Bottom Line Blog

Setting Up Your Restaurant’s Entryway and Dining Areas

May 25, 2016 4:30 pm Published by

When setting up a new restaurant or evaluating an existing one, examining the efficiency of the entryway and dining areas is a must. You have two primary goals with how you set up this part of your establishment:

  1. Effectively meeting the needs of guests
  2. Creating the right dining experience

This includes not just the ambiance, but also your employees. Staff members that host and wait tables need to be courteous, friendly, appropriately dressed, and knowledgeable. The actions of your employees will have the greatest affect on customer experience.

Creating the Right Atmosphere

In order for your guests to fully enjoy having a meal at your establishment, they have to be in the proper surroundings. A lot of things, in addition to the taste of the food and the professionalism of the staff, can affect the quality of a meal.

Not only do guests need room at the table to get up and move around while the restaurant, but your servers must be able to navigate the space while balancing food. Consider:

  • How many people can the dining room seat comfortably?
  • Does the style/ambiance match the image we want to portray?
  • Will we have a bar? Outdoor seating? Private dining rooms?
  • Be sure to leave enough space in the design for an entryway and server stations.

Entryway and Dining Considerations

Walk in the front door of your restaurant pretending to be someone who has never been there. Do you feel like this is the experience you want customers to have? Think about the following:

  • Is the entry welcoming?
  • Is there proper room for guests to be greeted by a host?
  • Is it obvious where guests should go when they enter?
  • Do you provide complimentary items for leaving guests, such as mints?
  • If you offer takeout, is it easy to find the pickup area?
  • Is there comfortable waiting space for guests who have not yet been seated?

Remember, these are the places in your restaurant where the staff interacts with your customers and where the guests eat a meal. Designing the space properly is a must in order for good experiences and repeat visits.

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