Once a restaurateur or hotelier has their vision outlined, and can present it in even the most general sense, an experienced architect or restaurant kitchen layout and design firm can now be contracted to begin the process of guiding them through the most important decisions they will make about their new business development. I’ve written several articles on choosing a restaurant or hotel kitchen design team, which are linked in earlier and I’m sure, future posts, so I won’t bore you with that here, and will instead focus on our restaurant kitchen layout approach.
When a team is selected to develop a project, the client will typically select one professional within that team to help guide the restaurant kitchen layout approach in the direction they want. Many times this can be the architect; although as the kitchen design firm, I have steered the ship many times myself, but there can also be several other professionals involved that also have an excellent understanding of the project and can act as coordinator as well, including the client themselves if they have an understanding of the development process and the fundamentals of the initial restaurant kitchen layout approach needed for success… The key here is to have continuity and a singular path that the team will travel in development of the project. I’m not going to go into the many aspects that go into developing a whole restaurant here, but when it comes to the kitchen, and once all the facts are in, typically there are only a few directions that can be taken to meet the client’s needs.
With menu in hand, I often begin our restaurant kitchen layout approach by finding out as much as I can about the food service experience of the operator. Understanding the needs of the client, and being able to effectively communicate my thoughts for the project to them, will be critical to a smooth development process. Some of my clients are first time operators who will need a bit of explanation about how the team will progress and how the development process works. Then there are others who perhaps have multiple operations or many years of experience, which will need few details beyond what is it and how much does it cost. Either way, I think it is very important to make sure that everyone involved in the decision-making process about the restaurant kitchen design and operations of the restaurant have a thorough understanding the thought processes that are going into the restaurant kitchen layout approach and specifications.
Just as no two concepts are the same, no two owners are the same and each will prefer to be informed in different ways about how we design their space and specify the equipment for their project. The key is communication and understanding everyone’s interest in the outcome. Everyone will have comments that are valid, but it is how this advice is shared with the rest of the team; and how it upon, that will make sure no details ever go overlooked.
Eat well my friends!