I have been a restaurant designer for over 2 decades and as most good designers ought to do I have made an analysis of restaurant architecture in that time. My method has been to collect specfic information about what I see and don’t see in successful restaurant, and then I group these elements together to try to find the general rule that explains how this bistro design element contributes to a seccessful bistro.
Sadly, a good design often goes unnoticed. Often time things only get noticed when they don’t work. When your car starts you don’t get surprised, because it is supposed to start. When you turn the key and nothing happens, the cursing starts. This is a fact of life, it is just the way people are, we all do it. Machiens have no feelings, so who cares. When this same thing happens to people, geting no praise for a job well done but insults for a screw up, it hardly seems fair. For a lot of the work architects and designer do this is all to true. Customers will flow through a well done floor plan with ease, never being aware of all the hours spent balancing the various demands of the restaurant. However, if our floor plans are not done right people will get frustrated. If the design was for an enterprise then the company will suffer and if the company suffers then no repeat work for us. I’m only going to focus on 1 element of cafe design, one that frustrated me recently at a bistro I went to, the reception region.
Once you go into any creating for the very first time you need information. The data you’ll need is “where do I go?”. Because we’re focused on restaurants then what you’ll need is directions to the reception region where you may be greeted and seated. This is accurate of all restaurants even quickly food restaurants. A quickly food cafe requirements to inform you where to order, where to pickup up and where to sit. Have you ever walked in to a rapidly food restaurant and been confused how this works? I have and I design restaurants for a living. I can not anxiety this enough have a clearly defined reception. When men and women come in your cafe be clear where they are going to locate service. A sit down cafe will require to identify a hostess to seat you. A fast casual bistro will need to direct you where to order and pick-up.
The hostess station might be a traditional stand where someone stands with a reservation book along with a phone. In case you are going for an or a minimalist design it might be a shelf on the wall. A family restaurant may have a sign “please wait here to be seated”. Whatever it’s it need to be clear to the customer. When designing ask yourself ‘from the front door can I see it, is it recognizable?’ A buyers awkwardly wander around with no idea what to do just isn’t what you need inside your cafe. Do you want your diners to begin their expertise within your bistro feeling stupid?
I know this is far more detail than many people require but in case you are a restaurateur with design decisions to make, these are the small but essential points that could get overlooked. It truly is significantly more enjoyable to talk about the large ideas and significant design elements but as I stated in the beginning men and women will talk in case you get it wrong.
Burt Andrews is an Architect with over 20 years of experience in designing restaurants and retail stores. You can read more of his restaurant design ideas at his blog about restaurant architecture. He is a principal at Larson and Darby Group in charge of the St. Charles, IL office.