Restaurant design for a memorable dining experience

Restaurant design for a memorable dining experience

Restaurant design has many facets, but ultimately it should create a memorable dining experience for guests. During the lifecycle of a restaurant design project, multiple decisions are made, but guest experience and what the restaurant brand represents, must always be a focal point.   

Whether you are opening a new restaurant or renovating an existing one, an experienced architect can provide immense value to your project. Many of the most important aspects of restaurant architecture go unnoticed by diners but it can make all the difference.

Seth Leeb Architecture has completed many restaurant projects including the Sunset Pub & Grill in Lincoln Park NJ, and Jimmy Johns Sandwich Shop in Parsippany NJ , where we worked closely with the corporate franchise organization to realize their vision. Here’s why your restaurant buildout, no matter how large or small, really needs a good architect.

Restaurant design affects cost 

Restaurant design involves technical knowledge of how restaurants work and their operational considerations. It includes aspects such as kitchen and dining area layout, lighting and acoustic design, restaurant interior design, ventilation, storage, and refrigeration needs, to name but a few. All these considerations affect the project costs. 

Architectural firms who haven’t done this kind of work will miss things. It’s not the kind of project you want a firm to cut their teeth on. There’s a million considerations and unless you’ve been through it many times, you don’t know what you don’t know.

It is cost-effective to spend time in the planning stages of a restaurant build or renovation, as it could save costs in the long term. An architect can provide guidance on what is possible within the available budget while creating a design that makes your restaurant as functional, cute, or as breathtaking as you want..    

Choosing restaurant and building materials  

Everything in a restaurant communicates with its guests. Whether they are enjoying a sit-down service or collecting food for takeout, the materials chosen will impact the experience they have at the establishment. Choosing suitable restaurant equipment and building materials impacts the success of a restaurant’s design with the public, and it will ensure that you stay within budget. 

For instance, the choice of roof supports, and the incorporation of ductwork into the visible design can take elements heavily affected by building codes, and layout requirements, and turn them into something incredibly beautiful as well.

Choosing restaurant and building materialsThe stunning gazebo room at Sunset Grill. Note how the exposed faux beams frame the natural wood ceiling, while hiding the join lines of the cedar siding. 

Equally important is knowing where to source the materials you need. Architects know where to find materials needed, simplifying the sourcing process and providing a double check on expensive builder quotes. And they have access to experts if your restaurant design requires something unique.  

Understanding local building codes  

Time is of the essence with restaurant design and construction. Every day that the project is delayed impacts its budget. Most states, counties, and cities have codes and laws governing design and architecture in their jurisdiction. It is essential to use an expert that understands local building codes and has a relationship with local officials. 

Most planning authorities require a senior licensed architect to submit restaurant design plans. They expect the architect to review the design, architecture, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) plans.    

Restaurant layout: balancing function and beauty  

Restaurant design requires an understanding of how restaurants flow, employees interact with the design, and how site architecture impacts it. Restaurant layout not only has to balance function and beauty, but also comply with building codes, and legislation such as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA.)

Honestly for any restaurant, the food and pricing has to be right, but hiring a good architect is like some added insurance that the business will be successful. Seth A. Leeb is an architect with experience in commercial architecture, including high-end restaurant design. As an award-winning architect, he balances creativity with commerce. Are you sourcing a licensed architect for your restaurant design? Please contact us today.

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