Fast-casual restaurants have been on the rise for over a decade now, and with the end of a certain pandemic, people have been more inclined to eat out and reconnect with the outside world. Fast-casual restaurants offer a natural environment while providing well-crafted meals. Like traditional fast food and fine dining, a huge emphasis is placed on the design and décor of the establishment. In a competitive industry with rising stars coming and going, restaurant owners will need a unique design that will leave an impact and allow them to stand out.
1. Exterior and Interior
An important part of any restaurant is the architecture presented, both the interior and exterior. From the visuals of the menu board to even the placement of logos, the interior and exterior take precedence in bringing in people looking to make time for your restaurant. When taking designs into account you must think of the placement of the items in question. There must be a flow between the space of the interior as during busy seasons things can become hectic and design is key in managing the flow of traffic between customers.
Just as in any restaurant, lighting is a crucial part of the fast-casual business. When people enter any facility, they don’t want to eat in a dimly lit room or a place that will practically blind their clientele. Lighting should be strategic in compelling people to eat there. Regarding fast-casual restaurants brighter lighting is recommended as it’s used in generally busy eateries, in contrast to dim ambient light which encourages a relaxed vibe and a longer stay. Lighting can also be used from the outside to get across the same vibe but depending on the location it’s not best to rely on this. Too much natural light may oversaturate the restaurant while not enough may lead to a dim area.
3. Concept and Story
Fast-casual restaurants are an ever-competing market, with restaurants always coming up with some creative idea be it the menu, location, and scenery. However, it all starts with a story to give your restaurant a proper footing. In many restaurants they present themselves with a certain idea, Steak ‘n Shake encapsulates the time of old-school diners, and Panera gives off a classic bakery with a warm feel. Your eatery should try to envelop a certain style like others. While it’s obvious that you make up your concept to make you unique, it also wouldn’t hurt to borrow similar elements. Such as placing a sign on a wall which encapsulates what your restaurant’s mission goal is. While this may come off as stealing, people tend to gravitate towards those they’re familiar with, and that’s key in making sure your target audience for whomever you are serving makes its way through your doors.
Seating is a pretty important step when designing a proper fast-casual restaurant. When starting, fast casual restaurants are typically small, so it may be best to properly space out the area to ensure a substantial amount of clientele can get in. Placing the seats is also crucial, as clientele will have a hard time supporting your business if they’re routinely bumping into each other. It’s also important to have chairs outside with a patio, preferably with several umbrellas to keep the clientele from suffering from the elements. There should also be variety in your seating with various booths, and bar chairs, alongside having different colors and brands to differentiate seating.