Taste Isn't Everything

Function is the key ingredient in designing a restaurant.
This story appears in the October 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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You've dreamed of owning a restaurant since the first time you saut�ed on your family stove. Now, with start-up capital in hand, you have to design your restaurant from the inside out-or "from the heart of the house," says Michael D. Owings, founder of restaurant design firm Creative Culinary Design in Costa Mesa, California.

That means starting where your food begins-the kitchen. Imagine it: You have the greatest ambience in the world, but the food takes forever to prepare because of an inefficient kitchen layout. It's critical to lay out the pantry, saut� and cooking stations wisely. "In designing kitchens," says Owings, "lay your cook line out so that there's no cross traffic [and] people aren't running up and down," he says.

Try to find someone who is already in the restaurant business to help you out. He or she can tell you that your broiler is too small to actually create all the food on your menu or that your refrigerated drawers are hard to get to. And according to Owings, success comes from two things: "A good strategic plan along with a design that understands [your] market, location, staffing requirements and management skills-those are critical issues."

Need more design ideas? Check out Entrepreneur's Business Start-Up Guide, How to Start a Restaurant.

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Edition: November 2016

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