The Importance of layout in cafe design

When deciding on cafe design, there are important factors to consider regarding the layout. Recognising and implementing good layout ideas will help to promote a workable and efficient service in a café thus making it more profitable for the business. Our below advice should help set you on the correct path.


The Customer’s First Impressions

From viewing the cafe outside to studying the entrance, a potential customer’s first impression will be the deciding factor on whether they choose to stay or look elsewhere. The design of the entrance must work with this in mind as the cafe will need to look attractive and enticing enough to maintain curiosity. The entrance will act as an advertisement for what is inside and should aim to lure a passer-by into wanting to step inside.

The layout will need to expose an organised service area and choice of spacious seating arrangements. If someone is walking by and are only able to see queues, squashed seating and a generally dis-organised cafe, they will most likely continue to walk on by.

The first impression will ideally show a visually appealing layout; encompassing the entrance that is spacious and giving a glimpse into where the service area is and the amount of seating and space available. Adding display counters near the entrance that adds focus on additional, attractive products to purchase, including edible merchandise and promotional gifts, could also tempt the clientele to stay.


The Service Area

There should be ample space for customers to queue without invading the privacy to those already seated. This needs to be factored into any layout consideration. A degree of privacy is also required at the service counter for those waiting to be served or to exchange money, so it should be easy to establish the queueing system without occupying the space of others.

Hot refreshments are a cafe’s necessity so positioning the coffee machine at the service area means customers can watch their coffee being made whilst waiting.

Display counters are useful for advertising profitable extras so if they are placed within close sight of queueing customers, there is an increased likelihood of a sale. Many people purchase ‘on a whim’ and cafes are no exception!


Considerations for Cafe Seating

Once inside, customers will scan the area for comfortable, available seating. An optimal solution would be leaving 1 square meter around the chair. Extra room for wheelchairs and prams will help accommodate those in need of additional space. Thought for all types and ranges of customers’ needs to be considered with regards to the layout.

All seats need to be set apart enough to provide privacy and allow easy access to the counter, toilets and staff work space. Sofas are often seen in cafes and provide a comfortable alternative to hard seats and stools – however, they can take up valuable space and encourage buyers to lounge for longer periods without purchase.

There should also be enough room to place shopping bags next to seats or underneath tables, avoiding cluttering floor space and risking accidents.

Customers will want to move around the cafe safely and without bumping into furniture so utilising the space available is vitally important when designing the layout of a cafe.

This article shows there is a lot to consider even when just thinking about the layout alone of a café. Have you thought about how you can implement these ideas to make your café more appealing for your customers?

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