How to Design the Perfect Coffee Shop, Cafe or Restaurant

If you are taking on a new business venture and you’re opening a coffee shop, cafe or restaurant then you will probably be staring at a very long to do list right now! Top of your priorities should be how to design the space itself, as if you get it wrong you risk losing a lot of money. Of course you will also be thinking long and hard about your finances and this is a very important concern, but it’s important not to cut costs when it comes to the design as it is so very fundamental to your business’s success. In this article we’ll talk you through the basic considerations that you need to make in order to create a haven of calm that will tempt people in.

Think About Practicalities

The coffee shop, cafe or restaurant needs to be well laid out so that it is easy to serve your customers. Make sure that the counter is near the kitchen so that it is easy to pass orders through. Your waiters and waitresses will need a clear space from which to serve the food, and your chef will need plenty of space to prepare the food too, so make sure that you bear this in mind. Of course, you will want to put as many tables and chairs in as possible, but don’t go so overboard that you make it difficult for the service staff to get around.

Design the Perfect Coffee Shop

The Decor

When designing any catering outlet you need to think very carefully about the decor. Walls and floors should be a light color so as to create the feeling of space, and you need also to consider how easy they will be to keep clean. Any sign of dirt in a catering outlet will send your customers running to your competitors, so you can’t afford to cut any corners.


The lighting in any café, coffee shop or restaurant is absolutely critical, so make sure you get it right. If the lighting is too bright then it will feel like a stark airport lounge, but if it too low then customers just won’t be able to see properly. Create a natural ambience with up-lighting and tea lights, and try to avoid really bright ceiling lights if you possibly can.



You need to make sure that all of your customers can easily access your shop, and this includes those that are not able-bodied. If there are steps to the premises then make sure that there is also a wheelchair ramp as an alternative access point. If you have an upstairs to your premises then you should also have a vertical wheelchair lift so that your disabled customers can enjoy all of the space that your able-bodied customers can. Make sure that doors are wide enough to fit wheelchairs through, and you should also consider having your menu printed in Braille so that blind customers can easily make their choices.

vertical wheelchair lift

If you need more design inspiration, have a look at other cafes that you like and see how they do it.