Five Ways to Get Restaurant Design Right

A restaurant relies on its menu, for sure, but research suggests an eatery needs to look as good as its dishes taste. A recent study from the University of Denver, for instance, found restaurant customers were more influenced by ambiance and service than the food quality. Past National Restaurant Association surveys also have seen atmosphere topple menu options as the key factors behind a diner's restaurant choice. 

Expect the trend to continue. In fact, expect restaurant design to become more important than ever before. Thanks to Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, diners are apt to snap — and share-worthy decor can help attract new customers. 

How can you design a restaurant guaranteed to draw (and retain) a crowd? Your options will vary, based on concept, type of establishment and budget, but here are a few basic rules of thumb to keep in mind.

1. Be Authentic

Innovation is cool, but don't let the pressure to be different come between you and your vision. Instead, allow your personality to dictate your concept, menu and design; that authenticity will shine through.     

2. Keep the Layout Operational

Sure, a giant fountain or statue may seem like the perfect dining room centerpiece, but if it's coming between the servers and the kitchen, expect it to do more harm than good. The best restaurant designs stand out without sacrificing flow and functionality. 

3. Avoid Going Overcapacity

It's tempting to cram in as many tables and chairs as your space allows, but carefully consider how close you want to come to maximum occupancy limits. An overly crowded dining room can look messy, make a server's life harder, and turn away diners looking for a little privacy.

4. Turn on the Music

According to the National Restaurant Association, music helps set the mood — and drives profit. That's not to say you should go out and hire a live band (in fact, that's probably a bad idea), but it's worth devoting some time and thought to your restaurant's soundtrack and sound system.   

5. Curb the Clutter

When in doubt, keep things sleek and simple. That rule applies to everything from your color palette (warm tones, like brown and beige, are a good go to choice) to your server uniforms. (Waiter Wallet can help servers appear polished and stay organized.) To help hide untidy areas, consider partitions.

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How many servers work at your restaurant? : 10 to 20
I love it

The whole reason I even bought this was because my boss said I couldn't keep my tips in my server book because I was touchin cash everytime I opened my book to take an order. The waiter wallet totally saved my ass on that one but also it has a slot so you can put a cheat sheet in. So now when a customer asks me how much extra it would be to put this or this in their food, I don't have to run and check. Its all right in front of me. And it fits great in my apron. Its perfect.

How many servers work at your restaurant? : 10 to 20
Pretty Cool!

I love. A co-worker showed me her Waiter Wallet and I was sold. I went with the original size but upgraded to the more durable material or Deluxe version. I also got the additional sleeve to add more cheat sheet info. I really like it. Makes me feel very professional and organized. I never write reviews but figured I should because its so much better then using the regular check books. Nice product.

How many servers work at your restaurant? : + 20
Awesome!

Recommended it to everyone at my restaurant!

How many servers work at your restaurant? : 10 to 20
Where has this thing been all my life?

This is awesome. I use it at both my server jobs. I completed 3 of the templates and those alone have saved me a lot of back and fourth to the bar.

How many servers work at your restaurant? : + 20
Deluxe refills

It is nice to have everything in order when you are worki)g at a fast pace. Refillable pads is great. The size. No modifications to make th8ng easy.