Restaurant layout: 5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use

Restaurant layout: 5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use

Here is a practical technical guide with everything you need to know about a restaurant layout design together with examples, project drawings in DWG and a 3D model ready for you to download

Designing a restaurant is not an easy task, you need to take into account various aspects, including how space will work operationally. This guide will provide you with in-depth information about restaurant layout design and all the aspects that you need to consider along the way. We have realized a complete restaurant project that you can use as reference for your future projects together with DWG drawings and a 3D model to download.

Specifically, in this focus article we’ll cover:

  • spaces and functions arrangement
  • practical examples of a restaurant project

and provide pratical example projects (floor plans, cross-sections, 3D architectural model) ready for you to download.

5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use

Restaurant design: spaces and functions arrangement

First and foremost, when designing a restaurant, you will need to define a reference target and, particularly, the kind of crowd that you are looking to target. The furnishing design will depend on this choice.

Restaurant layout: 5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use

Every restaurant has a basic layout that includes several primary spaces such as entrance, kitchen, ancillary rooms and restrooms.

  1. External accessory areas
  2. Wardrobe
  3. Waiting area
  4. Corner bar
  5. Dining room
  6. Kitchen
  7. Customer toilet/ restrooms
  8. Employees toilet and dressing room 

Restaurant layout: 5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use


The entrance has multiple functions: it is the first place that the customer meets, and therefore it is essential that the first impact is positive and let the “concept” of the room filter through. It also plays the role of filter between the outside and the dining room.

The entrance is the space where you can design a waiting room, the bar corner and the cash desk. From this environment it is also possible to provide access to the cloakroom and toilet facilities.

Dining room

With reference to some European hygiene regulations for public premises, it is possible to identify the minimum size measures of the room:

  • minimum height: 2.70 m
  • minimum volume: 25 m³
  • direct natural ventilation equal to 1/10 of the walking surface of the room;
  • insufficient direct natural ventilation can be integrated or replaced with an adequate air conditioning system
  • direct natural lighting equal to 1/10 of the walking surface of the room that can be integrated or replaced with artificial lighting.

For the generic volume it is necessary to consider the standard sizes of tables and seats. Square tables as the most common type in restaurants and, more generally, standard dimensions are:

  • for tables 0.80 × 0.80 m or 0.90 × 0.90 m
  • for chairs 0.40 × 0.40 m
  • minimum spacing between tables 0,30/0,40 m

you will have a footprint of approximately 1.20 m² per seat.

It is a standard measure taken as reference by sector studies.

Much also depends on the type of venue that you want to design. In fact, for a gourmet restaurant plan it is common to have a minimum size of 2.00 m².

5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use


The kitchen is the heart of the restaurant business. When designing a kitchen, it is necessary to take particular care and attention to the indications provided by national regulations. You can see some rules examples in our previous article “Commercial kitchen design: 6 fundamental rules”.

Services/ restrooms

In a restaurant project it is mandatory to provide toilets for the public, but also:

  • at least one toilet for the staff with an anteroom that separates the two areas. This space can also be used as a dressing room if it meets the minimum dimensions
  • a dressing room with:
    • an area equal to not less than 1.50 m² for each employee
    • average height not less than 2.40 m
    • natural ventilation or, in case of windowless baths, suitable air exchange devices
    • adequate heating
    • walls covered with waterproof material and easily washable up to a minimum height of 2.00 m
    • individual double-compartment cabinets must be placed for storage
    • separate storage for work clothes and personal ones
  • one toilet for the public per every 60 m² of the total facility surface, with the following characteristics:
    • 1 sq.m minimum area
    • average height not less than 2.40 m and equipped with a window for direct natural ventilation, that is not less than 0.50 m². If the room is windowless, it must necessarily be equipped with mechanical ventilation
    • anteroom with a minimum surface area of ​​1 m², average height not less than 2.10 m; the door accessing the outside must be equipped with automatic door closer, and with outward opening
    • floors and walls must be covered up to 2 m height with waterproof materials, easily washable and disinfectable (if necessary make the necessary distinctions for the bathroom for disabled people with measures regulated by the relating specific regulations).

5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use

Ancillary area

Ancillary spaces support the function/s of the primary areas and increase the quality of the service. They are fundamental, however not all restaurants provide spaces such as cloackrooms and external areas.

For a cloackroom design it is necessary to consider the classic dimensions of the cabinets with 0.60 m depth modules. In addition, it is useful to add some extra space such as 0.90 × 0.90 m in width to allow customers to comfortably move.

Having an external environment available, its design will depend on the function it is intended to assign: aperitif area, smoking area, relaxation area.

5 tips and an example about how to design a restaurant

This case study features a medium-sized restaurant located on the ground floor of an existing building. The furnishings arrangement, the choice of materials and the organization of lighting points, have been designed to guarantee guests a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere, maintaining a stylistic coherence between interior and outdoor spaces.

Our restaurant example consists of 5 main rooms:

  1. entrance,
  2. dining room,
  3. kitchen,
  4. toilets and changing rooms,/ restrooms
  5. 2 external environments.

Below we have provided some architectural tips for each environment.

Restaurant layout: 5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use


1. Entrance area

The entrance area has been divided into 2 areas: a bar area and a waiting area.
The bar corner is enclosed by two perimeter walls and, on the other two sides, by two lower and upper elements composed of wooden slats. This space is designed to fulfill the functions of bar, cash desk and reception. Some sofas and tables have been placed in the waiting area.

2. Dining Room

The dining room seats about 100 people and has been subdivided into small areas to ensure greater privacy for guests.

  • 3 areas in the central part are surrounded by small walls made of small wood slats, false ceiling with “3D panels” and flooring in semi-glossy cement material;
  • 2 side areas have internal partition walls and steel beams and columns, thus alternating different wall and ceiling material choices. On the contrary, the floor follows the same theme of the internal rooms;
  • the corridor area and the area in front of the kitchen and bathrooms (where an exhibitor of wine has also been placed) are designed with a false ceiling that reflects the same theme of the walls; in this case the floor is parquet;
  • the cloakroom area consists of an enclosed space with cabinets and extra space to allow to easily move within the area.

Restaurant layout: 5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use

3. Kitchen

The restaurant kitchen design topic has been addressed in our previous article: “Commercial kitchen design: 6 fundamental rules ”.

4. Toilets

The bathroom has been divided it into two areas, one for guests and one for the staff. The guest bathrooms, in turn, have been divided by gender, including a toilet for the disabled. In the staff area, bathroom and dressing room are separated.

5. External spaces

Finally, we have located external areas at the entrance of the venue and next to the dining room.
The first environment has been intended as an area dedicated to aperitifs. It has been designed with a roof structure, and furnished with sofas, armchairs and tables. The second area is furnished with chairs and tables, it’s covered with umbrellas and designed as a smoking and relaxation area.

Restaurant layout: 5 design tips with project criteria and 3D models ready to use


Download the DWGs of the project drawings and the 3D BIM model

In this section you can download the project drawing files in DWG, the architectural model of a restaurant and the BIM software used to produce them.

Download the 3D BIM model (.edf file) of a restaurant project

Download the DWG drawings of the restaurant project