Restaurants are spaces for food and beverage service and preparation. Organized differently depending on the type of food service model, restaurant layouts attempt to optimize seating arrangements, group sizes, circulation patterns of customers and servers, waiting areas, and degrees of comfort and privacy. Restaurant floor plans are commonly comprised of specific furniture elements such as dining booths, moveable tables and chairs, and bars/countertops. When planning the dining area of a restaurant, issues of flexibility should be considered in order to adapt to unexpected demands.
Ambience and comfort are two key elements to focus on when designing a restaurant, as these two working hand in hand lead to successful business and happy customers. Color, lighting, music, and aroma are aspects of ambience that should be considered while the layout of the dining, kitchen, restroom, outdoor, and waiting areas with consideration to seating capacity are aspects of comfort that should be considered.
Safety regulations for capacity in accordance with square footage of the restaurant influences the layout and seating of a restaurant. On average and for fine dining, the range is 18-20 square feet (549-609 cm) per person. Full-service has one seat per 12-15 square feet (366-457 cm). The minimum for space between occupied chairs is 18 inches (48.23 cm).
The different common types of restaurants include fine dining, casual dining, family style, fast food, cafe, and buffet with newer kinds on the rise. There are also delivery-only type of restaurants that work with services like UberEats. Fine dining restaurants are typically saved for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings while casual dining restaurants are more commonly visited due to moderate prices. Family style restaurants only service shareable dishes and fast food restaurants place emphasis on quick service via a drive thru or counter. A buffet offers an array of food or “all you can eat” at a set price.