How to Create a Restaurant Floor Plan

Alyssa Van Altena on


Starting a new restaurant can be a daunting task. There are so many commercial kitchen design guidelines to keep track of when creating a restaurant floor plan. At a minimum, you’ll need to consider the overall size, the style of restaurant, safety requirements, and aesthetic goals. In this guide, we’ve shared how to plan a restaurant kitchen layout using the available floor space, so that there’s enough room to handle a busy service.

Planning the Primary Space

When developing a restaurant kitchen layout, you’ll need to determine how much space should be allotted to the dining area, and how much space is adequate for the kitchen. Generally, the dining area will take up about 60% of the total layout, with adjustments made for a bar or waiting area as well.

Meanwhile, the kitchen/storage area should take up the remaining 40%. For example, the average 5000 square foot restaurant might have around 200 seats, with 2000 square feet set aside for the kitchen. There needs to be plenty of space for guests to enjoy their meal and have conversations without being drowned out by ambient noise. Of course, city restaurants tend to cram as many seats as possible into a small space, because they’re dealing with costly real estate. The minimum per-person seating area depends on the style of restaurant as well. Here are some general guidelines:  

  • Fast Food: 10-14 square feet

  • Full Service: 12-15 square feet

  • Fine Dining: 20 square feet

  • Banquet: 10 square feet

Planning the Kitchen Space

Meanwhile, the kitchen area needs to be large enough to accommodate the full kitchen staff and servers. Your food storage area should also be a safe distance from the cooking stations, to avoid cross contamination.

Initially, you should read your city’s health and safety regulations before creating a floor plan. Then, consider your restaurant’s menu and design the various stations accordingly. For example, you probably want to keep hot and cold dishes separate for health reasons.

Every station should be laid out for safety, speed, and effectiveness. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for a restaurant kitchen, but if you’re building it from scratch, make sure that it’s tailored for your culinary vision. The rest is just common sense and following the law.

Once you decide on your initial layouts you can request a quote to start designing your kitchen.

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