When planning the area of a food establishment, the rule general to divide the spaces is:
• Dining area: 60% of the total area
• kitchen: 40% of the total area, of which about 30% of the area is occupied by equipment, and of this percentage, 10% is occupied for the preparation areas, with their work tables, laundry rooms, etc. 70% must be left free for work areas, corridors, and access
The main determinant of the space needed in a kitchen is the maximum number of meals served in any one time period. The dimensions of the kitchen will be based on the total number of meals produced during peak hours. However, in the design of a modern kitchen, there are numerous exceptions to that rule.
Among the determining factors for calculating the area of a restaurant are the following:
• Type of food: It takes less equipment and less staff to produce a simple meal consisting of only one or two dishes without the right to choice, which for a more complicated meal, for example, 3 or 4 courses offering a varied list of delicacies to choose from.
• Type of establishment: Hotel restaurants, which serve usually for long periods of the day and night they need a job with more continuous and more numerous personnel; as well as more space.
• Planning: The dimensions and shape of the kitchen and its relationship to others The method of use of their spaces will also be affected. Careful planning can save space.
• Equipment: The variety and performance of the cooking equipment allow reduce the number of devices and gain space.
• Comfort food: One of the main reasons for using food or comfort food is to save work and the area in the kitchen where those delicacies are left ready to be served.
• Service areas and auxiliary premises: There are various criteria on how to distribute the premises for personnel, for warehouses, for distribution of food to customers, to be received by the waiters, who can be included within the kitchen area, but when there is self-service, Such elements are part of the dining area.
When planning the spaces, it must be taken into account that, in an establishment that serves a buffet, 0.90 mt2 per person is required; for a restaurant where it is served a la carte, 1.80 mt2 per person is required.
The average for a cafeteria, where a varied menu is served, is 1.08 mt2 per person. This allows space for waiting areas, traffic corridors, etc.
Example. For a restaurant with a capacity of 200 guests, it requires a 216 mt2 dining area; which represents 60% of the area total; the total area required is 360 mt2.
The recommended area in mt2 per person, for different types of restaurant, is:
• commercial coffees: from 1.44 to 1.62 mt2
• industrial coffees: from 1.08 to 1.35 mt2
• fast food: from 1.62 to 1.80 mt2
• service on demand (minimum): from 0.99 to 1.26 mt2
• hotel/club a la carte service: from 1.35 to 1.62 mt2
• Buffet service (minimum): from 0.90 to 0.99 mt2
Now that you have a concept of how the kitchen area of a restaurant is calculated, it would also be useful to know the total capacity of your restaurant.
Calculate the physical capacity of the restaurant
Let’s start by calculating the physical capacity of the premises, bearing in mind that it will of course depend on the decoration and structure of each restaurant. To do this we need to know the measurements of the useful area and the space occupied by each diner.
According to the experience in restoration, each client would occupy at least 1m², to which we must add about 20 cm² of common furniture, so we would have an approximate space of …
1.20 m² for each client
With these data, we can apply a formula that would help us to know the estimated physical capacity for our restaurant:
Physical capacity (CP): M² available for service / 1.20 m² of each diner
Assuming that we have a restaurant of 18 m² long and 10 m² wide of useful area, our estimated capacity would be
CF: 180 m² / 1.20 m² = 150 diners
Note that if space is more irregular, you can remove the areas that cannot be occupied, subdivide the regular spaces and then add them up to get your useful area estimate.
You can also add or remove space to the estimate per guest, depending on the characteristics and style of your business.
Calculate the productive capacity of the restaurant
Now to make this calculation, in addition to knowing the estimated physical capacity, we need to have other data related to the times of the services.
The formula is as follows:
Production capacity (PC): CF (physical capacity) x Total service time / Service cycle time.
Where the total service time refers to the full time that each service lasts (lunch, dinner) and the service cycle time would be the average time that elapses between the customer entering the restaurant and being welcomed, until he gets up and is dismissed.
Assuming that in our example, the time of each service is 210 minutes and the average cycle time of each customer is 90 minutes, the productive capacity of our business would be
CP: 150 diners x 210 minutes / 90 minutes = 350 diners per service.
Of course, these are maximum estimates of productivity, since in practice many variables come into play in restaurant management that would produce changes, especially in times according to the number of diners at each table and their needs. However, having this calculation is a good starting point for planning.