After picking your restaurant’s look, it’s time to tackle space concerns. You should consider where your restaurant would be located. Setting up shop in a mall is more expensive than getting space in a suburban area, so Norman Cruz of Alex III Restaurant advises that you maximize the use of your space.
Architect Jeanne Mercado stresses that “dining kitchen ratio is key to space allotment. All others will follow from this.” Roberto de la Costa, a food-service expert, explains that no two places are the same. “Unfortunately, most restaurant owners simply have to work with the space layout they are offered. Some restaurants set aside 50 percent for the dining area and 50 percent for the kitchen area, while others set various ratios.”
Furthermore, de la Costa points out how kitchen design is a factor in the work efficiency of fast-food places. “For example, production flow should always be straight line, meaning, the process [should] not be going back and forth to achieve faster service time.” He also cites the importance of furniture layout to ensure safety and customer comfort. “In fast-food restaurants, a narrow corridor will always pose more safety concerns,” he says.
Annie Tayag, who manages Alex III’s branch along Tomas Morato, relates: “Our crew mapped out the service corridor they need based on their extensive experience. They also assigned table numbers that would be most convenient.”
So how can you accommodate as many customers as you can without making the place seem too cramped or crowded? The rule of thumb, Mercado says, is 1.5 square meter per customer in the dining area. But remember that cost of investment, turnover rate and meal prices should be factored in the design. “If designers know these, then they can easily compute the number of seats/turnover that will be acceptable to the owners.”
Here are quick tips on how to make small spaces seem spacious:
• Maximize the ceiling height.
• Use light colors with accent walls.
• Use mirrors or glass to create the illusion of more space.
• Avoid clutter.