Hospitality is a cutthroat business. Every year many Australians open cafés fulfilling their lifelong dream. Unfortunately, a lot of them fail before making it big. The Café fitout is one of the most significant expenses that you will face as a new owner. If you get it wrong, then the business is doomed, but you will have a thriving business if you get it right. So, before you set out on the journey of starting your own café, we would like to give you some common advice so you can plan the fit-out process the right way.

The commercial importance of design and layout when opening a cafe

When creating a design for your café, there are some essential factors that you need to consider. Recognise and implement practical layout ideas to help promote efficient service in café making it profitable for the business. Below we are going to share some insightful tips to help you decide on the right design and layout for your café.

Café layout and floorplan tips

  • Have a concept for your Café In order to have an ideal café interior, the first thing you need is a clear concept of what you want. You should have the answer to some of the basic things including, what kind of café do you want, what will you serve, what the location is going to be, what the prices will be like, whether it will be a friendly neighbourhood café or a commercial café on a posh street.

    The concept of your café depends on your target audience. Think about the environment that will be expected of your café and the sort of vibe you wish to create. For instance, a group of retirees would have different expectations and taste compared to a group of young professionals. So, decide who your target audience will be, then design the concept, come up with a name and make sure to be clear on it, so there is consistency across all aspects of your business.

  • Know your Audience Your café fit-out must meet your customers’ requirements. While planning, you have to spend time thinking about who your customers will be and how your case can meet their needs. Often, new café owners try to be a one fit for. But you would be better off if you focus on your customers’ needs.

    For instance, if your target audience is busy professionals who depend on takeaways, then your café fit-out should focus on the use of space and customer flow. You will have to define areas for customers to order, wait and collect. You can use barriers and furniture to guide customers where they need to go. If you want your customers to sit down and relax, then your café has to be welcoming, spacious and comfortable. Remember, it is all about your customers need.

  • The ambience Most people go back to the same place because of the ambience. The first thing your customers notice is the colours of the café, so they are an essential part of the design. Colours get your concept across while also setting the mood.

    Colours like yellows and res are considered diet stimulants as they produce an impulse in the viewer’s mind. This is the biggest reason why almost every food joint has a blend of these colours in different degrees. However, you don’t want your customers to leave quickly, so it’s better to create a more subtle and relaxing mix of colours like pastels. This can create a nice balance and doesn’t overwhelm the customers.

    Another important factor to consider when setting the ambience right is the lighting. Even if you have got the world’s best interior design, wrong lighting can ruin it all. Extremely bright lights can overpower the customers and distract them from food. You should consider dim lights if you want to give an exclusive and rustic impression. These lights can make customers feel like they are away from their everyday world. But ensure that the light is still comfortable for them to see. Dim in no way means dark. We suggest you create natural daytime lighting to get the lighting right.

  • Think about the theme Themed cafes are a trend. Families and kids especially love themed cafes. If that is your target audience, then a novelty theme can be a good marketing strategy to earn large profits from families. Just like with other design ideas, there are thousands of theme ideas. A charming theme can be attractive for one customer and tacky for the other. So, if you want to go with a theme, just make sure to keep your customers in your mind. Try not to indulge in quirks too much. Your café is a business. If your customers don’t like to see Star Wars memorabilia, they will leave. Rather than having a themed café, consider having a common design colour or thread which runs through the name, the menu and the whole design of your café.
  • Try to plugin-free Wi-Fi If your target audience includes people who live busy lives and want to work while having a hot cup of coffee, then free Wi-Fi is a must. Also, make sure you have plenty of power outlets for your customers. The longer their battery lasts, the longer they will stay in your café.
  • Equipment Once you have a clear concept for your café fit-out, you need to buy all the necessary equipment to make the café happen. Make sure to design your café space around your equipment instead of leaving your equipment as an afterthought. Not considering which equipment will go where might mean you will have to sacrifice equipment and product quality. In addition, you may have to start from scratch if your kitchen layout does not accommodate the equipment.

Business goals to achieve with a cafe interior

  • Human-Environment Relations Human-Environment Relations (HER) are processes in which people react to the environment around them. These processes influence the level of human comfort in different circumstances. To create a great interior design for your café, you have to consider these factors. The success of a café depends on customer satisfaction, not just food. To have satisfied customers, you need to consider the space and the overall environment of the café. Optimise your café based on the processes of HER.
  • Homeyness Homeyness means feeling at home. You can make your customers feel at home with elements like aesthetic, décor, comfort, the touch of space and feel. Cafes must have some degree of homeyness so the customers feel comfortable and can carry on with their business. When customers spend a lot of time in cafes, and it doesn’t feel homey, they can lose interest, and you will lose profit. Interior designers can incorporate the homey feel by using different types of wood, lamps, comfortable furniture and deciding where to put them.
  • Environmental Stimulation Environmental stimulation means providing a combination of the five senses and balancing them so that no element gets overpowering. Use the four factors (colour, smell, sound and light) of ambience to create a positive mix of emotions for customers.
  • Crowding Crowding means psychologically feeling crowded. While this measure is subjective, most interior designers optimise the design based on the individual averages of the feeling. This factor is the primary influence on your café layout. Everything from the table spacing, ordering and pickup queue is accounted for café layout based on the measure of crowding.
  • Privacy Cafes host all kinds of people whether they like interacting or prefer to be alone. Therefore, you have to achieve the right measure of privacy by balancing the design for both types of customers. Hence, placement of the furniture, the spacing between fixtures, even the volume of the music will cater to different levels of privacy.

Inspiration for your cafe interior design

6 of the latest cafe design trends

If you want to make your café a success, then being updated with trending design is very important. Let’s discuss the six most trending designs so you can choose the right design for your space.

  • Clashing textures Rather than creating interest with different colours and patterns, cafes are now choosing a minimalistic approach and creating detail with textures, such as up-cycled tables, copper fixtures, concrete, intricate iron bars, marble benchtops, shaggy pillows and crisp white shelves.
  • Floral Galore Plants and flowers have been a big part of café decors. But now some places are taking it to another level. You can incorporate a leafy feature wall or maybe an herb garden to make an outdoor oasis that people can enjoy all year long.
  • Have an open kitchen Your customers want to be more involved in the process, and the open kitchen serves just that. You can make the kitchen a part of the café space to give your customers more personalised service.
  • Multifunctional Space Multifunctional space is an essential trend that you need to consider. Casual dining is one trend that doesn’t seem to be going away. According to design specialists in the future, cafes will serve food in multifunctional spaces, which enhances the customer experience while providing a comfortable ambience.
  • Mixed-Use There is increased use of this design trend, where hospitality and retail merge. This will drive space and how we use it. The interior design specialists see the trend moving towards a coffee experience mixed with retail therapy. A perfect example of such a design is café Lock 7 Cycle Café in cities like London and San Francisco, where you can buy a bike and get a cup of coffee.
  • The living room Café Living in small homes means searching for new spaces to eat and socialise. As the cities get overpopulated homes, become more compact, and neighbourhood cafes will become adjunct living rooms. A good example of this design is ‘The living room café’ in Sydney, which serves breakfast and lunch. It has a lot of cost seating and booths.