When it comes to café design, good furniture will get you a fair way, but a well thought-out layout can mean big benefits for your bottom line. The key considerations are to evaluate things from a customer perspective, and a personnel one.
· Put your role-play hat on and walk through your different customer profiles. Consider things like –
· Is it obvious where you would like your customers to go, is there a clear path to your service counter, or a waiting area if you seat customers?
· Where do you wait for a takeaway order as not to feel in the way? Wall mounted counters and stools are a great way of accommodating these shorter stay customers.
· When rush hour hits, will customer queues obstruct your dining sitting areas and prevent your staff getting around? Prepare for the best and busiest times when planning your layout.
· Try to allocate space logically based on tasks and workflow, ensuring your barista can work methodically in the space allotted. Consider the flow all the way from inwards goods, through the kitchen, service, to the customer and back again.
· Allow enough space in your furniture layout for staff to navigate a busy and full shop floor. It’s a fine balance between maximising the space and ensuring smooth service routes for all stations.
· Create different zones for different customer behaviour. Café Leaners can encourage quicker turnover, and breakout cafe lounge zones can encourage those lingering customers who settle in for longer. What’s your target customer, and how can your zone layout entice and retain a broader range of customers.
Your layout can determine how efficiently your staff operate as well as how comfortable your customers feel.