Cafe Design Considerations

As bestcafedesigns.com explores cafe designs all over the world, we thought it would be good to interview an architect to get some insights into how a cafe is designed, and things to consider and look for. In other articles we look at cafe booth seating design, Interior design ideas, counter design ideas and exterior.

Arcstudios Architecture offers unique experiences and insights in cafe design and cafe operations as both a former cafe owner and a designer of cafes.

Counter at Tamper Coffee Sellers Wheel

Position and Visibility of the Coffee Machine:

BCD: How crucial is the strategic placement and visibility of the coffee machine in cafe design?

AA: (Best Cafe Counter Designs) The coffee machine should ideally be a focal point, easily visible to customers. Placing it strategically enhances the overall experience and allows patrons to witness the craftsmanship behind their favorite brews. The location of the coffee machine is pivotal not only to a cafe’s operation, however, its strategic placement enhances the exposure of the coffee and can be a drawing factor for foot traffic for a visual and aroma perspective. A barista is also treated as a performer in preparing coffee and adds to the customer experience. In addition, having the coffee machine at the front provides the notion of it being a quick experience from a take-away perspective.

Customer Flow and Equipment Placement:

BCD: How do you determine the optimal position and order of equipment to facilitate smooth customer flow in a cafe?

AA: Designing for customer flow involves placing equipment logically, ensuring an intuitive sequence. For instance, positioning the cash register near the entrance expedites the ordering process, enhancing overall efficiency. Regarding the speed of service, it is important for a cafe to be able to turn over coffee production in a quick manner and, in addition, not overcrowding the coffee production line. Depending on its operational and space, the person taking the order should be close to the final step to be able to both take an order and support in pouring the milk and the coffee delivery to the customer.

Shanghai cafe

Separation of Clean and Dirty Dishwashing:

BCD: What considerations should be made for effectively separating clean and dirty dishwashing areas in a cafe?

AA: Designing distinct and well-defined spaces for clean and dirty dishwashing is essential. This helps maintain hygiene standards and operational efficiency, preventing cross-contamination. This is important in a cafe, in particular, ones that are doing full food service. Crossing paths between barista and food services areas tend to be a common issue, more so now due to cafes needing to have a reduction in serving and preparing space to allow for additional seating for patrons or to have a smaller space in general to keep overheads low. This crossover can tend to lead to dirty dishware and waste being visible to the front of house areas.

lighting at Lakeside cafe / Lit Time / Fun Connection

Lighting of Counter’s Important Aspects:

BCD: How does lighting play a role in accentuating crucial aspects of the counter in cafe design?

AA: Thoughtful lighting design is pivotal. Proper illumination can highlight the counter, showcasing featured items and creating a visually appealing focal point that draws customers’ attention.

Shanghai Cafe / Atelier IN

Material Selection for Different Markets:

BCD: In cafe design, how do you approach the selection of materials to cater to different markets, such as using marble for upmarket and reclaimed timber for trendier areas?

AA: Material selection is context-dependent. Using luxurious materials like marble in upmarket settings adds sophistication, while opting for reclaimed timber in trendier areas creates a more rustic and environmentally conscious vibe. It’s about aligning with the cafe’s identity and target audience.

seating at Bar Oma Setje

Seating Arrangements and Comfort:

BCD: What factors do you consider when planning seating arrangements in a cafe, and how do they contribute to overall customer comfort?

AA: Seating arrangements are vital for creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Factors like space utilization, proximity to windows, and selection of seating types all contribute to enhancing the overall customer experience.

Integration of Technology:

BCD: How do you integrate technology into cafe design to enhance the customer experience without compromising the aesthetic appeal?

AA: Technology should seamlessly blend with the cafe’s design. For instance, incorporating convenient charging stations, interactive menus, and ambiance-controlling systems can elevate the overall customer experience.

Greenery elements at Hyggie Sheffield

Incorporation of Greenery and Natural Elements:

BCD: What role does the incorporation of greenery and natural elements play in cafe design, and how does it impact the ambiance?

AA: Greenery introduces a refreshing and natural touch. Well-placed plants can soften the interior, improve air quality, and contribute to a relaxed atmosphere, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Noise Management in Cafe Spaces:

BCD: How do you address noise management in cafe spaces, considering the need for both social interaction and a comfortable dining environment?

AA: Balancing ambient noise is crucial. Strategic placement of sound-absorbing materials, thoughtful layout design, and the use of acoustic elements help create a lively yet comfortable space.

Adaptability for Different Dayparts:

BCD: How do you design cafe spaces to be adaptable for different dayparts, accommodating diverse customer needs from breakfast to evening gatherings?

AA: Designing for flexibility is key. Adaptable furniture, versatile lighting, and modular spaces allow cafes to cater to different dayparts, ensuring a seamless transition between morning coffee runs and evening socializing.

Sustainability Practices in Cafe Design:

BCD: How do you incorporate sustainable practices in cafe design, considering the growing emphasis on eco-friendly solutions?

AA: Sustainability is a priority. Utilizing energy-efficient appliances, eco-friendly materials, and waste reduction strategies contribute to creating a socially responsible and environmentally conscious cafe space.

Local cultural influences at Intellect Coffee in Dubai

Cultural and Local Influences:

BCD: How do you integrate cultural and local influences into cafe design, creating a space that resonates with the community it serves?

AA: Incorporating local aesthetics, art, and cultural elements into the design pays homage to the community. It fosters a sense of connection and identity, making the cafe a unique and cherished part of the local culture.

About Arcstudios

They are a versatile design firm, offering a comprehensive range of services spanning various architectural endeavors. Among its diverse portfolio, the firm excels in crafting innovative and captivating cafe designs. With a keen understanding of the intersection between aesthetics, functionality, and the unique ambiance that defines each cafe, Arcstudios Architecture brings a wealth of expertise to the table. Their approach involves a meticulous analysis of client needs, local culture, and market trends to create spaces that not only meet operational requirements but also resonate with the target audience. From strategic placement of equipment to the careful selection of materials, Arcstudios Architecture ensures that each cafe design is a harmonious blend of practicality and visual allure, contributing to memorable and distinctive culinary experiences for patrons.

Share this article:

1 Comment

  • William
    March 22, 2024

    Nice Article! I think scent and our sensory experience from material/ air quality/ mixed aroma (and odors) deserves a write up in designing a cafe, as this is one of the crucial element that makes or breaks a successful “dwell” and fully enjoyable experience.

Comments are closed.