What You Need For A Restaurant Start Up

By: Sonia Ahuja


We all know that in order to start a restaurant you need to find a good location with an existing building, or a building lot in a good location if you are building a restaurant from the ground up. You will also need to determine whether you are going to lease or buy your restaurant. The determining factor in the size of the restaurant will be the amount of money you have to work with for remodeling or building when you figure your restaurant startup.

When you design your restaurant, there are certain areas you will need to include in the layout.

Customer Service Area – Located near the entrance, this area would include:

1. A hostess station, which is usually a small area with a podium where the hostess will stand to greet the customers when they come in the door. There should be an area to store menus and a reservation roster.

2. A Cashiers Station, with a cash register and a credit or debit card machine. There are usually toothpicks and some sort of mints available here, free of charge for the customer.

3. A Sitting Area, that is furnished with comfortable seating for customers who may need to wait for a table.

Kitchen Area– This is an important project in your restaurant start up, and where all the food is prepared, cooked, baked, and where the food storage, dishwashing and sanitation take place. As a matter of fact, this area doesn’t need to be large, if it is arranged in the proper order. The servers should present the order at one end of an assembly line type of design, and the completed order will be picked up at the other end.

The 4 main areas of a restaurant kitchen are:

1. A cold prep area - To put together appetizers, salads, and desserts. A counter and several shelves to place equipment, utensils, dishes, spices, and other essential ingredients to prepare the food. You will need to make this area large enough when you plan your restaurant start up.

2. A cooking station - This area is used by the cooks or chefs. It will include prep tables, steam tables, fryers, cooking range(s), griddle, oven, smaller refrigerators placed under prep tables, freezer, ice bin, broiler, exhaust fans, etc.. This area will need to be roomy enough for cooks or chefs to get around one another. This is an important consideration when planning a restaurant start up.

3. The dishwashing area - You will not want this area too far from the cooking area so that large pots and pans can be reached easily. You will need two separate sinks for washing and sanitizing the cooking equipment that is too big to place in the dishwasher. You will also need a commercial dishwasher for dishes, glasses, utensils, and any other cookware that will fit in the dishwasher.

4. The food storage area - Will need to include a large walk in cooler, and a large walk in freezer, a scale, a table, a pantry for canned and dry goods, shelving for the freezer, pantry, and cooler. A small room for clean and dirty linen. When planning your restaurant start up, you will need to make sure the rooms are big enough for the storage you will need for the size restaurant you are planning.

Office Area - This area would be for a desk, filing cabinet, computer, phones, and any office and business equipment.

Break Room - This is an area where your employees can place their personal items, and an area for them to take their breaks.

Dining Area - You will need to figure about 12 square feet of space per customer when you plan your dining area. You can choose tables, booths, or a combination of both for customer seating. You will most likely choose which type of seating you prefer when you are planning your restaurant start up.

Public Restrooms - You will need to furnish at least one restroom for your customers, most establishments have one for men and another for women. Make sure they are ADA compliant and well ventilated. You should pick a design that will be easy to clean. The restrooms will need to be kept stocked with paper towels and toilet paper at all times.

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