The right layout for your restaurant’s seating area, kitchen, and bar locations can significantly impact the experiences of your guests and employees. It also impacts the overall profitability and efficiency of the restaurant. Regarding guests, selecting a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing floor plan enhances their dining experiences.

For employees, the floor plan should optimize efficiency and eliminate any hindrances that might impede their tasks. A comprehensive floor plan encompasses all areas of the establishment, mapping out the restaurant’s physical space. To craft a floor plan that meets all criteria, multiple considerations come into play. Here are some tips to guide you in discovering the optimal choice for a successful restaurant.

1. Check the Building and Regulations

Engaging a seasoned architect can assist in guaranteeing that your floor plan aligns with local building codes. Certain requirements may not be readily apparent to individuals lacking prior experience in this domain. For instance, some states require that restaurants have no open insulation over areas where food is served. Some need all restaurants to use washable surfaces all over the facility and this includes the walls and ceilings.

Depending on where you want to open your restaurant, you may need to adhere to additional legal requirements. They may apply to everything from menus and signage to the sitting arrangement and garbage area.

2. Think About Accessibility

It’s crucial to guarantee accessibility for customers and employees with mobility challenges in both the workspace and dining area. The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted to ensure that all individuals, regardless of mobility, enjoy an equal level of accessibility.

Every accessibility option you add to your restaurant should provide the same experience to that of other customers. For example, you need to provide a bar area where people with accessibility needs can enjoy the same level of comfort as those who can comfortably sit on a high stool or stand. All restrooms and work areas should do the same.

3. Consider Your Budget

Restaurant designs can be quite costly, so budget constraints may be a limiting factor when it comes to altering a space. You may want to reduce the number of walls you knock out and find an efficient way to install the plumbing if you want to cut costs. Arranging the layout based on existing plumbing fixtures can also help you save money. However, it also limits your options when it comes to modifications.

The process of acquiring permits also eats into the budget. You can find a design company specializing in restaurants like I-5 Design Build to help you choose a suitable site that won’t need as much work before signing the lease. You need to go through the planning department to get change of use permits and this can take months. 

4. Efficiency is Key

You don’t want your waiters and waitresses bumping into customers in the middle of their meal or having the cash register blocking the line of people waiting for their seat. Consider the flow of a plate from the kitchen to a table. Do wait staff have to carry the plates to the table or do you just place it on the counter and have it picked up? Consider how different people will move through space. Efficiency affects how well your employees can do their jobs and how comfortable customers are.

Always keep it simple. Your goal should be to minimize the movement of a plate from the service area to the kitchen and back. Design the space to avoid any bottlenecks and ensure the space is flexible and spacious enough even for large groups.


Some elements of your floor plan will need modification over time, but the basic foundations will always remain. Strive to develop a floor plan that facilitates efficient work for kitchen staff and enables them to serve customers in a manner that satisfies. Collaborate with adept professionals, and you’ll establish a robust foundation that contributes to your business’s long-term success.