Front of house design… Q&A


August 8, 2016

How important is tableware, furniture, uniform and layout, in setting the tone for a restaurant?

The layout is one of the most important considerations when designing a restaurant or seating area, the proximity of the bar, kitchen and waiting stations can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the operation, a poorly laid out space will add to the workload of the staff whereas a well organised space will be intuitive and far easier to manage.

The layout will also have an effect on the customers experience, nobody likes to be sat in a corridor constantly passed by staff and other customers or next to the front door in winter, simple changes to layout can often overcome these issues to create a far more intimate and comfortable space.

The Tableware, furniture and uniform are also very important to consider, these details can be a key way of setting the tone of the space, for instance a restaurant with tablecloths and waiter wearing a suit will immediately create a different feel to a restaurant with rustic tables and staff wearing Jeans, this in turn will create an expectation from the customer regarding the food and overall experience.

By providing a memorable and unique moments in a restaurant, the establishment increases the chances of repeat business, brand loyalty word of mouth marketing, which sets the tone for future visitors and gives visitors the chance to buy into the tone and concept.


Are there any trends in design at the moment, for example the growth of banquette seating, or slate versus plate display?

We are seeing clients move away from using gantries over food service counters, preferring to use adjustable heat lamps. This is a great way of breaking down the barrier from the server, customer and the food.

We are also seeing more adventurous ways of displaying cold/ambient foods, with many clients opting for contact cooled displays again without gantries, tiring and layering displays by adding height adds to the feel of abundance without having to display any more product than a traditional chilled well.


If you could offer one tip to hotel F&B managers deciding on their front of house design, what would it be?

Chose a professional FOH designer with a good case study history, budget for paying professional fees so the designer takes full ownership of the process, research the process of undertaking design and construction, particularly clients duties under CDM 2015.

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