Hospitality Design – an Introduction
Hospitality design is a specialist subject and particular areas of hospitality are niches within themselves. The subject is vast. Initially the subject will be broad and then broken down into particular niche areas.
The fundamental element required in the public areas of hospitality design is to get people in the door. Some will say that it’s the food that does this or the service and of course it is all of those things but the designer has the responsibility of creating an atmosphere, experience, and efficiency when designing nightclubs, bars, restaurants, hotel rooms, foyers, lobbies, conference areas and receptions, that public use and pay for in hospitality industry.
This website will cover almost all aspects of the hospitality industry including service areas to bars and kitchens, the equipment that the designer should know about and allow for, what makes a public area work for food and beverage and the concepts and details that are required knowledge for accommodation, conference and entertainment.
A Few General Rules to Planning
Within most bars and restaurants there are a number of elements that the interior designer has to plan into the space. Firstly as a general rule the area is split into two. The service area and the public area. Generally the service area will take up a third of the space and the public area two thirds. If you are able to increase the public area without increasing the service space then well done however hospitality is about service and the more public that are using the business the more service will be required.
Secondly, although its economical to have the services such as plumbing drainage and HVAC close or backing onto each other kitchens and restrooms should be a distance apart. This sounds logical but Ive witnessed that type of design too often and it inevitably leads to patrons being uncomfortable and the outlet running inefficiently. To demonstrate this think of kitchens as a busy area that can also be a form of entertainment for the patrons. Restrooms however are intimate areas especially for women. I’ve heard many complaints from women that they feel they are on display as they use the restroom or that they have had to walk over a noisy floor getting every man’s attention along the way because of the noise.
Thirdly every restaurant and bar should have a theme, even if it’s a rough and ready and makes no pretence about it. While food or service has to be at the very top of the list the atmosphere will come is a very close second if not equal.
Fourthly let the public know that the outlet is there. A hospitality designers responsibility does not just start once they are through the door. The entrance and exterior are vitally important and the easiest advertising that the outlet can have. Your theme and design will not only develop the interior but the exterior, graphic design for signage, menus, stationery, crockery cutlery and glassware, furniture and uniforms.
Use other consultants under your direction. Have a great graphic designer work with you, get to know your suppliers of chefs equipment, cutlery crockery and glass ware and use specialists for heating, ventilation and airconditioning and refrigeration. Find those that perform and that you have confidence in and your job designing hospitality outlets will be a great deal easier and more efficient. People don’t mind paying for the best advice, but they do mind paying for mediocre advice or work that they feel they could have done themselves. Using specialists within your speciality is giving a great deal more while costing you little.
Further Reading in Hospitality Design
Designing for Sex – design principles for designing night clubs and restaurants.
Nightclub Planning – How to space plan for a successful nightclub design.
Nightclub Design – What do you need to design concept a nightclub.
Theming a Cafe – Step by step process of theming a cafe for successful retail outcome, complete with sketches and plans.