Restaurant… world of food but not for foodies only….we go there to enjoy atmosphere, company of our friends or loved ones… we celebrate parties and many other events… we even go there to show off…;)
Being owner of such a business sounds quite tempting, right? How many of us haven’t imagined opening a restaurant at some point in our lives. But this business is also quite a risky one - they say 60% of the newly opened restaurants get closed in the first year… ooops..
There are many tips on how to make you restaurant business successful…Here I’m going to share with you successful restaurant tips from architectural point of view.
No-no-no..It’s not that architects know only how to put nice pictures on your walls and make tablecloth matching it…they can contribute more
So, here we go…
1. Restaurant location
Yep, proper location is very important. To my mind, first thing you should do is decide what kind of restaurant you want to open and then look for a place accordingly.
Let’s say, it’s a deluxe restaurant. It means that your clients should be wealthy enough to be able to pay for five course dinner. Right? In this case, location near luxurious hotel in an up-market area might be a good choice.
Another example – Fast food restaurant. Who will be your target customer? Youngsters..of course or office going crowd.Consider location near university or
office space as the profitable one.
Image Source: shutterstock.com And don’t forget what time most of the visitors can come and act accordingly. Example? Night club–if you are a Fast food place - you better be open on Saturday early morning to make some more profit ;)
But of course there is much more to consider about your perfect restaurant location from architectural point of view. Such things like parking availability, utilities (cooking gas, water, electricity) connections, accessibility and neighborhood should also go along with your restaurant type.
a) Parking availability
If your place can accommodate more than 5 tables, it’s better to see if your patrons can park their cars.
Is there any public parking area nearby? Is your chosen land plot big enough to accommodate parking? Or do you have enough budget to build it underground? But of course, if your restaurant is a part of shopping mall, for example,it makes your life easier, you will not have nightmares about customers’ parking.
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If your chosen plot has no accessibility to gas, water and electricity - obviously, you will have to spend extra money and time on making connections with respective suppliers or (which is modern twist nowadays) make your restaurant energy efficient by using “passive house” technologies.
Good roads connection for car drivers and public transportation availability for pedestrians – again depending on your restaurant type, chose what is really ideal for your place. And don’t forget about your food suppliers – they have to have separate access to your restaurant (other than when they are dining there ;)
Image Source: genius.com
What kind of environment you are building in? Is it near a big park or on the sea side which attracts a lot of locals and tourists as well? Is it down-town with sky-scrapers all around or remote two-tree-storey high neighborhood? In general, it’s good if there are any other type of business, which can attract customers who you can share (i.e. shopping mall).
And don’t be afraid of competitors as well. Instead, choose the most successful one and place yourself right next to it.Their customers can try your place, so you save on advertisement, and choose you if you are good enough. Notice, that it’s risky as they can beat you (literally, as well in some cases) but this business is all about risk, isn’t it?
Finally ask yourself: will my restaurant with chosen style stand out here and attract customers? If no, you better change the place, or your restaurant concept…
Image Source: amusingplanet.com
2. Restaurant size
It’s quite complicated to organize rightly a big plot, but what if you start with a tiny spot barely enough for two tables and to squeeze a cook in a corner?Yes, it’s a headache as well. You have to think how to organize your place in the best way so your customers will not sit on the head of waiter ;).
Proper space utilization can not only save your money on later reconstructions but also the key to the successful restaurant daily process management from utensils been broken to customers queuing up for tables..
Image Source: culturainquieta.com
3. Restaurant type
Let’s say, you already have a small plot with two chairs and this is it. Is it a comfortable place for family gathering? Can somebody organize party there? Common, even chilling out with friends might be a problem… you see, your restaurant type should match your space. Try to notice this problem before it actually occurs and prevent it… (i.e. yummy food restaurant entirely based on free home delivery).
Image Source: content.time.com
4. Restaurant Atmosphere
Yes, it’s an atmosphere makes your place memorable. Remember what kind of senses do we, Homo Sapiens, have? To create right atmosphere you better please all of them.
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a) Restaurant Style
To make happy your customers’ visual sense.It actually goes along with furniture, fabrics and another material selection which should satisfy the sense of touch as well…
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Something more to enjoy for your eyes..too dim light so you can’t see what you are eating, will make you uneasy.. too bright – can divest your privacy… also, true, that lighting always goes along with space type – private cabinet – “private” lighting.. Fast food open zone – clear “social” lighting.
c) Music Image Source: yelp.ca
Kenny G plays in the background in fine dining restaurant around the world. Have you ever had anyone complaining about Kenny G or found it disturbing? Never. That’s because it is meant to be – soft, luxurious, unintrusive and barely noticeable low volume.
Why is it played at such a large variety of places – hotels, restaurants, airports and so on- coz it is soothing and fills in the vacuum when there is nothing to say or hear, suppresses the clutter of noise. Yes all of that.
Image Source: casadebandiniblog.com
Plus it makes you feel rich !!can you believe it? Its true – Kenny G music has a touch of luxury to it – that little tilt of sax and you already know you are in a rich place.Notice it next time when you are in a five star hotel.
So for all fine dining restaurants – instrumental, jazz and blues – all on low volume are natural choices. For café – it has to be according to the personality that you want to create- example hard rock goes with a loud place, multi level, lots of metal furniture, combined with dark colour gives it a life. Wait a sec – why is an architect talking about it? A good music system has to be properly designed (along with acoustics) and might well be one of the most expensive items when you build your own restaurant – don’t forget it.
Imagine you are on a date… but instead of enjoying a nice conversation with your partner, you can only hear some next table chit chat… or very loud music from the next floor bar prevents you from your feast…. nasty isn’t it?
If you have ever experienced such thing you should know, that acoustic is important thing to make you happy in a restaurant.
Image Source: acoustix.co.uk
e) Video Screen
Video screens are common these days. Bars and cafes have flat screens showing sport telecasts. Music concerts are played too in metal cafes. Breakfast places have news playing on popular TV channel. Use the video screens to lock in your customer. Locating the screens is also a challenge as you have to ensure it reaches maximum number of diners without giving them neck pains.
Image Source: projectorpeople.com
f) Ventilation system
So you customers smell only their delicious food.
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Everyone should feel comfortable in your place..
Unless you are a night bar – think about your visitors’ children – at least have few baby’s chairs, but remember that an option to let their children play somewhere nearby (in specially organized area for it) while parents are dining will attract more customers.
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Accessibility for differently abled people is the must. Simple ramps next to all 3-5 steps- stairs or lift if you accommodate two floors will make your patrons come back to you next time and believe it or not, there are still not many restaurants with such “luxury outfit”.
And one more picante moment – comfortable toilet. My God, about toilets I should write separate post as there is so much to say!..but in general, if there is not enough space for separate women’s, men’s and handicapped WC, make it one but big enough for everyone with arrangement suitable for differently abled people.
And of course, taste. From architectural point of view I can’t advise on it - your cook handles it better, unless you want house shaped cakes with light varnish fragrance ;)
Image Source: bakeat350.blogspot.com
5. Restaurant branding
Sometimes it’s a good idea to check restaurant menu to understand if branding is done well.. Imagine, a restaurant serves mostly Chinese food..but the name of the place and it’s design is clearly European.. or prices are high but furniture quality is low…confusing, isn’t it?
It’s clear, that you should focus not only on design as it is, but on its connection with food, prices, service type, location and so on ..in this case, it will be easier (and cheaper) for you to market your baby.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
Last but far from the least. And actually should be on the first place.. Design which meets your budget makes you not only happier but also richer.. ;)
Image Source: Lifehack.org
To conclude, here is an example by Kay Studio of what your restaurant can look like ;)