Secrets to Great Kitchen Design

When designing a restaurant space, keeping the customer in mind is key. Providing the right atmosphere and environment largely determines the guests experience. It is still a restaurant, though, and the real reason people come is the food. Aside from the culinary aspects of the restaurant, the kitchen needs to be performing at maximum efficiency to ensure the best experiences for the guests.








Vue de monde, Melbourne

There are many aspects to commercial kitchen design, but several key rules are always taken into consideration when designing. First, is minimizing movement within the kitchen space. The less movement needed between sections of the kitchen can speed up the preparation process as well as mitigate the chance for accidents. The circulation in the space needs to be well thought out and calculated so that meals move quickly and efficiently through the kitchen to the pick-up point with no problem.

 Another point of design that effects the restaurant more than the guests is an energy efficient design. Reducing the space between similar equipment can drastically lower energy costs of the building. For example, keeping all the equipment that requires a hood contained in one area, so the least possible amount of space is needed for the hood itself. Lastly, the general rule on size of the kitchen. It has been found that for every seat in the restaurant approximately five square feet of kitchen space will be needed to properly serve the demand of orders that will come through the kitchen.

Each restaurant requires its own type of kitchen. Each type is specifically designed to match the needs for the chef as well as the constraints of the space. There are four types of commercial kitchen layouts.












Blaze Fast-Fired Pizza, Wichita

1.      The Assembly Line Design: This layout is best for places with a small number of dishes on the menu. This is what you will see at most fast food and fast causal restaurants as they are easy to understand and quick to train staff on.









 2.      The Ergonomic Design: These layouts specialize in speed. Components of the preparation process are all near each other so that food goes out rapidly. For example, putting the fridge with potatoes right next to the fryer for easy access.







 Ink Hotel, Amsterdam

3.      Zone Design: Each Process in the kitchen is broken up and delegated its own area. Cutting, Cleaning, Mixing, and Prep. You will see these designs in more “sit down” restaurants where there is a greater number of dishes on the menu.







Marriot Café, Sinapore

4.   Island Design: The kitchen has a central main island where the cooking is done, the outer perimeter of the room is where the prep and cleaning happens. This will be in higher end restaurants where chefs are positioned at each area with their own set of responsibilities.


Choosing the right layout and circulation for the restaurant is key in order to guarantee an efficient and problem free process for the food to be made. Well-functioning kitchens lead to happy guests. Well-functioning kitchens come from great design.









Restaurant Design Trends for 2018

Restaurant Design Trends for 2018






Drake Commissary, Toronto

Tears Upon Re-Claimed Lumber

For 2018 the new year brings along a new look to restaurant design. The past few years have been dominated by wood slatted screens made from reclaimed wood and Edison bulbs cast through the dining area. Rustic will no longer be considered “rustic”, but just “old”. The restaurant design in the past years has been very accommodating to the bearded, flannel going crowd, as they sat upon a burnt orange upholstered booth, but those days are waning.






KOST Restaurant, Toronto

Clean Slate

Get ready for a change. All of the dark and neutral earth tones will lighten and turn to pastels. There is a shift in restaurant atmosphere, from cozy and rugged to clean and modern. Expect more green in the form of plants and living walls, adding life and comfort. Also look for design that highlights the natural architecture of the space rather than loud wall paper and elaborate colors that distracts. Crisp and clean will be the trend this year.






Buena Vista Hotel, Mosman, Australia

Wood and White

We are going to see more white walls with pops of color, along with large windows that aren’t framed in rusted steel. The dark woods will turn to lighter ones to accent the brighter colors. Get ready for more wood in general. Wood paneling is making a comeback, folks. However it will be lighter tones than the wood-clad steakhouses of old. Don’t worry, the wooded walls will be balanced with pops of art and lighting that is infused with technology that makes the guests, the space, and the food look ready for Instagram.







100% Chocolate Café, Tokyo


Another added trait of this coming year’s trends will be strong design themes in restaurants. Picture a chocolate shop with ceiling panels that resemble a giant Hershey’s bar. To go with that, the lay-in ceiling is being covered up more and more. Interesting pieces of custom art and sculptures will be suspended from ceilings to totally immerse the guests in the environment and the theme of the restaurant while they dine.


We are excited about these new changes and the design implications they bring upon a firm such as ours, and we will hit the ground running to implement these newest trends into our designs in the coming year.




3 steps towards a Customer Journey Map and what it can do for Retail Design (or Restaurant Design):

Every retail design project and every good retail designer that strives to involve the customer should include a customer map. The map will help define precisely what you as a retailer want the customer to see, do, and feel at a given time. It also helps you fully understand the customers’ needs as they move through the buying process. This process also puts you fully in the mindset of your customer base and may unveil underlying traits that your retail design project should entail.

To start this you will need a developed floor plan (as that will come later) but for now, just as a place to take notes. If you have an existing location it also helps to sit and observe how your customers currently interact with your store.

Step 1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What drives them to your store? Is it out of need for a commodity or is it an impulse as they walk by. Make that your first note. If they arrive at the storefront what will they be looking for? Is it a brand logo that they understand to be you? Is it the smell of a fragrance? Lighting? Define and note this. Once your new customer enters the space how will they be greeted or awarded for taking the plunge? If you think they will need time or direction to orient themselves to the new surroundings make a note of it and continue. You will need to work through this process throughout your store, thinking of the retail customer from the entrance, to the check out and all the way to stepping out of the store.

Step 2. Once you have a completed list of notes defining the customers’ needs within the retail design, develop the list further by inserting potential, helpful, or experiential interaction points that you would want to employ. Perhaps there is a heritage story that helps explore your products quality over another’s. Is there a new product that they must see? Interject these into the stream of the journey so that the customer will have a rich experience for the length of their stay.

Step 3. This is where the retail designer will lay all of the above needs, experiences and touch points out on a floor plan within the space. Intersperse the textual journey on the plan, thinking or sightlines, know obstructions and the natural flow that a person wants to take until you have thoughtfully employed (or rejected) your entire list within the space.

Congratulations! Now you have a great starting point to design a fantastic look that strategically considers YOUR customer!

The Customer Journey, successfully implemented, will be able to step your customer through the store, confident in the shopping experience, engaged with your product and much more likely to make a purchase.


Prime Real Estate: 5 Signs of a Restaurant That’s Designed for Success

People are fond of saying that the key to success in business is location, location, location. If you’ve always believed that as well, then congratulations, you are partially right. Only partially? Yes.

Restaurant layouts need more than just a prime location to insure success. The staff at StudioAtlantis has drafted a five point inspection list that will help you find the perfect restaurant location.Continue Reading..


Sightlines: The Invisible Thread of Quality Restaurant Designs

The key to a quality restaurant experience is great service and a good atmosphere – the kind of atmosphere that allows for comfort, movement, and easy conversation. Designers know that creating the right ambiance requires striking a balance between what is visible and what is invisible.

For example, the way we move through a space is dictated by our sightline, so this innate navigation tool is an integral part of restaurant designs.Continue Reading..


5 Ideas for Creating an Optimal Bar and Restaurant Design

Optimal bar and restaurant design always needs to start with proper planning. Long before you purchase a space and start the construction process, you have to put all of your ideas in writing. Your design proposal will cover all of the bases from décor to menu offerings.

Filing the proper paperwork with the city and state is an integral part of the overall implementation process. This is a regulatory and essential part of ensuring you adhere to building codes, are legally licensed to buy and sell alcohol, and will undergo the appropriate inspections before opening for business.  Continue Reading..


Give Your Space Personality with a Team of Experienced Restaurant Designers

Is anybody else out there addicted to remodeling and interior design shows? OK, so the question’s a bit biased coming from an interior design firm filled with restaurant designers, but at StudioAtlantis, we are on a mission; a mission of inspiration. We are open to that inspiration in all of its forms.

From Homogeneous to Rhythmic: Learning the Language of Active Space

One of the challenges for restaurant designers is to figure out how to make the space both signature and functional.Continue Reading..


Design Concepts

Building Lobby

In the last few months we have been focusing on design concepts for companies. From start-ups to remodels, we have been feeding companies design ideas to get them started. Sometimes full architectural drawings are not necessary, but a clear vision is. We pull together your ideas to help you create the company you are dreaming of.
Here is as example of one of these projects. The client had a very good idea of what she wanted but needed it to come together on paper. We were able to take her ideas and help bring them to life. After seeing the rendering she was secure in her design and was able to complete the project in confidence. Call us today so we can help you bring your ideas to life.


How do color trends start

Have you ever wondered where color trends come from?  Every season different colors and styles are the next “in” thing, but you might wonder why does it always change? It use to be the color trends were mostly motivated from fashion runways in Milan and Paris, but now we see them coming from many other sources.  Economic conditions, travel destinations (have you noticed the London serge?), movies, theater and trade shows all have a big part of the trends today.  So, if you are not  interested in high fashion, you can still stay up to date by going to the movies or watching the news.  With so many factors in colors today, the golden rule for choosing a color is to pick a color…you like!


What is all that racket!?

Restaurant Design

Some of the most grating noises are in the higher register. These are the ones that just bounce around without concern for anyone else and over time can become like fingers on a chalkboard. My nemesis? Metal chairs being drug across a hard surface floor. I never seem to notice this sound until I’ve settled in, ordered a nice wine, and rrrreeeettt… rrreeeettt… somebody clears a table. Once this sets in it’s like nothing else is in the room. Well there is a VERY easy, quick and inexpensive fix to this! For about 15 cents a leg you can quickly add nylon or felt glides to the legs… And me? … back to my wine and lovely conversation.