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[Excerpt] When we think about restaurant design, most of us think first about how the space looks: what furniture, what materials, what colors, what lighting and what signage. We think about what makes the restaurant feel a certain way, but probably not what makes the restaurant perform. And that's a mistake. Restaurants need to view design as a strategic tool, not as merely the pretty wrapping for the food and the service. So your front-of-house design needs to not only be attractive and comfortable for your guests, but it has to work for you as an operator too. And to work well, your dining room has to be designed with guest psychology in mind.

No doubt you've probably read somewhere that design features like colors, music and lighting affect how people feel and behave. It's true, they do, and that's a topic for another article. I'd like to focus on something more rudimentary to the restaurant design process first, which is how you lay out your seating in the dining room.


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This article is courtesy of / Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine. For more information, visit