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Restaurant Concept Design: Ideas, Tips and Advice in 2024

An effective marketing plan is vital for a profitable, thriving restaurant business. Ambitious, targeted marketing efforts are as important to your restaurant’s success as day to day operations. Your marketing plan should focus on reaching out to new customers to expand your clientele base, keep loyal customers coming back and differentiating yourself from the competition.


Design Budget: A rule of thumb for the design budget is to set aside about 10% of the construction budget although the type of venue will affect the budget restraints. A fine dining restaurant will require a higher budget compared to a casual dining one of the same size. A fine dining restaurant will inevitable include different design elements including more expensive restaurant furniture, wall and ambiance setting fixtures.

Advertising Budget: Another element that needs to be taken into consideration is the advertising budget which depending on your type of venue can include anything from flyers to a website or even a radio or TV ad. It is advisable to have at least a basic advertising plan created and a budget set aside even before the venue opens.

Concept and Ideas development:

The concept and ideas stage includes the overall process of designing or re-designing a restaurant. It includes creating a concept and a theme for the venue. This means also planning the design, marketing, and branding. It also includes managing suppliers, customers and other competitors in the area.

After the concept is created the development needs to begin. A timetable has to be created, professionals contacted and a budget needs to be maintained. In order for the plans to go ahead as smoothly as possible it is advisable to have at least one periodic meeting with all professionals involved in the development.

Design restrictions and considerations:

Restaurant design includes a large number of variables and elements. Here are the most common ones you will face:

  • Branding and Marketing: Branding includes three major elements: promise, personality and perception. These are the things that set your venue apart from the competition and make it memorable to your customers.
  • Type of Restaurant: The type of restaurant you will affect the design. A fine dining restaurant will have a different design than a quick service or a fast casual restaurant. This will also affect your budget as things such as décor, restaurant furniture and materials used in construction. A fine dining restaurant may use premium items such as granite counter tops and marble flooring whereas laminate counter tops and linoleum flooring may be used for a quick service restaurant.
  • Size: The square footage of your building will affect the size of your restaurant and how you design your floor plan. If you have a large interior this will give you the freedom to allocate more floor space for the dining room and increase your seating capacity. If you have limited floor space this will mean you will have to plan your seating chart and floor plan more carefully so you will have enough space for customers and for essential areas such the kitchen, storage and preparation areas.
  • Floor Plan Design: The floor plan design for the dining section, kitchen and back section and front entrance area should be carefully designed according to space, budget and practical requirements.

Floor plan design:

Creating a floor plan should be designed not only to ensure there is enough space for your customers, equipment and utilities, it should also ensure an easy flow of movement of the customers, and workers such as the waiters, bus boys and kitchen staff. A well designed floor plan will make efficient use of available space and provide enough room for easy flow of traffic.

There are several important areas to consider when designing your floor plan:

  • General Floor Plan Characteristics: As mentioned before, your floor plan will depend on factors such as available space and the type of restaurant. However, all restaurants will have private zones for the kitchen and storage and public areas for the dining room and restrooms.
  • Dining Room Layout: The space between server stations and the dining tables should be no more than 60 feet. This is to ensure quicker service. The traffic path between occupied chairs should be at least 18 inches wide.
  • Lobby / Waiting Area: A fine dining restaurant should have a lobby or waiting areas with seating and a fast casual restaurant should also have a waiting area where customers can view the dining area to entice customers. Space for this should be large enough to accommodate customers but not at the expense of the dining area.
  • Kitchen & Storage: The kitchen and storage should be designed to ensure freedom of movement and safety. Be sure to include enough storage space for refrigerators and dry storage. There should also be adequate space for preparation and an office. These areas should be away from the flow of public traffic.