Vector illustration of small restaurant

Restaurant Design For A Small Space

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!

Stylish modern restaurant

Restaurant Interior Design Tips

Restaurant Interior Design can be fun. It can also be tricky. You have to be appealing to a critical and hungry public while keeping your brand identity consistent. When deciding how to handle the interior of your restaurant, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Picking A Theme

Wine restaurant with white chairs











Picking a theme for your restaurant can be a challenge. It can be a lengthy process and will require a proper analysis of your specific wants and business needs. What kind of cuisine do you want to specialize in? What location are you scouting? You want it to convey your distinctive sense of style while appealing to your target demographic. Keeping it relevant to your personal interests will not only be a great motivator, but will also allow that unique, personal touch that only you are capable of.

Focus on Target Demographic

Friends enjoying dinner at restaurant











This should be one of the first things you think about when it comes to your restaurant. Who are you trying to appeal to? What is their age group? Where are they most likely to spend time? Having this knowledge will help you make aesthetic adjustments accordingly. It can be as simple as a change in your lighting fixtures that can capture the generational mood of each table.

Immediate Enticement

Front of restaurant











Try to think back to the last nice restaurant you walked into; What was great about it? Was it the atmosphere? The menu options? Or maybe it resonated with you so well simply because it had a nice entrance? You want to be able to immediately entice your customers, and having a unique entrance can grab someone’s attention quickly. You only get one chance at a great first impression, so take advantage of that by spicing things up.

Proper Decor And Art

Japanese restaurant with decor and art











Depending on the theme you’ve chosen, you will want to outfit your eatery in a suitable manner. Hypothetically speaking, if your restaurant serves Japanese food, it would be wise to research the culture and gain insight into what would work well. For example, the Tanuki has been significant in Japanese folklore since ancient times. You could maybe have some Tanuki statues spread out throughout the restaurant. And perhaps you can hang up some Kakemono (which literally translates to “hanging thing”) scrolls that display artwork and calligraphy. It’s the little things that will stand out the most.

Color Scheme

European restaurant with bright color scheme











Consistency is key, and your restaurant’s color scheme is no exception. You can either dived your colors in different portions of the place, or stick to one unified scheme all over. Color works in tandem with your furniture and lighting to create a specific mood. Vibrant hues would work well in a pub, while a family establishment may look better with a pastel palette. Remember; make sure it properly reflects your theme and your target audience.

The Kitchen

Open kitchen in modern restaurant











The one thing you may not think about when planning your restaurant interior design is your actual kitchen. Open kitchens are big these days, and by providing a glimpse into the daily duties of the staff and their cooking process, you’re allowing for a much more personal and relatable experience. I know I enjoy watching the magic happen. Or you can keep it simple and install glass doors or a service window.

Funniest Yelp Reviews Featured Image

Funny Yelp Reviews Of Chain Restaurants

yelp logo 2019

Yelp can be host to some great help and insightful perspectives on local cuisine. It can also showcase some funny reviews. Here’s a look at some funny Yelp reviews of chain restaurants:


“I feel like this review is more than a little pointless (are people really interested in opinions about the Chipotle on Broadway?) but I also think that Chipotle itself is pointless…so…double jeopardy. Or something.

I don’t get it. Its not Mexican food, its not fancy food, its just…just…I don’t get it. It never tastes as good as I want it to, and it bothers me that everyone else seems to like it except for me. Why? What do I not understand? The chips are too salty and the guac is too oniony. The only thing I like is their black beans, and I can make black beans. One extra point for having Barq’s root beer in their fountain thingy.” — Linds R., Chicago


“‘Kuluina pirya il quel!’…. ‘KULUINA PIRYA IL QUEL!!!!’….. ‘IL QUEL!!!!!’*… I expected a band of just and fair elves from Middle Earth to save me and chant this as I walked into Denny’s that morning, which is decked out in Hobbit specials this November and December in anticipation of the new Hobbit movie coming out, but alas I was not saved and walked to my doom at Denny’s which apparently is now the equivalent of Mordor.

Up to that day, I had not been at a Denny’s for years, but I liked the small-town breakfast diner atmosphere. What I especially liked were the Hobbit specials. I am a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings franchise, so I was able to picture myself in a modern Miami-esque shire waiting for Bilbo Baggins, Sam, and Frodo to magically appear…. Mmmm.. Shire sausage! Pumpkin pancakes! Lemon poppy seed French toast! I had a sudden craving for comfort food and decided to build my own grand slam, made up of all these premium 49 cents extra items.

Our food came out in about 20 minutes, which seemed to be a long wait time for Denny’s, but while we were eating, one of their workers came to our part of the diner and screamed, ‘DOES ANYONE DRIVE A GRAY HONDA CIVIC?!’. I thought Rohan was being attacked by the way she was screaming. My friend blushed, raised her hand, and went out the front door to move her car. I could tell she was a tad bit embarrassed.

BTW, for those who do not speak Elvish, ‘Kuluyina pirya il quel!’ translates into ‘Orange juice not good!’ It was all right, but for the price we paid, it was honestly highway robbery.” — Keith P. Miami

Olive Garden

“Weird. This place is just weird. Like parallel universe weird.

Adults were served before kids. Entrees came before soup. Supposedly ‘bottomless’ salad and soup was never refilled. Trainee disappeared but other people we’d never seen before kept coming by just to ‘check and see if everything is alright.’

No. Everything is not alright.

One of four kids got wrong meal — which took an eternity to remedy while we all waited.

One of four kids got the right meal but half the portion of the other three and no side dish. No, no, no.

Then there was a bizarre mystery meatball which no one ordered but was placed on our table and sat there through our entire meal without inquiry.

And let’s be honest about the breadsticks, people. Not that good. There, I said it. Not that good. Maybe if you live on Pillsbury pop-n-fresh, this might be a step up but really — not worth the hullabaloo.” — J.P., Los Angeles

Red Lobster

“Every time I see their TV commercials I’m ready to dip my TV in butter but then reality sets in: My TV would probably taste better. Frozen tiny crustaceans add up to a low-grade, high-priced seafood meal. When I was married I asked my ex-wife to do me a favor: Every time I craved Red Lobster I asked her to remind me how awful the place is. Thanks to her I’ll remember forever.” — Dan R., New York

And our personal favorite:

Rodizio Grill

“I like meat. They serve it here. I can have a lot of it. It is good. They also serve things I don’t like. I don’t have to eat those. Ham good. Ham better with pineapple. Vegetarians should call PETA. PETA should go get more chicks to pose naked in their ads. After I eat here I club girl over head and yell ooga. I am all that is man.” — Rick L., Denver

yelp review of rodizio grill denver colorado

This may not count as a “chain”, but we’re still laughing about it.

Plate with fork, knife, and rose

Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips

Valentine’s Day can be a special day. It can also bring on unnecessary stress. Everyone wants to make this day special, and the pressure of finding the perfect way, or place, to spend the evening can be a little tricky. It’s estimated that an average of $143 is spent on dinner during Valentine’s Day, with a total of $19 billion being spent. With these statistics, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the biggest days in the restaurant industry. It can certainly be difficult to stand out amongst the competition, but here are some ways you can attract couples this Valentine’s Day!

Offer Early Reservation Specials

Reserving the perfect time can be tricky. Offering early reservation specials can be a great way to relieve stress and entice customers. For example, you can offer one free drink or dessert if a customer books their reservation prior to a date you set. And this will give you a decent headcount to work off of. A win-win!

Valentine’s Day Menu

Because there will be an abundance of meal orders being placed, you may want to simplify your menu for the sake of your customers and your chef. Keeping the menu at a fixed promotional price may also entice more couples to come and stay. Crafting Valentine’s themed dishes and drinks is a fun way to spice things up. For example, you could create heart-shaped deserts or offer fine crystal champagne flutes. Offering pairing suggestions to your guests encourages additional wine and beverage purchases as well.

All About The Little Things

As a society, we tend to gravitate towards the little things; Positive actions, compliments, the last cookie from the cookie jar. And you can help personalize your customer’s experience with little things of your own! Flowers, name cards, and even proposal packages can turn an evening from special into…even more special! Asking guests about personal preferences during the booking process can help you greatly. This makes the process a bit more simple and allows for a much more enhanced dining experience.

Social Media Promotion

Time to get the word out! Giving a glimpse into your Valentine’s Day experience will show diners what to expect and drum up some excitement. Give a behind-the-scenes look at the menu, drinks, and flowers. Use plenty of red coloration and warmth, showcasing your restaurant as the place to be this Valentine’s Day! And remember; angles are everything.

Restaurant Lighting Featured Image

The Best Lighting For Your Restaurant

Restaurant lighting may not seem as important as other business affairs, but it can drastically dictate the atmosphere you are trying to present. If it’s too dark, your customers may not be able to read the menus or see other party members clearly. If it’s too light, it may be a bit bright for sensitive eyes. Whether it’s simply the aesthetic value of the establishment or for functional purposes, you would be surprised how different light affects us all.

Here are some things to consider when lighting a restaurant:

Creating Ambiance

When you’re trying to create ambiance in your restaurant, lighting can make or break the mood. Color temperature plays a big part in the overall atmosphere of your foodservice establishment. For example, in a more upscale restaurant, a warmer color temperature works well. Anything between 1800-2700K will do the trick. If you manage a quick-serve restaurant, however, you could still use warmer temperatures, but we would recommend something a bit cooler. Maybe in the 2700-3500K range. This brings a more casual aura to the place.

Dimming The Lights

If you want to further enhance the mood of your restaurant, being able to dim the lights provides great range. This comes in handy when your restaurant has a banquet hall. With multi-zoned lighting, you can easily dim this area to keep the mood classy and sustain proper brightness throughout the rest of the business. A halogen lamp is useful in this scenario. They typically start at 3,000K, so as you dim it, the temperature dips with a warmer result. This new warm tone creates an intimate vibe.

Showcasing Art and Decorations

We’re going for pretty AND functional here. You want your customers to clearly see the effort you put into building atmosphere, and with the proper lighting, you can achieve this. You must ask yourself “Where is the focal point of the table and room?”. Visualizing the elements that you want your customers to focus on will greatly assist you. See which lighting fixtures surround the object(s), and aim said fixtures so that the light beams towards where you want to highlight. And if the angle isn’t just right, you can always quickly adjust it. This doesn’t just apply to decorations. If your customers can’t properly see their menus, use the light to your advantage so that they’re not kept in the dark.

We could go on and on about what makes or breaks lighting in a restaurant, but the most important part is experimentation. You are the only one that can properly dictate the mood you’re trying to convey, and by experimenting with different fixtures, temperatures, and placements, you can achieve any outcome you desire.

Green Restaurant

Keeping Your Restaurant Green And Clean

What Does “Green” Mean?

In this context, green means being practicing environmentally friendly procedures which helps reduce Earth’s pollution. This can be achieved in several different ways; Through minimizing food waste, reducing energy usage, etc.

5 Ways You Can Go Green Today

I know it sounds like a process to convert your restaurant to a cleaner system, but the methods mentioned above (and others not yet mentioned) can be quite quick and easy.

1. Minimize Any Food Waste

This is one of the simpler ways we will be discussing. It’s no secret that customers like to have a hearty portion of food on average. However, if you’re delivering your dishes in too large of a serving, they can potentially end up throwing away a decent amount of it. Also, if you’re not paying attention to your food’s freshness, it can expire before you know it, resulting in further waste. One way to control this is by using the First In, First Out method. You can choose to be creative and use various food scraps, such as veggies, to make new dishes like soups. Even fruits that are overripe can be used in baked goods.

2. Switch To Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Maintaining cleanliness in your restaurant is of paramount importance, but an abundance of cleaning products on the market tend to contain harsh chemicals that can cause damage to the environment. Try choosing some environmentally friendly alternatives next time you shop for cleaning supplies. To take it a step further, steam clean your floors and carpeting. This will reduce the need for any chemicals.

3. Reduce Water Usage

Your foodservice establishment will be using water. A lot. And since a lot of fresh water sources are being depleted at a rapid rate, it may be a good idea to start conserving as much as possible. One of the best ways to go about this is by using low flow spray valves. This will allow you to use significantly less water when washing dishes. Another way you can make a difference is by switching your current plumbing with water-saving toilets. The less water needed to flush, the less waste there will be.

4. Energy-Efficient Appliances

Just like with water, restaurants use a vast amount of electricity to power equipment. Which is why in recent times, top foodservice manufacturers have begun developing commercial kitchen equipment with maximum energy-efficiency. It may seem out of your budget to switch to appliances, but you can always look into refurbished or scratch-and-dent units. Or you could always wait once your older appliances begin to show signs of serious wear. Once you go Energy Star, you won’t wanna go back.

5. Switch to Biodegradable

Plastic disposables may seem convenient, but they are quite costly when it comes to the environment. Instead of using traditional plastic dinnerware and utensils, you can consider switching to biodegradable alternatives that use recycled materials such as PLA plastic or bamboo. Restaurateurs tend to be wary of going this route under the misconception that they will be flimsy and not as good of quality, but with new advancements in eco-friendly application, they are just as durable.

Implementing even one of these changes to your foodservice establishment can have a positive impact on the environment. You will also see a reduction in the cost of food and utilities. Everyone is a winner!