Designing a commercial kitchen or restaurant is a process that needs to be mapped out and carefully considered, the only way to reach a fully complete design for sign off is to ensure the project has outstanding visual concept designs created at the start.

What is ‘visual concept’ design?

Conceptual Design is an early phase of the design process, in which the broad outlines of function and form of something are articulated. It includes the design of interactions, experiences, processes and strategies. It involves an understanding of people’s needs – and how to meet them with products, services, & processes. Common artefacts of conceptual design are concept sketches and models. Wikipedia*

For designers, this ultimately means having a thorough understanding of Client vision, needs and budget with end-user requirements.

Where to start.

The starting point should be where the designer looks at the problem and then takes on industry research and innovation, studies the existing branding, the floor layout and looks at requirements of the commercial kitchen or restaurant. At this point, it is important to create a questionnaire around the Clients needs – having as much knowledge as possible helps to ensure those first few visual concepts don’t need much ‘tweaking’ for the final design. Think about the following questions to get the creative juices flowing to help create outstanding visual concepts for designing a commercial kitchen or restaurant that your Client is bound to love:

  • What is the goal of the company, how is this kitchen or restaurant space going to work?
  • Is it a fast food kitchen, commercial office kitchen, school canteen or coffee shop?
  • What type of customer will they be serving?
  • How much footfall will be coming through the area?
  • What is the budget?
  • What is the ‘wow’ element?
  • How many square feet per customer?

And so on….all of these questions get the designer into the ‘thinking process’

Next Steps.

The Mood board, this is so much fun, a chance to get super creative! This is a place for all of your and your client thoughts and ideas to come together – this part of the design process allows you to rule out the possibilities of coming up with designs which are not consistent with what is expected. From your mood board, the designer should be able to develop a vision for the design and vocabulary required for the project. This is the prime opportunity to get as creative as possible and rule things out as you go.

After the mood board has been created the designer will put together some sketches of everything that has been learnt from the exercises above – designing a commercial kitchen or restaurant is a very tricky job as there are so many elements that need to be considered. Once the concepts have been created from the mood board and various doodles this is presented to the client.

It is so important to remember that designing a commercial kitchen or restaurant needs to have a sensorial element, the design needs to provoke an emotional engagement of the five senses (sight, smell, touch, sound and taste). Getting these elements right in your restaurant or kitchen design will prove a stronger brand experience.

This is your visual concept design, at this point, you can sit down with your client and discuss every element of the design, things can be changed/moved around or scrapped entirely (although we would really hope not!) Once everything is agreed your final design gets underway! Getting you one step closer to getting the perfect commercial kitchen or restaurant installed and ready for your customers.