Phases of Design Before Building a New Restaurant

This season on "Rock My Restaurant," Foodable Network is bringing you a premium content package of nine in-depth episodes that can be paired with our Rock My Restaurant PRO Workbooks, expert guides, and reports– all available for purchase.

Each episode, co-hosted by veteran foodservice industry consultants Bill Bender and Eric Norman, will help take your operation to the top. That's right — you’ll get access to two highly-acclaimed foodservice consultants, all from the viewing pleasure of your own home, office, or classroom.

Episode 4: Phases of Restaurant Design

So, after you go over the measures that need to be in place in order to increase the productivity and branding of your restaurant, before you decide who you want to be as a brand, estimate your menu cost, or assemble your dream team, it is time to think about the phases of restaurant design. In this episode, which serves as a continuation of last week's "Basic Design For a New Brand" episode, our Restaurant Rockers will give you a breakdown of each step.

There are six phases to design:

Phase 1: Let’s Gather Some Data (Planning and Programming)

  • Review project goals.
  • Establish communication procedures. “A communication breakdown can ruin a project… So you want to make sure everyone is on board at the beginning with how we are going to talk to each other as a project team,” says Eric Norman.
  • Review the type of service provided.
  • Identify key elements of the facility design to support owner’s requirements.
  • Review architectural drawings and provide recommendations.
  • Bubble diagrams can be helpful to visualize where restaurant activities should be taking place.

Phase 2: Let's Design Some Kitchens (Schematic Design)

  • Prepare an equipment floor plan and choose the right equipment per task.
  • Be sure to account for traffic flow. Along with keeping in mind how the traffic flow moves around the kitchen, understand how guest traffic moves around the dining room.
  • Start establishing equipment estimates. (Look for sustainable options that will save you time and money,)
  • Review human engineering and life safety (codes, ergonomics. and use of workstations).
  • At end of phase 2, continue to re-work schematic design with the client until both parties agree on a base design to move forward with.

Phase 3: Details, Details, Details! (Design Development)

  • Drawings become more detailed in regards to workstations, equipments, and accessories.
  • Floor plan should include the correct size and shape of equipment and how it sits inside facility.
  • At this point, an equipment cut book is provided to client.
  • Cost estimate is revised continuously as project progresses.
  • Review layout and floor plan with all design and construction personnel concerning, as well as the owner
  • Provide preliminary equipment schedules. (Electrical, power and gas data to all of the engineering firm.)
  • Obtain final sign-off from owner to proceed with construction documents.

Phase 4: No Mistakes Now! (Construction Documents)

  • Prepare equipment schedule showing all electrical and mechanical requirements for food ervice equipment.
  • Prepare electrical rough-in plan, fully dimensioned from horizontal and vertical planes, showing all locations required for placement of electrical service, serving specific pieces of equipment
  • Finalize exhaust and ventilation plans.
  • Develop floor plan showing dimensioned wall, partition, door, and window locations.
  • Get assistance with health department approval by revising plans as required by official plan check documents. (Your project will not happen if it does not get a stamp of approval by health officials and it meets all codes.)

Phase 5: Let’s Build This Thing! (Bid phase)

  • Identify potential FSECs to send bid documents.
  • Provide assistance with the analysis of bid documents and costs.
  • Prepare bulletins and addenda concerning changes or clarifications on the food service plans.

Phase 6: Working Together to Achieve Success! (Construction Administration)

  • Conduct site visits during the construction process to verify that everything is being built according to plan. “It’s checks and balances…You know? We want to make sure that what we have in our drawings is what’s showing up in this phase,” says Eric Norman.
  • Review shop drawing.
  • Provide site visit reports.
  • Notify the architect and client in writing of any deviation from approved design.
  • It’s important to keep a line of communication open at this stage as well as having a timeline to make sure milestones are met weekly while making the right decisions.

As the client you must be active in your project. Get involved, ask questions, and be the boss!

Want to purchase the Rock My Restaurant PRO Workbooks and follow along with each episode for a richer experience? You'll get the following assets:

  • The Proactive Management Guide
  • Top 8 Digital Musts for Your Restaurant
  • Ergonomic Impacts on Design
  • Millennial Report
  • Operating Systems Audit
  • and more!