For the young entrepreneur who has never worked in the restaurant business before, planning to open a restaurant can be a daunting but exciting project. There are many things to consider such as the ambience, music, restaurant table tops, wall art and other décor, and it not only requires an overall vision but also an eye for detail and a lot of practical planning. For a restaurant to function well it needs to operate like a well-oiled machine, while the diner is unaware of what is going on behind the scenes.
How do you begin to plan a restaurant? What are the important parts, and how do you blend them together so that they give your customer an unforgettable experience? Here’s how to make your restaurant more functional with the proper planning.
The dining area
It would be false to say that your dining area – where customers sit to eat – is the place you should pay most attention to; all areas are important. It is, however, the area in which your customers will form their opinion about your restaurant, so it should be exactly according to their taste. Find out all you can about your target demographic, and decorate with them in mind.
This is the heart of the restaurant, where the magic happens, so make sure those working in the kitchen have all they need to make it work well. Organization and layout – no matter how industrial it may seem – is important to keep it performing according to expectations.
Perhaps you might encourage your customers to sit at the bar and have a drink there, or perhaps you don’t mind them eating there, either. However, you should plan it. If you are going to install a bar, make sure it’s just as welcoming and comforting as the dining area.
Often overlooked, but crucial: a diner who has a bad or nasty experience in the restroom is not likely to come back soon. Pay attention to cleanliness, comfort, and detail!
Your exterior design should look attractive and should invite attention. If you are planning to have diners eat outdoors, provide sturdy but comfortable seating and tables that can withstand the weather.
There may be one more area to consider – especially if you plan on going high-end or expect to be able to handle a lot more customers at one particular time: the waiting area. Comfortable chairs or seats, along with the opportunity to have a drink and check out the menu, will be crucial. It’s also a great place to display your upcoming events and advertise your happy hours, for example. However great the vision and ideas for your restaurant may be, they should be grounded in a practical design and planned thoroughly.