Designing a Restaurant Layout Online

By Zeus Tyrone Mendoza

When designing a restaurant, layout is essential in making a good impression on a customer. A bad impression can result in client dissatisfaction and poor reviews for your establishment. Hiring layout consultants and interior designers can be costly, but there is an alternative. You can create a free layout on the Internet through the Floor Planner website. This guide will explain the basic principles of designing a restaurant layout online.

Floor Planner

Study and familiarize yourself with the editing tools at the Floor Planner website (link provided under resources). This website allows you to make one free blueprint to save and share with people online. If you want further designs, you must subscribe to a paid service. With Floor Planner, you can create a 2D top-down model and a fully 3D virtual model of your restaurant. It employs a user-friendly point-and-click, drag-and-drop tool interface--no experience is needed to start.

Basic Layout Needs

Every restaurant, from simple to fancy, needs certain elements in place in order to function. A restaurant needs a customer service area, kitchen, office, staff area, dining, and restrooms for the public and employees. When designing your layout online, start by placing down the customer area (i.e.: seating room, cashier and hostess station), then leading into the dining area. From there, branch off into the kitchen, office and staff areas, and bathrooms.

Leading Your Clientele

Lead your customers into the areas that will be generating your revenue. If your restaurant is focused on sit-down dining, map the steps from your establishment's entry toward the tables. If your restaurant is bar-oriented, lead customers to the bar. The key is to create a good flow of entry and exit without creating bottlenecks. Keep spacing in mind when constructing each room as you place virtual tables, bars and other equipment on the website. This will create a setting that leaves your customers recalling a pleasant restaurant experience.

Staff Flow

Keep flow of personnel and materials in mind when designing your staff areas. This will prevent the backtracking of personnel, which leads to decreased productivity and inefficient labor use. Restaurant staffers also need room for navigation in order to serve the customers properly. Be aware of proper sanitation when adding cleaning elements to your virtual design. This can include location of hand sinks to promote cleanliness, equipment with casters or wheels for easy access and washing, and designated areas for hanging wall supplies and shelved items. Having these in the right areas will save you labor hours spent cleaning, leaving more time for food preparation and quality service.