Design, building and operation of a restaurant.

This case study concerns a restaurant located on the ground floor of a building, built under a building permit issued in 1977. Some particulars of the study have been simplified to make the case study more general. The kitchen area has been designed slightly bigger area than the minimum required by law. We believe that the kitchen is the engine of the plant, so it should be more comfortable and effective. The restaurant has a capacity of 80 customers. The capacity of the dinning hall area is determined by the building fire safety and health regulations. In the design, the minimum number of the parking places obligatory by law is defined, even though we have more parking space.

reastaurant designThe minimum square footage is defined as follows:

Dinning hall area: 112 m2
Kitchen: 20 m2 (added 8m2, total 28m2 ).
Sideboard: 4 m2
Scullery: 6 m2
Rest room: 3 m2

The kitchen is separated from the pantry and the scullery.

There are two emergency exits in the dinning hall area, obligatory for safety reasons by law. There are also two doors at the rear of the building: one is used to import raw materials (right) and the other is used for waste collection (left).

 
THE STEPS OF CONSTRUCTION

STEP 1 – BUSINESS VISION
The reason for the choice of the restaurant set up is obvious. There are restaurants that make turnovers much higher than large industries, and usually with good rates of profit. (Of course in many other restaurants the revenue is lower than the expenses). In addition to the above, although owning a restaurant is very time consuming, it is a first class business challenge, pleasant work and it promotes public relations.

STEP 2 - SELECTION OF THE SITE
The choice of the site is a very complicated tasc because it is correlated with too many parameters. Most important is the preference for the area by the entrepreneur, the cost of hiring or buying a building, the existing competition and its strength, the customer approach, the style of the restaurant. But all the possible choices must have one feature in common: it must be legal to acquire the operation permit as a restaurant. The land use should allow the specific use (usually "residential area"). So, great care is required when selecting the site, whether of buying or hiring the building. (N.B. a professional lease lasts for at least twelve years).

STEP 3 - DESIGN
As it has already been mentioned above, the design is the most important factor in the process of setting up a restaurant. We must take into account the requirements of the legislation, the provision of the available space, the size and style of business. Experience helps to take into account all the parameters and to avoid any problems in the future.

STEP 4 – UNIT INSTALLATION
Mass catering units, consist of two separate structures which although very different are adjacent to each other. This is what makes the design of a restaurant very special. One is the kitchen, the food processing unit, something like a small food industry plant; smaller but more complicated. Many product lines are fitted in a very limited space. The other structure is the dining hall, where a good atmosphere must be created.  It should create and preserve the client’s good mood.

STEP 5 – PURCHASING THE KITCHEN EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY
Kitchen appliances, are mainly determined by production needs and legislation on food safety and much less by other factors. So, it is absolutely necessary before asking for an offer from some dealers, to have a list of equipment needed and the exact specifications of this. In this way, the offers will be strictly comparable and the only aspects taken into consideration will be the price and quality of the equipment. Some merchants offer the design of the kitchen for free. It is understandable that in such cases, the merchant profit is mainly considered and less the real needs of the production. In other words it is another way to promote their products.
Lastly, equipment cannot be HACCP certified! This certification can only be assigned to food companies and plants which implement the system. The equipment must only follow the requirements imposed by the law.

STEP 6 – DINNING HALL AREA EQUIPMENT
Dinning hall area equipment, tables, chairs, tablecloths, etc. will be chosen depending on the style of the restaurant and the customer preference (target group). Again, the quality is predominant. The choice can be made from a large variety of products and items of good quality and price can be found.

STEP 7 - OPERATING LICENSE
Whether you get the working license or not, depend the project. If adequate standards and law requirements have been adopted, there will not be any problems with the working license.

STEP 8 - QUALITY SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION
Mass catering quality systems such as HACCP, ISO22000 etc, have specific features and difficulties. The main difficulty is that the production of each dish group of the menu, could be considered as a separate production line. In addition, the staff working in these units is usually less specialized than the industry personnel. In any case, food safety is obligatory for both legal and moral reasons.

STEP 9 - ADVERTISING - FINDING CUSTOMERS
This is part of the business vision, as well as the marketing plan of the company. Professionals can help to promote the good services provided by the restaurant, always customer targeted, raising the competition standards and opportunities of the company. Anyway, the best advertising is done by the satisfied clients. Other common advertising forms  are brochures, the internet, the media, specialized magazines, etc. Anyway it is very important, as in any business, to determine the "target group" of the business accurately.