Opening up a cafe is an exciting prospect for those that consider it. It they’re tired of working for others and want to go into business for themselves, then they consider many opportunities, but time and again, food and beverage provides tremendous profit potential and is an industry always in demand. People have to eat multiple times a day, and life is so much easier when someone else can do it for them, especially if they can eat things they’d never know how to cook
Opening up a cafe is a common choice over a full restaurant. A cafe tends to be smaller and more intimate, so overhead and rent are much less, and you don’t need as many staff. Still, much of your success is going to be determined by your cafe interior design. Get it right the first time by keeping these 7 considerations in mind:
1) More seating means more profit: The more tables and chairs or seats you can pack into your cafe, the more customers you can pack in at meal time. While you want all your furniture to consistently match, you also should aim for a diverse selection of pieces. Many cafes go with booths along the wall with unsecured tables and chairs in the middle, possibly with single seats along a counter. Just try and make sure some of your furniture can be pushed together to accommodate large parties that want to sit together.
2) Keep it comfortable: Even though you want as many seats as you can for meal rushes, you also need to make sure everyone can eat comfortably. It won’t matter how good the food is if people don’t have breathing room, as they simply won’t come back.
3) Mind the fire and building codes: Much of your seating and spacing decisions might be dictated by local codes that limit how much you can do.
4) Make the lighting comforting: Overhead fluorescent lighting is a common choice in starter or budget cafes, but it doesn’t really lend itself to a ‘cafe’ feel. Anything that feels old-world or European will strike a better chord with customers. Dim ambiance can by cozy, but make sure there’s enough light to read menus.
5) Choose three primary colors: In general, your theme of furniture, flooring, walls, ceiling, and decor should revolve around a trio of colors you choose as your predominant ones.
6) Honor your business theme or menu: Your decor doesn’t have to be an exact match to your business brand, but it should correlate to part of it. If you visit any recently updated Arby’s locations, you might notice their dining rooms use a decor that heavily incorporates Mediterranean earth tones. Given that the menu also includes items like a French dip and Italian sandwiches, the correlation is subtle but strong.
7) Don’t frustrate the staff: If your staff is happy, they keep your customers happy. Make sure there’s enough room for them to carry trays, clean up, and not bump into people from table to table. Also include a robust partition from the kitchen so customers don’t hear staff talking amongst themselves. Great acoustics make a great cafe.
There is of course much more to cafe interior design than these 7 considerations, but they make a great starting point.