Creating a floor plan is more involved than it might initially seem. You’re not only creating an aesthetically pleasing setup for your restaurant but dictating the flow of service as well. Knowing where to start for your floor plan can be tough. You could try the ol’ trial-and-error trick or draw out how you think things should look. In the modern era, however, people have created tools specifically for this reason. We’ll go over what your floor plan should include and some very useful online tools to help you make it happen.
Importance of Floor Plans For Restaurants
As we mentioned before, floor plans help guide the flow of service in your restaurant. You don’t want guests to get lost trying to find the bathroom or accidentally create a bottleneck effect for your guests and servers. Planning out your seating can have an effect on your servers too. Where you decide to place larger tables can change the flow of service completely. Overall, careful planning can help make your restaurant or bar much more efficient and easier to navigate, promoting a positive guest experience.
Floor Plan Essentials
Your floor plan should have the following:
- Waiting area. Your waiting area will be right at the front of your restaurant where your guests enter. How you section it can change how your restaurant is perceived.
- Bar. It’s common to have your bar near the front of your restaurant as well.
- Dining room with different table sizes. You’ll need to figure out how you’d like to set up your larger tables for big parties. Keep in mind that big parties tend to be louder and more involved.
- Prep areas. Back-of-house areas need careful planning as well to keep good flow in the kitchen.
- Restrooms and routes to restrooms. Your restrooms should be easy to find and, if possible, not impede server traffic.
- Views from different points. Consider setting up your waiting area to give people things to watch, or think about the views available from your windows.
- Compliance with ADA legislation. Ensuring that your restaurant is suitable for those who use wheelchairs and mobility aids is not only courteous, it’s the law.
How Floor Plan Creators Work Online
Online floor plan creators are applications that allow you to accurately flesh out floor plans based on the size and shape of your bar or restaurant. They’re meant to scale with your restaurant so you have a good approximation of how things will actually fit. All you have to do is choose from one of the many floor plan creators available online. Many are even available to use on your phone or tablet, so you can get started whenever you want!
Why Use a Floor Plan Maker?
Floor plan creators save you a lot of grief that traditional floor planning might give you. In order to scale your floor plan using traditional methods, you have to ensure that you’re accurately scaling things in your drawings with your measurements. When you use a tool specifically for floor plan making, it does all of that for you so you don’t have to second guess your scaling. You could also hire someone to come and create a floor plan for you, but again, this takes up more time and money than using a creator would. The customization abilities a floor plan application has can also be really beneficial if things change at your establishment. If you notice you need more space to accommodate larger parties during the holidays, for example, you can hop into your floor plan and change things around. Overall, using floor plan creators helps you maintain good organizational practices and saves you time and money.
Online Floor Planners to Leverage For Your Restaurant
Floor plan creation tools are cheaper and more convenient than hiring a designer to come in and make a floor plan for you. Let’s look at some of the popular floor plan creators out there:
- SmartDraw. SmartDraw is a diagramming program available for Windows and Mac at around $9.99 monthly, or free for 30 days. You can choose from customizable professionally-designed templates or start from scratch with a searchable library featuring hundreds of floor plan symbols. There are architecture and engineering tools available to fine-tune your floor plan exactly how you want it. It even integrates with Trello, MS Office, and Google Workspace to name a few.
- RoomSketcher. RoomSketcher is a floor-planning application available on Windows, Mac, and some tablets. They offer a free tier and require a subscription to use most of their features, starting at $2 per project per month. RoomSketcher has most of the things you’d expect from a floor plan creator with some bonuses, like 3D floor plans and customizable furniture. The most unique thing RoomSketcher offers is their floor plan creation service. Instead of hiring a designer to do your floor plan for you, you can hire RoomSketcher to do it. They’ll designate a professional to make you a floor plan starting at $38 per level with their lowest tier.
- DreamPlan Restaurant Design Software. For a one-time cost of $40, you can own this restaurant design software without any subscription fees. It’ll work on Windows, Mac, and Android or Kindle tablets. This is a great option for people who don’t want to deal with recurring fees while still cashing in on the benefits of a floor plan creator that offers robust 3D floor planning options. You can edit textures, incorporate patios, and be able to fully visualize what your restaurant will look like with 3D models.
There are tons of restaurant floor plan creation tools out there. Visualizing your dream floor plan is easier than ever, and you’re just a few clicks away from making it happen.
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