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Restaurant Layouts: Which Works Best for You?

Creating a restaurant demands more than an extensive menu, quality food, and excellent customer service. The layout and interior design also matter.

It can dictate many aspects, such as the flow of the operation, mood, branding, and appeal. It determines the type of contract flooring you need, the light to install, or even the paint.

Find out the best restaurant layout for your business with these options:

1. Fast-food Restaurants

The layout for most fast-food restaurants is very basic. There is usually a counter where you order your food and then several tables and chairs to sit at and eat. This type of layout is ideal if you are in a hurry or on your own. It is also straightforward to clean.

Other notable features include:

  • The flooring is easy to clean and usually uses vinyl or linoleum.
  • The lighting is bright and usually fluorescent.
  • The walls are typically painted white or a light color.

2. Casual Dining Restaurants

Casual dining restaurants usually have a more relaxed atmosphere than fast-food restaurants. They often have booths and tables instead of chairs and tend to be larger. If there is a bar, it is usually towards the restaurant’s front, and other seating tends to be near the back.

The layout for these restaurants is designed to create a sense of relaxation and comfort. This type of layout is ideal if you are with one or more people, most likely family members or friends. Casual dining restaurants are often the best for children.

Other features include:

  • The flooring is typically hardwood, tile, or linoleum with carpet in dining areas.
  • Despite being less formal, the lighting can be just as bright as fast-food restaurants.
  • These restaurants have walls usually painted a color other than white to create a warmer atmosphere.

3. Fine Dining Restaurants

fine dining

Fine dining restaurants are designed with a particular look that often includes dark colors, low lighting, large windows, and high-end furniture. It is meant to promote an atmosphere of elegance for formal occasions such as date night or a special dinner party. The layout is usually more challenging to navigate than casual dining restaurants, so it is best for small groups or couples.

Other features include:

  • The flooring often uses hardwood floors and carpets.
  • The lighting can be low, with table lamps being popular.
  • Walls are painted a dark color to create an elegant atmosphere. The idea is also to make the restaurant seem smaller and more intimate.

4. Take-out Restaurants

Take-out restaurants are somewhat like fast-food restaurants in that they tend to be more casual and often have a counter where you order your food. Because the focus is on take-out, these restaurants usually do not have dining areas. A dining area tends to be small with only a few tables or maybe even just a bench when there is a dining area.

The layout makes it easy for customers to pick up their food and leave as quickly as possible. This layout makes take-out restaurants ideal if you are on your own or with one other person. The counter means focusing on take-out rather than a more leisurely dining experience.

Other features include:

  • The flooring for this type of restaurant usually uses vinyl, linoleum, or tile.
  • If there is a dining area, it tends to be smaller and more informal than other types of restaurants. Lighting can be as bright as those used in casual diners.
  • Walls are painted white or some shade of off-white. The idea is to make the space feel larger and more open.

5. Bars

Bars come in all shapes and sizes, but they often have one thing in common: they do not have a set layout. This is because the design of a bar depends on what type of bar it is. There are dive bars, sports bars, wine bars, and more. Each one has a unique layout that reflects the kind of bar.

That said, there are a few standard features to most bars. These include:

  • Seating is usually informal, with chairs and stools being popular.
  • The lighting is usually dimmed to create a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Walls are often painted a dark color.
  • There is usually a bar in the front of the space.

6. American Diners

American diners are a unique type of restaurant that combines the features of a casual dining restaurant with a bar. This means that they have both a counter where you order your food and seating where you can eat it. They also often have booths and tables instead of chairs.

The layout of American diners is designed to create a sense of comfort. This is because restaurants represent the informal feeling of a coffee shop with the convenience of take-out. Other features include:

  • The flooring will usually use hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors and might also have smaller rugs scattered throughout.
  • The lighting can range from bright in some areas to dim in others.
  • Walls will usually be painted a bright color to create an atmosphere of comfort.

Every restaurant has a different theme and style to create a distinctive dining experience. While the layouts may seem very different, they all use features like color, lighting, and layout to put their twist on them.

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