I just wanted to do a quick post today to talk about designing your new restaurant. If you are not buying an existing facility, and you are designing a new establishment, hire someone who specializes in designing restaurants. Any mistakes made during the design of your restaurant will haunt you for years to come.
While you may end up paying a bit more for a specialist, it will actually save you money in the long run. If I was going to have surgery on my foot, I would go see a podiatrist . If I had electrical problems in my house, I would call an electrician. It’s the same with designing your restaurant; hire an architect that knows how to design kitchens.
One thing you need to understand about architects is that at heart they are artists. Many times aesthetics play as much a role in their design decisions as functionality. What you end up with is a restaurant that looks beautiful, but traffic and work flow problems are an ongoing headache for the staff. There are areas of congestion that slow the food coming from the kitchen to the tables, and longer routes to and from the kitchen than are necessary, resulting in the staff becoming more tired.
There are also work flow considerations in the kitchen. You will face higher labor costs because the design does not allow for efficient food prep and production, there is an increased risk of collisions and food waste because the flow of production doesn’t move the way it should.
Unfortunately, once the restaurant is built, it becomes a nightmare to try and correct, both in terms of cost and time.
So, make sure the person designing your facility knows how to design a restaurant. Once the initial design is given to you, take the time to really think through workflow and traffic patterns. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that yourself, hire a consultant to do it for you. Make sure the design works before the first brick is laid. It is an investment that will pay huge dividends in the long run.