Why Your Restaurant Floorplan Matters
You may know that the overall customer experience at your restaurant is what brings people back to dine with you time and time again. And you also know that the food and your customer service are a huge focus for you and your staff.
But did you know that your floorplan and the layout of your restaurant also affect the overall customer experience? The layout of your restaurant can affect many things, including productivity, workflow, your restaurant’s operations, the ordering behavior of customers, how long they stay, and so much more. (tweet this)
In this article, we look at why your restaurant floorplan matters and some things to consider.
Your Floorplan Welcomes Diners
The right floorplan starts right at your front door.
For example, when you have laid out your restaurant efficiently, guests are guided through the doors to a roomy and airy waiting area. Next, they would easily see your dining room as well as your bar if you have one. Your bar should be right off the waiting area so guests can relax with a drink while waiting for their table.
The goal is to make everything easily accessible. Your floor plan should also set the tone for your restaurant. It should be inviting, comfortable, and easy to navigate.
Finally, consider the customer journey from the time they enter to the time they leave. Map out any possible routes they may take. Think about how and where they will sit, wait for their food, eat, pay their bill, and how they will exit your restaurant.
Don’t forget also to consider your diners’ view. What is the view from every table and every seat in your restaurant? Is it welcoming, inviting, and comfortable?
Your Floorplan Should Promote an Easy Workflow
Productivity is key for your staff. So, your floor plan should promote a smooth and easy workflow. You don’t want your waitstaff to be tripping all over tables to get from one to the other.
In addition, you also want a productive workflow in your kitchen, in your takeout and delivery areas, as well as the other areas where employees work.
Don’t overlook the area from the kitchen to the dining room. You want to make it easy for servers to bring orders to the tables and send orders to the kitchen.
There should be an order for your dining room design. You don’t want scattered tables, and you don’t want tables that are too crammed together. Make sure there is a path that makes sense for your servers.
A smooth flow of foot traffic is key for workflow and productivity. The placement of server stations should also be well thought out. And don’t forget to consider the path for your customers to get to the restrooms and to leave the restaurant.
A maze isn’t suitable for anyone as it confuses customers and frustrates employees. Your overall floor plan defines the movement and circulation of the people inside your restaurant.
Expanding on what we just talked about is the circulation and movement of staff and diners. Your layout and floorplan should allow people to move about inside your restaurant easily.
Your Floorplan Connects Frontend and Backend
When creating your floorplan, it should be designed in such a way that the front end of your restaurant (entrance, waiting area, greeter/cashier area, and dining area) is connected well to the backend of your restaurant (kitchen, pantry, storage, and admin area).
You want to provide for easy movement from the pantry to storage to the kitchen. Don’t create hassles for your backend staff – make it easy for them to get to what they need.
Finally, do make sure your backend is separated from your front end so your customers aren’t bothered by what’s going on in the kitchen, admin, pantry, and storage areas.
Your Floorplan Provides Safety and Compliance
Another reason your floor plan matters is for the safety of your staff and diners.
If there is ever an emergency, your layout needs to provide an easy way for people to exit the building. You want wide paths so people aren’t tripping and falling on their way out.
Think about space, pathways, lighting, and emergency exits as well.
You also want to ensure your restaurant floor plan is up to code with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This way, you can make sure there’s enough room for wheelchair access and that your entire restaurant is functional for people with disabilities.
Don’t overlook the importance of your restaurant floor plan. It matters a lot to the overall success of your restaurant while also enhancing the customer experience.
It’s also worth noting that your floor plan also affects your employees. If it’s not easy for them to get around and do their job, they aren’t going to be happy. When your staff is unsettled or grumpy, they pass that on to your customers. So, your floor plan should be conducive to work and productivity.
With the right floor plan, the flow of your restaurant is efficient for both your staff and your customers. Where you put things makes sense, and your employees and customers can move around with ease.
Finally, when planning and maximizing your floorplan, the industry standard is 40% for the kitchen and 60% for the dining room.
Your floor plan is so much more than a drawing with circles for tables. It’s the overall flow of your restaurant. It also sets the tone and contributes to the ambiance. But above all, your restaurant floorplan matters because it can make or break the customer experience. (tweet this)
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Images: Jason Leung and Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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