Daniela Pulido

Daniela Pulido. The dining industry is still booming, even during the time of recession, as it seems as though many people still enjoy dining out frequently.   

Because the industry is always on the rise, there are more restaurants frequently opening their doors for business.  While there are many things that a restaurant owner will need to consider before opening, one of the most important aspects of a new restaurant is the restaurant design.   

Most of those who are opening a new establishment often consult an interior designer to help with the overall setup and design of the restaurant to ensure that they will be successful.

While there are many things to consider when marketing a restaurant, it seems as though the interior design is the most important part.  This is because this will be one of the only things that will set one restaurant apart from all of the others in the area.  It is important to consider who the target market is because this is what all of the design elements will be based upon.   

If the restaurant is going to be for the baby-boomer crowd, a nostalgic design will be appropriate, but if the target audience is the teenage crowd, a more modern restaurant design should be used. 

Some other things that need to be considered when setting up a new restaurant is the layout.  A large kitchen and a large restroom should be used so that things can stay clean and uncluttered.  The extra space in these areas are also necessary for safety concerns which should be one of the biggest concerns.   

Many people looking for a place to dine will also enjoy having soft lighting as this gives off a soothing feeling. Comfortable chairs and tables should also be used as this will promote the feeling of being at home. 

Whether a contemporary, modern, natural, or rustic interior design is chosen for the restaurant design, the elements used should correspond to the type of food that is being served as well as what the target market will enjoy.   

As long as the setup allows for plenty of open space and the decor gives off a sense of comfort, then the restaurant will most likely be successful.

Great food and outstanding customer service are the most frequently cited keys to restaurant success. While quality food and service are two foundations of a successful restaurant, good restaurant design is vital to customer gratification and long term success. Good interior design creates a beautiful and functional dining space that enhances customer’s enjoyment of meals and entices guests to return.

Creating an excellent dining experience for customers requires a balance of design, technical considerations and function. While planning the restaurant interior, consider the architecture and infrastructure of the building. Create a harmonious design by combining existing aspects of the structure with attention to detail in several key areas.


Begin by identifying the expectations of the restaurant’s target clientele. For example, fine dining customers may expect more space and privacy when dining than guests of more casual establishments. Families with children may prefer a relaxed environment that appeals to children. Understanding the needs of guests allows owners to develop a design that pleases customers.

Dining Room

When planning the dining room, consider the number of guests expected at peak meal hours. A good restaurant design will accommodate this number while maintaining customer comfort. Customers should be able to move around easily and dine without feeling crowded.

Create the right atmosphere by choosing furnishings, colors and lighting suited to the restaurant’s theme and clientele. An owner of a family friendly restaurant, for example, may choose bright colors and lighting to create an environment suited to children. Restaurants that cater to adults and fine dining often choose more subdued lighting and furnishings that create a more intimate environment.


Owners of restaurants that serve alcohol may benefit from creating a separate bar area. A bar serves as a place for guests to order a drink and relax while waiting to be seated. This area also allows single customers to sit for a meal without waiting for a table. In restaurants with heavy weekend traffic, the bar area should be as large as space allows.


A restaurant serving high quality meals requires a well-designed kitchen. The kitchen should be able to accommodate all necessary equipment along with all needed kitchen staff. Include areas for food preparation, storage and handling. Areas for handling shipments and washing dishes are also necessary. A well planned kitchen allows the restaurant to operate efficiently, ensuring customer satisfaction.


When space allows, a restaurant’s public restrooms should be able to accommodate several guests. Tables should be located away from restrooms or separated from them by partitions. If possible, employee restrooms should be located away from public restrooms.

Staff and Office Space

The restaurant layout should include a space for staff to store their personal belongings. A restaurant’s office should be a secure area suitable for storing money and important items or documents. Ideally, office space should be located in the back of the layout.

At all stages of restaurant planning, keep the customer’s needs and expectations in mind. Thoughtful attention to these details allows the restaurateur to create a dining environment that encourages customers to keep coming back.

Paul Kelly is the man behind some of Australia’s most successful food and beverage venues. Coming into our 15th year of business, Paul Kelly Design is turning the corner on 150 projects, each a signature space, each uniquely different and each one a personal creation of Paul Kelly and his team.

We are hospitality design, we live and breathe it and we do it very well. Welcome to Paul Kelly Design home of the creative minds behind some of Australia’s most successful food and beverage venues. Coming into our 15th year of business we are turning the corner on 150 projects, each a signature space, each uniquely different and each one a personal creation of Paul Kelly and his team.We are a holistic design company embracing new ideas and taking the complete project head on with involvement into every area of the project. Our goal is to be the top hospitality firm in the market and our passion for the success of the venues we create gives a Paul Kelly Design project the edge over competitors.

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