For a lot of people, design is probably the last thing on people’s minds. In the perspective of some people, design gets in the way of proper eating. And depending on where you are located, design might be as simple as going on PhotoShop. But if you want your restaurant to stand out (besides having a compelling concept and a great location), having a good-looking restaurant can go a long way.
Unless You Have a Degree in Interior Design, You Need to Consult a Design Firm
And even if you and your restaurant team have architecture or interior design degrees, your professional design firms will have a better idea of what’s more practical for a restaurant setting. They’ll also have better knowledge of current building code, current design trends, and what works/doesn’t work in restaurant design. And additionally, another set of eyes are great for feedback no matter what.
Better yet, it might even be worth it to meet with a firm that specializes in restaurants, or similarly the hospitality industry (hotels and resorts have to deal with restaurant design as well).
Restaurant Design Also Involves Sound Acoustics and Ventilation
This might sound obvious at first, but in a restaurant setting these two properties are especially important.
In acoustics, you want to determine if you want your place to be loud or quiet. There are people who have aversions against loud restaurants. If you’re opening a higher-end restaurant or opening a restaurant concept where noise isn’t part of the equation, then investing in acoustic tiles might come along a long way. Although on a side note, us Frogs wouldn’t put acoustic tiles in our Frog location.
And on ventilation, it can be incredibly important to see how your restaurant will be ventilated. Although some people might love smelling the cuisine just from the front-of-the-house, some people might not. And additionally, a well-ventilated system means that your patrons won’t necessarily have to suffer the heat from the kitchen, let alone the hot dishes.
Entertainment choices should also be factored in
What kind of entertainment are you going to put in your restaurant? If you’re thinking of putting live music in your restaurant, then your design will be considerably different from your normal Olive Garden (besides the legal considerations, which one of the Frogs covered).
And this applies to television screens, projector screens, and even music systems as well. Just putting speakers near your register might fly if you’re doing a restaurant less than, say, ten seats. But if you have a large venue like a chain sit-down restaurant, then that’s going to be a meeting with an A/V specialist (especially if your next large-restaurant is going to be independent) and see what kind of wiring might be done. There’s a reason why five- or six-figure sound systems exist–it’s because of restaurants.
Should be the first thing you should think about when you’re opening a restaurant? No. But this is definitely something you should be doing early on in your restaurant development.