Design Tips for Busy Restaurants

10 Good Design Tips for Busy Restaurants

When it comes to restaurants, appealing design, cozy ambiance, tasty food, and prompt service lay the foundation for its success. While many restaurant owners cook mouth-watering delicacies, this excellent food can be undermined if other factors like great design are not incorporated to provide an overall great experience to their customers.

This situation can worsen during rush hours and weekends when you have too many tasks to accomplish all at once. You can solve many of the problems faced by busy restaurants by adapting good design practices.

10 Effective Tips to Consider While Designing Restaurant:

Let’s highlight some current restaurant design ideas to increase the business of your restaurant:

1. Balance the Ambiance:

The interior of your restaurant and its ambiance should make your guests feel welcomed and comfortable. Ensure that the character and atmosphere of your restaurant reflects its branding. By balancing the lighting, color, and decor of your restaurant, you can give your customers a great experience.

seating arrangement

Plain walls may be slightly boring in some restaurant styles.  Attractive paintings or wall decor can highlight the creative side of your restaurant. Adversely, some modern sleek restaurants may want the minimalistic approach of white, bare walls.  Overall, the decor should not be distracting or overbearing for the customers.

You can also use the color and decor of your restaurant to pump up the mood of your customers. Warm colors like red, orange, yellow, etc. are known to increase the appetite of the customers. From the restaurant’s wall to furniture, from the cutlery to the food served, everything should be incorporated and look like an extension of your theme.

2. Arrange Proper Seating:

The selection for number of seats in any restaurant depends on a lot of factors like demand versus supply, comfort, seating arrangement, breaking-even, etc. Increasing the seating capacity by using more restaurant tables gets you more revenue, but it can compromise the comfort of your visitors.

Ambience of Restaurant

Therefore, you must strike a balance between the seating capacity and the customer’s comfort in your restaurant. The best approach is to calculate the minimum seats you require to break even. Once you have this number, you can work on providing the best comfort possible within the available space in your restaurant.

3. Minimize Bad Tables:

No matter how you organize the layout of your restaurant, your customers won’t like to sit in some tables. In the restaurant business, these may be referred to as bad tables. Some of the most problematic areas are the tables located near the restroom, kitchen, or entrance of your restaurant.

The best way to discover such tables is to sit in each chair of every table and analyze the view as well as the surroundings. Once you have identified these tables, think of ways to improve the situation. You can remove these restaurant tables and chairs altogether and utilize the space by placing an additional storage cabinet, tall plants, or art-work. If you can’t afford to remove the table, either change the seating layout or place dividers to isolate the utility area.

4. Maintain the Bathrooms Properly:

Apart from the sitting and waiting areas, bathrooms are the crucial public areas of your restaurant and require special attention. While designing the bathrooms, think of it as an extension of your restaurant. Replicate your restaurant’s branding by placing your logo, and pay special attention to the bathroom’s aesthetic appeal.

Maintain the bathrooms

While designing the bathroom is a one-time job, it takes persistent effort to maintain it properly. Especially during rush time, check the restrooms periodically to ensure that they are clean, stocked with supplies, and smell pleasant. When a customer notices missing toiletries like an empty soap dispenser or paper towel dispenser, he is unlikely to return to your restaurant.

5. Restaurant Furniture should be Commercially-rated:

While deciding the furniture for your restaurant, it might be tempting to opt for furniture designed for residential use. While it seems like default approach, always go for commercially-rated restaurant furniture.

Commercially-rated furniture is durable by design as well as in material selection. Additionally, such restaurant tables and chairs are quite easy to clean and maintain. Dining furniture for residential use appears fine in a single set but lack aesthetic appeal when used in large numbers. More importantly, these commercially-rated furniture are often cost-effective than furniture for residential use. Reputable commercial furniture vendors also warranty their products.

6. Choose Proper Lightings:

Lighting is perhaps the deciding factor between a good and an exceptional restaurant. Proper lighting not only sets the mood of your visitors, it improves the appearance of furniture, hides subtle flaws in the restaurant table tops, and enhances the dining appearance.

restaurant-lightings as design tips for busy restaurants

A well-lit restaurant with interesting lights on each table can act as a conversation starter.  You can also use lighting as an element for creating an atmosphere according to the time of the day. For example, since there is ample sunshine during the day, go for brighter lighting to energize the atmosphere. Later in the evening, you can opt for dimmed lights, chandlers, or candles to provide an intimate set-up.

7. Build an Attractive Exterior:

The exterior of your restaurant is crucial in attracting customers. No matter how fancy the interior of your restaurant looks, no one will get a chance to experience it if it looks shabby from the outside. A well-designed exterior with an intriguing front gives an identity to your restaurant.

While designing an exterior for your restaurant, make sure it is easy to spot, and your logo is visible. A well-illuminated and large signboard makes your restaurant stand out from a distance. Additionally, the color and design of your restaurant’s exterior should go with the aesthetics of the building.

8. Don’t Panic During Rush-hour:

do not panic in busy restaurants

No matter how well you plan, it will be chaotic during rush hour. As Murphy’s Law famously states, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” It is, therefore, extremely crucial that you don’t lose your nerves and don’t panic while managing busy restaurants.  Panicking in front of your crew members does not help anybody. Rather than losing your composure, focus on how you can provide the best experience to your guests. Whether it is a slow day or peak hour, ensure that your visitors the quality food and service.

9. Train Your Staff:

As the number of customer increases and your restaurant gets busy, your staff must work together as a team. To help them achieve their true potential, ensure that they are well trained.   In such training, every staff gets to know the scope, nature, and responsibilities of their job. Only when they are aware of their expectations and duties, they can work cohesively and professionally to get the job done efficiently.

train your staff for busy restaurants

10. Schedule Coverage:

If you manage or own a busy restaurant, you will appreciate the importance of resource management. During peak hours, when you are handling large crowds, you might need additional helping hands. Additionally, there might be some last-minute cancellations from your staff due to sickness, etc. In all such cases, it makes sense to schedule buffer staff to ease the burden of your employees.  Maintain a list of people whom you can count on when you need them. They can be close acquaintances, friends, relatives, ex-employees, or professional connections.


On a busy day, you will surely be on your toes to ensure consistent food quality and service to your customers. Keeping your cool and flashing a smile when things get chaotic requires meticulous planning and thoughtful execution. We hope the restaurant design ideas mentioned above help you in running your busy restaurant with sufficient growth and smiling customers!