There’s a friendly debate in the restaurant industry – is an establishment’s food enough to keep customers coming back again and again? While there are some who say yes – and certainly in a few special cases the food really is that good – most of the time it’s a combination of menu, service, design and other factors that create a popular eatery. And often a restaurant’s design and atmosphere can make or break its success. Here are five important aspects to consider when designing a restaurant.


Perhaps one of the most important areas of a restaurant’s design is its entrance.


Because this will give guests their first impression – and you want it to be a good one! When a guest first walks through the doors the atmosphere they are presented with will help them form an opinion of the quality of an establishment. Awkward doors, insufficient space or seating in the entrance and overly bright or too dim lighting will contribute to how a restaurant makes them feel.


A restaurant’s lighting is a huge part in creating a good first impression. The amount and type of lighting, the placement and style of light fixtures and the use of single or multi leveled lighting all adds to an establishment’s atmosphere.

Consideration also needs to be made for staff members. While restaurants often want a softly lit, intimate setting for customers, they also have to offer enough lighting for staff to write down orders, deliver food and perform the many other tasks restaurant workers must do to keep their guests happy.


Seating is about more than offering a comfortable place to sit – although that’s certainly a major part! The way the seating is placed around the room, the pathways around seating areas, the style of seats and quality all add to the overall look and feel of a restaurant.

Most restaurants offer a variety of seating, which not only gives guests multiple options, it also adds levels to the space and creates visual interest. Different sizes and shapes of tables and chairs also help maximize seating as larger seating areas such as booths can be surrounded by smaller tables.


Connectivity is another contributing factor to a restaurant’s circulation. Staff and customers need to be able to easily move about between all areas, which includes the entrance and waiting area, the dining room, the washrooms and the kitchen and administrative areas.

If the kitchen is too far away from the dining area, it will take staff longer to deliver food and slow down service. If the washrooms are in an inconvenient place, the guests may become irritated and decide not to come back.


While ventilation isn’t the first thing to come to mind when creating an enjoyable restaurant experience, it’s actually a highly important factor. Restaurants are busy places with many different food items being cooked, served and eaten.

People are huddled around tables and staff is bustling about. Without a good ventilation system – a restaurant could easily turn into a very unpleasant place. Proper ventilation is important for food sanitation, temperature regulation, fire suppression and – of course – comfort.

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