. We used a team of Geelong fencing contractors to create the most epic outdoor entertainment areas at one of our recent restaurant openings in Victoria. The team designed an amazing outdoor space with different level decks, merbau fencing privacy screens and planter boxes. It was a clear win with customers on opening night – the sun was out, drinks flowing and delicious food followed. Investing in a quality and reliable contractor will make your life much easier.
Heating and Ventilation for Your Restaurant:
This is a really important aspect for any restaurant whether casual or high end. Kitchens produce a lot of heat and can produce smoke so you need to ensure your restaurant is equiped with the necessary commercial ventilation. Nothing will turn customers away quicker than a hot, smokey restaurant. Though it may be tempting to cheap out on heating and cooling initially, my advice would be to get a proper system installed right from the start. It means you won’t have the headache of worrying about it in the future.
Design Problem Areas To Consider
Common design problem-areas are spots near the entrance, toilet and kitchen. Customers don’t want to sit here so consider putting your wait station near one of these problem areas and placing divider, screens or plants near the others. Sit in every single seat before opening day and honestly answer whether you would want to sit there to eat a meal if given the choice. If its a clear no, change something to make that area more enticing to customers.
Restrooms need to be functions, clean and light and bright. Your staff should be checking the toilets for cleanliness at the start of each shift and throughout busy periods. There is nothing more off putting to a customer than a dirty toilet in a restaurant, or a toilet that has not soap or has run out of paper towels. This is a simple yet essential aspect of running your restaurant for success.