Café design: five common mistakes to avoid

Don’t make these café design mistakes!
Get your interior design right with our expert tips and café design ideas.
By Rob Clifford


It’s an exciting time: planning the start of your new (or refurbished) café. The decisions you make at this stage that will have crucial ramifications for your business.

I’ve worked with countless restaurants and cafés that have spent thousands on design and interiors only to later realise they made plenty of simple errors that proved costly to fix later. It’s important to get these decisions right at the onset.

Café design mistake #1: too much space

Having an over-long service counter and large display cabinet produces food waste and increases service labour coverage. Staff tend to hide behind larger counters so don’t give them too much space to congregate unnecessarily. Similarly, a large empty dining space is off-putting for consumers. A few smaller breakout spaces can make a larger space more inviting.

Your counter area should be relative to your business levels, which can be very difficult to estimate before you open. However, understanding the needs of your target market can help. Are they busy commuters wanting to grab a coffee and dash? Or parents needing highchairs and lingering over coffee? Having a strategic knowledge – not a guess – will help you find the right ideas for your café interior design.

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