What Makes A Good Restaurant Design

What makes a good restaurant design?

The quality of food might be exceptional, and the customer service offered by your staff might be the best there is, but without an attractive design, your restaurant might not perform very well. The kind of design your restaurant features plays a significant role in encouraging new clients to try out your business, and current customers to become repeat customers. So, what exactly makes a good restaurant design? Here are some basics:

Seating capacity and layout

When coming up with a restaurant design, you must first consider the seating capacity of the premise, so as to create an elaborate seating arrangement/layout. Your goal when developing seating arrangements should be creating an inviting restaurant ambience while at the same time utilising your space to provide comfort to your customers as they are dining. An example of this concept can be seen in a variety of fine dining restaurants, whereby they have an inviting ambience and less emphasis is given in maximizing the seating capacity.

When designing the layout of your restaurant make sure that there is enough space for your staff to carry out their duties effectively, without constantly bumping into customers. Space must also allow your customers to be able to get in and out of their seats with ease. When designing the layout, first focus on the tables and seats making sure that they can hold your maximum sitting capacity, without the room appearing squeezed.

Good Restaurant Design

Clarity and Airiness for Intimacy

If you want to create a cozy and intimate feeling out of your restaurant design, then dark colors and low ceilings should feature in your designs. You should also consider creating clear lines of sight, with a lot of visibility, as most customers will feel comfortable knowing where the bar is, others will want to know who else is eating at the restaurant, and some just want to see their waiter when they need him. An airy atmosphere is also important to ensure the comfort of your customers; otherwise, they will be in a rush to get some fresh air outside your premises. Hence, your designs should allow for proper ventilation and air conditioning systems.


Lighting should be one of the important aspects of your restaurant design. Research indicates that human beings take a subconscious cue from the different levels of lights emitted in food establishments. For instance, a bright overhead light with a fluorescent buzz signifies fast food. On the other hand, soft light that creates a “peaceful” kind of glow may signify a sophisticated or romantic eating establishment. Good lighting is crucial in setting the mood of your customers, and it even makes the food look better and to some extent “taste better.”

The concept

What is the concept of your restaurant? The answer to this question should feature in your restaurant design. Your concept is what will separate you from other restaurants: so, try and find a balance between the standard expectations of a restaurant (which customers have) and the unique representation of your concept in your design. For instance, if you plan on operating a Chinese restaurant, consider creating a concept that links to the Chinese culture, without forgetting your local culture and expectations.


One of the most neglected factors when coming up with a restaurant design is music. Music is vital in setting the mood of the establishment, and it also plays a significant role in attracting customers. For instance, some popular restaurants are investing in hiring celebrity singers or bands to perform at their establishments, to set the mood in their establishments and to also keep customers engaged, as well as attracting them. Of key consideration is to play music that speaks to your customers and not to you or your staff. So, when coming up with a restaurant design, consider assigning areas where the speakers will be placed or where the live band will perform.

A popular saying among restaurant owners and designers is that “customers do not eat the food; they eat the ambience and mood.” While this might not be literally correct, it is an accurate statement. When it comes to operating a successful restaurant business, one of the key considerations is the restaurant design. Does the design capture the essence of the customers, through an inviting ambience, creative concepts and “mood setting” music and lighting systems? And of course, a spectacular design must be matched with mouth watering food and exceptional customer service.