We’ve been in a great number of cafes in our time and one thing that we’ve noticed is how in a popular cafe the space, décor, furniture placement, other customers and noise of the kitchen, all seem to blend together to create a comfortable area where you’re more than happy to linger for some while over coffee and cake! However, if that magical mix is wrong, you soon notice and suddenly every detail seems to feel unpleasant. Here’s a few tips we’ve put together for creating the sort of cafe layout that works perfectly:
Be guided by the atmosphere you’re trying to create
Your cafe layout is critical to the type of ambience you’re trying to create, so first things first, decide what that is. Do you want your cafe dining space to be cosy and intimate? Modern and airy? Classic and familiar? Each of these styles will guide where you place your furniture. You can also create a different ambience by using a variety of table sizes, seating heights, bar seats, and booths. A cosy intimate area for instance may include more booths and tables for two, whereas a modern airy style may warrant lofty bar tables and high stools.
Balance volume with comfort and functionality
Getting the layout right is a bit of a balancing act since naturally the more tables you provide the better you can maximise your revenue but on the other hand, you don’t want your dining space to feel cramped either. Having too many chairs and tables makes customers feel uncomfortable and makes it difficult for staff to move between the tables, slowing things down and frustrating customers. Too few tables, and people will have to wait to be seated or be forced to take their custom elsewhere.
Consider the flow
Give careful consideration to the flow of your cafe dining space. Is there room for customers to access the toilets with ease? How about the staff, can they move between tables? Where is space possibly being wasted? What areas get cramped? If you’re offering a takeaway service where can people wait for their orders without clogging up the queue? Without proper planning customers may be forced to hang around waiting or just avoid your cafe like the plague.
Offer plenty of choice
Seating options can create different atmospheres but if you provide the same throughout it’s likely to feel and look flat and dull. Be playful with different table sizes and introduce a variety of chairs and stools with varying heights and styles. Customers like choice and with more types of seating to choose from, they’re more likely to have a good experience.
No more bad tables
You’ve probably grudgingly had to accept the bad table in a cafe at some time or other. You know the one near the toilet or the noisy kitchen, or the one where there’s a heck of a draught coming in from a back door. Leaving these spaces empty creates a loss of revenue so why not try making them more appealing by using plants, curtains and even dividing screens to give cover and privacy from doors and high traffic areas.
By thoughtful planning of your cafe furniture layout you can create a stunning space that allows for easy and efficient service. When your furniture placement, aesthetics, and function of your space all work together, it creates a great experience that sets your cafe apart from others.