Three Restaurant Design Mistakes

Designing a restaurant is a challenging enterprise. There are so many things to consider and so many opportunities for problems to present themselves. There are a number of issues that need to be given careful consideration in the design stages if serious and costly mistakes are to be avoided. Here are three areas in which restaurant design can go wrong:

A lack of cohesive theme

Whether serving cheap and fast food in simple surroundings or elegant and sophisticated with traditional fine dining, all restaurants are held together by several elements, one of which is theme. A theme can be as simple as deciding that the food will be good, basic and cheap, quickly served in sparse but comfortable surroundings. At the other end of the market a restaurant may go for an utterly contemporary theme incorporating the latest in restaurant design features such as an open kitchen, a décor that comes from natural sources such as trees and shrubs and wooden furniture, coupled with a menu that reaches new heights of creativity. Both will have a theme and it is that theme that binds everything together.

Restaurant design must be clear at the outset on the theme of the restaurant. This itself means clarifying the type of menu, the food to be served as well as the décor, target clientele and other features.


To be successful restaurant design must be functional. A fabulously decorated dining area with the perfect menu, atmosphere and client facilities will soon dissuade customers from returning if it cannot deliver functional service. If the restaurant is not functional – if it cannot turn out and serve food and drink as customers require – then it will fail. Functionality extends to the kitchen as well as the restaurant dining area. Everything must be geared to the efficient production and service of food and drink. A dining area that is cluttered with decorations, inspired and pleasing as they may be can hinder the progress and fast efficient service of orders by staff. Similarly, badly placed customer facilities such as lavatories, coat storage, and baby changing facilities can make using them awkward for customers and staff, and therefore all customers in the long run.

The right kitchen

The kitchen is the engine room of any restaurant. Getting it right requires planning. Setting up a kitchen that can take on any order is pointless if it is mostly going to be used for the production of sandwiches, salads and pizzas. Similarly a restaurant aiming for a more complex and varied menu needs to be laid out correctly, with the right equipment and environment that facilitates the establishment of safe and efficient systems that work.



Design errors can ruin a restaurant. The theme needs to be clearly established and the layout and all design features keyed to offering best efficiency and functionality. This extends to the kitchen as much as anywhere else. The complexities of these tasks are why so many restaurants employ the services of specialist companies such as  Dawnvale