Aspects that Matter in Restaurant Design

Designing a restaurant, whether making over an existing one or starting from scratch is a major undertaking. You may choose to engage the services of a professional design team and experienced company like

Dawnvale to help realise your dreams, but you will need to be clear on what you want as the restaurateur.


All restaurants have a theme that distinguishes them. This may be very simple, with unadventurous but good food served quickly in modest surroundings. Others will strive for excellence and originality of cuisine, venue and service. Others may go for a Mexican, Oriental or other theme. Theme is central to character and incorporates style.


The style of a restaurant will be a mixture of various aspects of its character including the décor, the food and the way in which it is prepared and served. An example would be a fairly simple menu of fresh food excellently prepared in a low-key atmosphere of simple décor, basic furnishings with character (for example old but solid or upcycled) and a fun atmosphere created by fast service and uplifting background music. At the opposite end the restaurant may be full of traditional and more formal surroundings, elegant and sophisticated, with a sedate pace befitting the fine food and drink on offer.


Regardless of the theme, style and character of a restaurant, none of it will matter if the design is not functional. Functionality must be at the heart of every aspect of design. From the layout of the kitchen and the way in which it is equipped to the way in which seating in the restaurant itself is arranged, everything must be geared towards enabling the main functions of preparing and serving food well. This is vital for both customer and staff satisfaction.

A dining area can look fantastic but be a nightmare for staff to serve in. Having to navigate a path through a sea of potted plants and screens for example will not make the task of serving customers easy for staff. Unhappy and flustered staff will mean poor service and that means dissatisfied customers.


It is very easy to allow costs to spiral out of control when trying to combine all of the required elements into a design that will be both a realisation of your dream and also functional. Keeping an eye on the budget is vital. Set one and stick to it is the easiest way to stay in control. Consulting over aspects of design can save money in the long run as design firms are used to seeing and solving problems not always immediately obvious to others.


Times, trends and people change, as do, sadly, the fortunes of us all. Committing to an expensive design that will require high levels of costly maintenance may not be the best decision if future finances are in question. Good design can allow for additional development if things go well, as well as keep costs down if lean times follow.