Optimizing your restaurant’s floor plan is critical for maximizing sales and increasing operational efficiency. Floor plan optimization is also vitally important given how competitive the dining industry is – whether you operate a full-service establishment, quick-service restaurant, or anything in between.
This article explains what restaurant floor plan design is and why it matters. It also looks at restaurant layout ideas to help optimize sales for your growing business.
With limited real estate, restaurants must design their floor plans to maximize seating and comfort – while minimizing unnecessary bottlenecks for their waitstaff. This certainly holds true for the main dining area. However, floor plan design also extends to all the connected components – including the kitchen, bathrooms, and waiting areas. As such, it’s best to adopt a holistic approach to intelligent floor plan design – one that optimizes your restaurant’s backend and frontend operations.
There are several reasons restaurant owners invest so much time and effort optimizing their floor plans:
Every establishment is unique, so you may need to play with restaurant floor plan ideas until you find a winning combination. It’s best to think of your restaurant as a wholewith designated zones that all fit seamlessly.
The kitchen is the heart and soul of the restaurant. If it stops, the entire business stops. This is why it’s imperative to have designated zones for all the core components of food prep – including cooking, washing, drying, and storage. Ideally, your restaurant kitchen floor plan should allow personnel to freely move between these zones without getting in one another’s way.
The appliances you install can also impact overall kitchen efficiency. For example, many restaurants are switching from gas stoves to induction ranges – a move that not only provides chefs with more precision when cooking, but also helps reduce the overall heat in the kitchen itself. This restaurant kitchen floor plan concept extends all the way to the pickup area. For example, having one kitchen entry dedicated to outgoing dishes and another dedicated to incoming (“empty”) plates can help minimize unnecessary friction among the waitstaff as they travel back and forth from the kitchen.
The dining area is what most people think of regarding floor plan design. The goal here is to include as many tables as possible without sacrificing personal comfort or workflow efficiency.
Common best practices for achieving this include:
Another way to minimize unnecessary back-and-forth is to use scannable QR codes that always stay at the table (in place of printed menus that must be hand delivered by waitstaff). Some restaurants have taken the concept even further with Scan to Order technology that allows customers to use their mobile devices and:
Scan to Order technology takes some time to set up, but this self-service option could help reduce your team’s workload – saving you valuable time and money.
Though often overlooked, the restrooms and waiting area are also part of the larger floor plan design. Here are some tips to help you optimize both:
Having a coat check station at the entrance can make the waiting room itself a little more crowded. However, it frees valuable real estate on the dining floor since customers no longer need to drape heavy winter coats across the backs of their chairs.
If your restaurant has an admin office, breakroom, or staff area, you’ll need to optimize these as well. Using staggered schedules can help minimize unnecessary overcrowding in these high-traffic zones. Restricting access to the back of the house can also help improve flow. For example, most waitstaff will want to use the breakroom at some point during or between shifts, but not everyone needs direct access to the office or supply closets.
For most restaurant owners, floor plan optimization is an ongoing process, complete with starts, stops, and messy do-overs. Fortunately, you no longer have to rely on trial and error.
Many restaurant owners depend on Clover Canada’s range of POS solutions to optimize their operations. In addition to securely accepting credit and debit cards at the table, our payment solutions come with online ordering capabilities so that you can service customers at the curb or on delivery. With this strategy, you’re no longer limited to the physical real estate within your eating establishment.
Better still, our POS systems integrate seamlessly with the Clover App Market, allowing you to expand your payment environment with any number of third-party plug-ins – whether you need help designing floor plans, managing happy hours, or rearranging employee schedules.
If you’re looking for a POS system that can automate many of the most time-consuming aspects of running a growing restaurant, schedule a free demo with a Clover Specialist today.
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