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Q&A with JK: Restaurant Startup Design Tips

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Opening a restaurant can be challenging, particularly with so much competition in the market. James Ketteringham our Sales Director has a few quick tips for independent restaurateurs to make sure you get the most from your small space.

What are the top challenges that restaurant startups encounter when designing their space?

JK: Ensuring the outlay on design makes a return for years to come. They need a design that is going to attract customers within a realistic budget which they will be able to recoup the costs with takings. They also need a design that won't be a flash in the pan. ie. one that will last years before a refurb is needed. So you need quality products that are designed to be on trend but also suited to withstand the heavy use of a hospitality environment.

What layout, design & decor techniques can independent restaurants use to craft a branded look and feel on a budget?

JK: Don't scrimp on your furniture! Often people only allocate 10% of the budget to furniture when furniture is 90% of what you see. It's a false economy. Also be sure to buy contract furniture that is designed to withstand heavy use. For more specific tips we have a restaurant design guide here.

What are the top DIY design mistakes restaurant startups should avoid?

JK: Not employing a professional hospitality designer! Professional designers know how to maximise the number of covers and create spaces that will work in practice to generate revenue and return custom, this is particularly important in small restaurants where space is at a premium.

What are the top 2-3 trends for restaurant startups in 2018?

JK: This year we've seen a move away from the industrial style that has been popular in recent years in favour of a mid-century modern influence and a return to the traditional - think rich velvets with brass details with an emphasis on comfort rather than distressed wood and hard metal factory furniture. This is part of a general move towards cosy multi-purpose spaces that allow people to meet for coffee, work away from the office, have dinner and late night drinks. Consider zones that encourage people to meet for different purposes in your restaurant. If possible, offer furniture that caters from formal to casual and adjust the lighting appropriately. Also consider making your space Instagrammable to maximise word of mouth, potentially with a with a stand out feature wall with plants and natural materials - these are quite popular at the moment, reflecting a push for cleaner living.

Looking for more tips to get your restaurant business started?

Our Furniture Knowledge Book is packed full of useful design information, product & material knowledge and handy diagrams. Download your copy free now.

Topics: Restaurant furniture,

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 06/08/18 11:35
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