A restaurant's design depends the type of restaurant that is intended by the owner. The idea behind the restaurant should determine the materials, the flow of the spaces and the placements of walls. Good food-service architecture is knowing what each customer sees from every seat. The appearance and atmosphere of the restaurant are of utmost importance.
The entrance to the restaurant is the first impression the customer receives. The entrance or atrium space should be a visual spectacle. The lighting will create a mood, and the space should reflect that ambiance. Narrow spaces work well in most cases, unless the number of customers is too large for such a narrow passage. The hostess station should be the first thing that is seen when walking in the door. It should be in a central location that is a point of interest in relation to the plan. It is usually a good idea to have the bar area within close proximity to the entrance or visible from the entrance. It is part of the visual appeal. The waiting area should have padded benches set up so that some of the people face each other, creating a more social environment for the customers while they wait.
The kitchen should be in the back of the restaurant in a central location. Food is cooked on a line with ovens, grills, burners and ventilation equipment. Behind the line should be a chef station where food is plated. There should be a separate dish area, as well as one or two separate prep areas. In the kitchen, the spaces should flow. There should be a window near the chef station where prepared food is placed to be served. The dish area should be near the bus tub area. The cook station, or line, is all in one line, so that a three or four cooks can work together at one time and movement is not obstructed. A storage area for the food, including refrigeration, is a necessity, and should be separate from, but close to, the kitchen. The design and size of the kitchen should relate to what's on the menu, the amount of people that are served and the time it takes to cook the food. A large restaurant calls for a larger kitchen, although it may not appear large to the customers. The menu determines what types of equipment are needed, and the kitchen should be designed around the equipment that is selected.
The dining space should be broken up into multiple spaces when possible. Glass partitions are useful where columns are located to break up the space. A large open space with 5-foot high partitions creates enclosed spaces while the customers are sitting and a sense of openness while standing. The glass itself is also very nice-looking. Having some hardwood walls stained dark or light is also very appealing. The amount of hardwood should be balanced with some painted plaster and perhaps some other material for the walls and partitions. All walkways must 3 to 4 feet wide. Be aware of measurements of booths, as well as between and behind chairs when planning the measurements of the seating area. Select the tables and chairs beforehand, and use the measurements from that furniture to measure the room sizes, column locations and wall placements. Also, use a large bar with a curve in the design of the bar. A restaurant should be attractive and very functional.
- Architectural Graphic Standards; Ramsey/Sleeper; 1981
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