Vector illustration of small restaurant

When you have limited space to work with, designing a restaurant can be difficult. You run the risk of workers running into each other or customers sharing a tight space. Making the most out of your space requires a bit of critical thinking, but there are several restaurant design strategies you can implement.

The Kitchen

Let’s start with the kitchen. There’s always the temptation to make your kitchen nice and spacious seeing as how it’s the bread and butter of your eatery. But the more room you leave for your kitchen, the less there will be for customers, which means a cut in profits. Make sure to maximize the space in your kitchen. You can achieve this by using cabinet space wisely and adding shelving or racks to walls. You can also assign a workspace to each employee so that you limit internal motion.

Comfortable Entryway

Depending on the demand of your restaurant, people may line up to get in. Which can be a great thing if you have the space to accommodate. But since we’re discussing small restaurants today, focusing on having a comfortable entryway can dictate how long a customer will be willing to wait for a table. Don’t include bigger furniture, as this will take up too much room and force crowds to cramp in even tighter. Adding some seating outside of your entrance can be a benefit as well. Another option is offering customers a chance to hang out at the bar until a table is ready; That way, they will be entertained, have a drink or two (which is more profit for you), and be inclined to wanna stay. It’s a win-win-win!

Walking Space

You also want to consider the room your customers will have to walk around. Generally, you want to have enough space so that two people can stand shoulder to shoulder, leaving enough room for someone to walk through. As for your staff, you want to leave about two and a half feet between objects. This leaves enough room for both directions. Don’t forget to factor in your chairs; They will be pushed out when people are sitting down, limiting the space. This won’t make or break your floorplan, but it’s important to consider.

Aesthetic Spacing

If you’re working with a small space, giving the appearance of a bigger restaurant will work to your benefit. But how can you do that? By simply avoiding larger furniture, it will allow a bit more breathing room for your customers. Having a spot with windows helps with the scale as well. This requires a bit of trial and error, so experiment a little. You’ll be surprised by the results you can achieve!