If you’re planning to open a new restaurant in the near future, this is an exciting time. While it can be easy to get completely wrapped up in menus and suppliers, it’s absolutely crucial to carefully consider, too, the layout of your dining space and the restaurant furniture to help ensure that your venture is a success.
While it’s tempting to view the layout as an afterthought, planning it in good time, and getting it right can make a profound difference to the ambiance and vibe of your eatery, as well as having a major impact on the practicalities of how the space is used. We explore below just why this element of your business is so important and the things you need to consider to get it spot on.
Maximizing the Space
Planning out the space before buying any furniture is the best way to ensure that you can fit in the optimum number of tables and use even awkward corners, to their fullest potential, without overcrowding. Knowing exactly what will be located and where in the floor plan will make for efficient shopping and less risk of spending on items that end up going unused.
Once your floor plan is finalized, choose the restaurant tables, chairs, and the other items you need that are specific to your requirements when it comes to size and shape – we discuss how to choose restaurant furniture in more detail below.
Smoothness of Circulation and Movement
This element of planning your layout is all about two things: enhancing the guest experience and making sure that serving staff can easily access tables to ensure efficient delivery of meals and removal of plates and cutlery.
When it comes to guest experience, it’s not a good idea to have guests be required to squeeze between tables to get to their seats or need to ask other diners to tuck in their chairs in order for them to get past to visit the restroom. Considering these things will help to ensure that your guests have an enjoyable time and are left with a positive impression of your business.
In terms of the second point, waiters need to be able to quickly and efficiently deliver food and drinks to the tables at all times, so making sure that there are clear routes to allow for this is vital.
Careful consideration of your restaurant’s layout is also important to ensure optimum safety levels are maintained. It is a requirement that there’s a clear (and clearly signposted) route for people to follow out of the building in the event of an emergency. Seeking professional advice on this score is a good idea to ensure that all legal and safety requirements are being met in your plan for the space.
Choosing the Best Restaurant Furniture
When it comes to getting the furniture for your establishment right, keep these things in mind:
The last thing you want is to be buying new tables and chairs again in a few months, so opt for furniture that is sturdy and likely to be able to remain in service long-term.
As well as durable, it is paramount that the chairs are comfortable for your guests to sit in for a few hours and that both the chairs, barstools, and tables are at the right height.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that the chairs and tables you select can be easily moved about just in case, for example, you need to shift things around to accommodate a particularly large party.
Select furniture that matches the overall theme, mood, or atmosphere that you want to create for your restaurant. This could be in terms of the colors of items that you pick or their style. Putting together a cohesive aesthetic can both promote brand recognition and enhance the positive experience of diners.
Think about the overall style of your restaurant to help with your selection, too: is it contemporary, with an innovative, cutting-edge menu, or will you be serving traditional fare in an intimate atmosphere? The furniture should reflect the niche in which your restaurant sits.
If your restaurant features an outdoor dining space, then be sure to select outdoor furniture that is durable, waterproof, and able to withstand the weather. Think about shading, and provide large umbrellas if naturally shaded areas aren’t available.
Furnishing Great Guest Experiences
When planning the layout, and choosing the furniture, for your new restaurant, always keep in mind that these elements will serve to create a great guest experience, as well as fulfilling the practical functions that you need them to. By ensuring ease of movement and flow, a cohesive design, comfort, and the best use of the space, you will ultimately maximize the efficiency of your establishment and encourage your diners to view their visit in a positive light.
Fusing form and functionality is the key to planning the interior of the space and, when deployed correctly, can up-level your restaurant and turn first-time guests into repeat customers.