Restaurant design is much more than coming up with a concept and a menu.  How the actual property is laid out will play a massive role in the success or failure of your business.  To help give a general overall sense of the elements that need to be considered in a new restaurant we’ve created a list of ideas for designing a restaurant layout.


The kitchen is where the magic needs to happen.  It’s the proverbial man behind the curtain.  Having enough space to do the job properly is essential.  The general rule of thumb is to allocate 40% of the building space to the kitchen.  There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to actual kitchen layout – assembly line, island and zone are the main ones.  Choosing your preferred layout will dictate the actual kitchen design.


Many experts believe the look and cleanliness of your washrooms signals to customers what goes on behind the kitchen walls, so this is not an element to neglect.  Locating your washrooms near the kitchen will allow you to use existing plumbing to cut costs.

Dining Area

You should consider allocating the dining area approximately 60% of the total space.   This is the area where your concept is presented to your customers.  The most important things to keep in mind are occupancy regulations, traffic flow and area per table.  Once you have those necessary functions established you can turn to the creative.


Not all restaurants will have a bar in the public room, but the presence of one can provide a welcome contrast to the rest of the dining space and act as a casual dining section.  A bar can also be a profitable alternative to a waiting area by allowing customers to have a drink and peruse the menu while they wait to be seated.


The entryway is your first impression for the customers.  This is the area where you want to establish your brand and demonstrate your concept.  The size of the entryway depends on the style of restaurant and how long you might expect people to wait before being seated.  If you run on reservations alone, you might not need much space.  If it’s a walk up concept you might need a larger waiting area.