A school or college restaurant is a vital space for students and staff to recharge and unwind. The areas need to be functional and able to feed large numbers of people every single day.

The key to a successful restaurant space is a great design. Here are some of our top tips for designing a restaurant for schools & colleges:

Know what is working and what is not

This is something to consider whether redesigning or creating a brand new space. Before you begin, you need to understand what works and what does not in your space. Do staff member have to battle through streams of students with hot serving plates? Do you have enough space to seat everyone who will be using the restaurant? If you understand what works and what does not work about your space, you can use design to provide a solution to any foreseeable problems and your canteen will be a success.

Speak to the people who use the area

Open up conversations with your catering team, students, teachers anyone who is going to be spending time in the restaurant. You will learn what the commercial kitchen needs to function more efficiently and what the students enjoy about using the space. Research is key, speaking with the people who use the area daily will help you design a restaurant that works for them.

Consider how the space may change throughout the day

Some colleges and schools stagger lunch service times and offer breakfast, lunch and dinner service. Your design needs to work throughout the day, both functionally and aesthetically. Also, think about how the space may be used differently throughout the week. It’s also worth thinking about functions, dinners and outside event hire.

Location, location, location!

The canteen’s location is very important. Your design needs to work around the placement in the building, think about the flow of people through the area. You can also bear in mind the spaces around the restaurant, we recently installed soundproof panels in a school restaurant to ensure other students were not distracted by noise when in class.

Make a floor plan

Plan everything! Figure out where everything is going to be placed in the kitchen, service area and how furniture will be placed throughout the space. It’s always a good idea to have a plan to work to when you are designing and can help you utilise the space you have.

What is important to the school or college?

It’s nice to reflect some purpose in a design, it could also be necessary for function. If the menu is filled with healthy options reflect this in your signage and colour pallet. You can play with the seating area if you are trying to create an environment for both students and staff to relax and unwind.

If you would like a hand with the design process, give our team a call!