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How to Create a Restaurant Floor Plan that Entices Guests

How to Create a Restaurant Floor Plan that Entices Guests

Table Management

Table Management

September 26, 2023

September 26, 2023

Guests feel comfortable at restaurants, bars, and eateries where seating is cozy, yet spacious. Where it’s easy for them to move, find the restroom, and, of course, where they don’t have to bump into tables or people.

What creates this coziness is your restaurant’s floor plan.

Your floor plan can give guests enough privacy to enjoy a meal with friends or family. Or it can make their experience one they never want to repeat!

In other words, how you create your restaurant’s floor plan greatly affects your guests’ dining experience.

In this article, we’ll be zooming in on restaurant floor plans and their benefits. Specifically, we’ll be looking at how to create a restaurant floor plan that creates a memorable guest experience.

What is a restaurant floor plan?

What is a restaurant floor plan?

A restaurant floor plan is a layout, showing where everything goes in your restaurant, ensuring smooth operations and movement.

It should include details like where your kitchen is located, your servers’ station, restrooms,…etc.

What are the components of a restaurant floor plan?

What are the components of a restaurant floor plan?

Your restaurant floor plan should show you the different areas in your restaurant. While the focus will be on table and seating arrangements, your floor plan should indicate every section in your restaurant.

For example, if your restaurant includes an indoor area and outdoor space, your floor plan should cover both.

Here’s a list of what your floor plan should cover:

  • Restaurant entrance

  • Waiting area

  • Kitchen

  • Dishwashing area

  • Storage

  • Restroom(s)

  • Servers’ station

  • Immovable objects like walls, pillars, fixed tables, stations, windows…etc.

  • Movable objects like table or seating separators, movable tables,…etc.

  • Seats and tables and the spaces between them

  • Food preparation areas (in restaurant concepts like Japanese restaurants)

  • Indoor and outdoor areas

  • Smoking and non-smoking sections

  • Free space for movement between tables

  • Safety features like fire extinguishers and emergency exits

  • Staircase (if applicable)

  • Elevator (if applicable)

A common mistake restaurants make is to try and squeeze too many tables. The result? Waiters are unable to move. Guests are squeezed. It feels like a public space rather than a dining experience.

And no one wants to come back ever again!

That’s why we highly recommend you review the free space available. It’s not just for your servers to move between tables, but for them to move from the kitchen to your guests, from the bar to the tables, and more.

Additional considerations to your restaurant’s layout

Although lighting isn’t part of a restaurant’s layout, it’s a critical element to consider.

Too much light means a glare that hurts your guests’ eyes. Like looking up at the sun when you first wake up and having to shield your eyes.

Too little light means guests bump into one another and can’t see your menus. It feels like you’re readying them for bedtime!

Lighting isn’t something that shows in your restaurant floor plan. But you should definitely take it into consideration when transforming your floor plan into reality.

Why restaurant floor planning is important?

Why restaurant floor planning is important?

Your restaurant layout or floor plan is like an outline. It helps you visualize how your restaurant will look, how your guests and servers move, and how everything falls into place.

Here are a few reasons creating a restaurant floor plan is important:

  • lets you visualize how waiters move in your restaurant from the kitchen to your guests and back, from the bar to your guests and back

  • gives you a view of your restaurant so you can visualize your various operations

  • helps you create harmony between the front-of-the-house and the back-of-the-house

  • helps you manage reservations, table arrangements, and walk-ins

  • ensures you create movement flow, which means better experiences for guests and servers

How to create a restaurant floor plan: Basics

How to create a restaurant floor plan: Basics

Before you design your floor plan, you first need to know how much space you have and how you will divide it.

Total Food Service recommends allocating 60% of your total area to your dining area and 40% to supporting areas like your kitchen, storage, restrooms,…etc.

These percentages may change slightly based on the type of restaurant you operate. For example, a fine dining restaurant floor plan should consider at least 20 square feet per person.

Meanwhile, banquet restaurants, like hotel restaurants that serve breakfasts or main meals, can have 10 square feet per person. On the other hand, coffee shop floor plans usually consider 15 square feet per person, according to Total Food Service.

Tips on how to create a restaurant floor plan

Now it’s time to put all the above into action. How do you create a restaurant floor plan?

This section will help you whether you’re revamping your restaurant, opening a new location, or opening your first restaurant.

To create your eatery’s layout, there are a few things to consider and a few questions to answer.

1. Determine who you’re serving 

The essence of any business is to know who you’re serving. Restaurants are no different. You need to determine the types of guests you expect at your restaurant, their preferences, and their needs.

2. Guesstimate your busy times and days

Next, you should consider what your busy times and days will be. To do so, you should also answer the following questions:

  • What types of meals do you serve?

  • When is the breakfast/lunch/dinner rush in your area?

3. Create various seating arrangements

An essential part of creating your restaurant’s layout is to identify seating arrangements. You should consider creating multiple arrangements to cater to your guests’ needs and numbers.

For example, create areas that would accommodate larger groups of four or more people.

Once you’ve determined your seating arrangements, you can use restaurant reservation software to let guests book tables at your restaurant.

4. Map out your flow and movement 

An essential benefit of using restaurant floor planning software is being able to map out movement and flow in your restaurant. This is critical to both your servers and your guests.

It helps you see movement

  • to and from the kitchen

  • to and from the restrooms

  • from the entrance to the different seating areas in your restaurant (bar, outdoor,…etc.)

5. Consider guests with special needs 

Besides having good restaurant movement and flow and designated smoking and non-smoking areas, you shouldn’t forget about your special needs guests.

Make sure your restaurant, restrooms, and outdoor seating areas are accessible to guests with special needs like on wheelchairs.

More restaurant floor planning features with SerVme

To create and visualize your initial restaurant floor plan, you need floor planning software. Alternatively, if you’re using SerVme’s restaurant reservation and management software, you can create and manage your floor plan from within SerVme.

SerVme’s table and seating management software lets you

  • visualize which tables you can combine to accommodate larger groups or parties

  • manage table reservations from multiple sources (whether guests book by phone, via your website, social media, or Google)

  • easily combine tables based on guests’ requests or needs

  • combine tables but maintain free movement within your restaurant

  • create and manage table combinations for seasonal events like a corporate dinner, a special open buffet event,…etc.

among other floor plan ideas and changes.

In other words, SerVme makes floor planning visual, easy, hassle-free, and quick.

You can learn more about table management and combinations in SerVme via our Help Center.

Wrapping it up

Creating your restaurant’s floor plan helps you visualize how you’ll manage your entire restaurant and how you’ll engage with your guests when you’re operational.

Your restaurant’s layout is the first step in creating those memorable dine-in experiences.

The next step is to make this floor plan a reality. Then, it’s time to consider restaurant management software.

One of the most important restaurant management software features is the customer relationship management (CRM) system, which helps you create guest profiles for personalized guest experiences.

SerVme offers restaurant reservation and management software for restaurants of all sizes. This means you can manage reservations and guest profiles and review and track your restaurant’s customer analytics.

SerVme also provides you with restaurant marketing automation features like email and SMS, various POS systems, floor planning software, and more.

Want to see SerVme in action? Signup to SerVme and uncover all we have to offer.

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Posted by:

Mohammed Rafy

Table Management