Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How to Design a Restaurant: The Basics

When designing a restaurant, there are many things to consider. Before starting out on such a large project, however, it is important to understand the basics of good restaurant kitchen design. During the course of this article, we will outline the basic principles of good design. Remember, though, there is no substitute for a good designer, and somewhere along the line, you will have to fork out for some professional help. Knowing the basics, though, will set you in good stead for what can be a very rewarding enterprise.

Do not be rigid in your ideas

Sometimes, you will arrive at the table with a fully formed idea. This, however, is rarely the best way to proceed. Along the way you will develop new ideas; you will find reasons for why your original design fell short of the mark; and you will encounter problems that are insurmountable with the plan you had in mind.

Flexibility is, therefore, the key. It is important that you approach the design with an open mind that you are willing to bend and flex in order to create a design that is unprecedented.

Within the industry, we call this the architectural approach: the design grows with you, and the final result is far better than one that you can sketch out in your mind beforehand. The architectural approach is one that many artists adopt, and to create a masterpiece, you must be willing to step out of the rigidity of fixed plans.

It will also help you to cope when you are met with unexpected, and unanticipated, obstacles.

Basic and simple is the key to good design in the 21st Century

We may have a belief that the more complicated a design, the better it will be when completed. This is wrong; good design is all about simplicity. Everything needs to be cut back to basics: straight lines, solid materials, simple d├ęcor.

Understated is by far the most attractive of all design plans (whether fashion, interior decoration, or large pieces of architecture).

Think about how you want people to move through the kitchen

When running a commercial kitchen, efficiency is of paramount importance. Your staff needs to be able to move freely though the kitchen, without getting in other people's way. The key to this is good, well-thought out, design. You need to think about the busiest areas of the kitchen, and design them logically. For example, it would be silly to have the collection point (the area where the waiters and waitresses pick up the dishes and take them out to the main restaurant to serve) at the back of the kitchen. It needs to be as close to the dining area as possible.

There are plenty of things to consider here, too. You need, for instance, to have preparation areas near to the freezers and ovens of that area. You need the meat worktop to be next to the meat freezer and the ovens. This keeps each section clean and self-contained, and helps to prevent accidents or cross contamination.

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