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Restaurant Design and Construction Checklist

Design and construction are the two most important players in the transformation of your restaurant. Whether you are renovating or setting up for a new opening, success depends on meticulous planning and execution. And one valuable tool that can help you with this is a checklist.

A checklist is a perfect job aid that may contain things to be done, items required, or points to be considered. It can be utilized in all walks of life to reduce failure and improve efficiency. Clearly, human memory and attention are not error-free, and that’s when a checklist comes in to save the day. 

It’s simple: you keep checking things you have done off the list and move on to the next task.

In this article, we’ll explore what a restaurant design and construction checklist is all about, its benefits, and the essential elements to ensure that your restaurant or cafe not only complies with regulations but also becomes a welcoming place for diners.

Table of Contents 

What is a restaurant checklist?

What are the benefits of having a restaurant interior design checklist?

List of elements in the checklist


What is a restaurant checklist?

A restaurant checklist is a detailed roadmap, a well-curated guide that navigates you through a wide range of decisions and tasks involved in setting up the design and construction of your restaurant. Without a proper checklist, you might be lost in a labyrinth. 

A checklist is more than a mere to-do list. It’s not something you create every day. It’s a torchlight that you get once and use throughout the trip. Once you create a checklist, you keep referring to it for every task.

But there’s more to it than that. Let’s explore more benefits of having a restaurant interior design checklist.

What are the benefits of having a restaurant interior design checklist?

A checklist is your compass. Throughout your interior design and construction journey, a checklist helps you stay on track. Here’s what a checklist brings to the table:

  • If you miss something, you can always revert back to your checklist.
  • As you cross off things that are complete, you stay motivated to stay on course without delays and unnecessary disruptions.
  • A restaurant interior design and construction checklist particularly helps you ensure compliance with local codes. 
  • You know when to plan different things, make different decisions, and shop for different items. 
  • You are able to create a cohesive and visually appealing space.
  • Any task delayed, postponed, or failed is always there, uncrossed, to get back to later on.
  • A checklist ensures punctuality and order.

Now that you know a few of the many benefits of a checklist, let’s move on to making one. 

List of elements in the checklist

This list includes all the elements you need to plan the construction and interior design of your restaurant. Keep this list with yourself from day one, and you’re all set. 

  • Research local building codes

Before laying the foundation, research about local building codes. Local building codes and regulations are the rulebook that ensures your restaurant complies with safety and structural laws.

  • Research local kitchen code requirement

A well-equipped kitchen is the heart of any restaurant. Understand and adhere to local kitchen code requirements to create a functional and safe culinary workspace.

  • Research local restroom requirements

Research local restroom requirements. Ensure your restaurant’s restrooms are inclusive and accessible to all. A seamless, user-friendly environment enhances the overall dining experience.

  • Research local accessibility requirements

Always be informed about local accessibility requirements, including disabled individuals’ access, parking, entrance, mobility, chair and table distance and measurements, and other requirements. 

  • Research local exit sign requirements

Signage plays a crucial role in restaurants. You need to ensure that your exit sign is placed strategically. Your customers should be able to find all the exits easily in case of emergencies. 

  • Understand local health code processes

Make yourself and your staff familiar with local health code processes. Ensure compliance with all health codes, including food safety, hygiene, and/or sanitation. 

  • Start a binder for all health inspections

Establish a binder to organize all health inspection documentation and make a note/keep a record of all feedback and recommendations to ensure a smooth ride through inspections.

  • Inspect kitchen against health inspection requirements

Inspect your kitchen against health requirements. A clean, organized kitchen not only promotes hygiene but also contributes to efficient operations. 

  • Assess restaurant square footage

Assess your restaurant’s square footage arrangement. It will help you understand how much space you have for seating, serving area, food preparation area, takeaway/checking counter, and other key operations of your restaurant.

  • Draft dining room seating arrangement

Draft a thoughtful dining room seating, ensuring ease of movement, comfortability, and desirable ambiance. This is where you plan what kind of seating layout idea you are going with. 

  • Determine kitchen design

Determine the layout of your kitchen. A well-thought-out design enhances workflow and elevates the overall dining experience. It also helps your kitchen staff prepare the food with efficiency. 

determine kitchen design

  • Design bar layout

Design your bar space layout. Establish positions for bartenders, bar stools, counter areas, etc. The functioning and design of the bar layout can make or break your restaurant, so be extra careful.

  • Shop for bar items

This is where you shop for bar items, including strainers, cocktail shakers, mason jars, cocktail picks, liquor pourers, citrus tools, bar spoons, and other essential supplies. 

  • Shop for commercial flooring

Next, get your flooring done. You have many options, including polished concrete, stained concrete, epoxy flooring, vinyl, hardwood, laminates, rubber, and more.  

  • Determine color scheme

The color scheme is crucial to create a theme and ambiance in your cafe. Ensure the color scheme you choose is consistent with your brand identity and all the other aspects of your cafe.

  • Determine furniture style

When it comes to furniture style, the floor is yours, quite literally. Choose furniture that allows for comfort, spaciousness, and ease of movement, and is aligned with your restaurant’s overall style. 

  • Shop for furniture

Do you want ready-made furniture or onboard designers to provide you with furniture tailored to your restaurant? It’s time to decide that. If you are purchasing ready-made furniture, go for something sturdy, durable, and long-lasting with a touch of elegance.

  • Determine required lighting

Discuss the type and placement of lighting. The right lighting creates ambiance and highlights key features of your restaurant.

  • Shop for lighting

Once you’ve decided on the type and placement of the lighting, it’s time to shop. It goes without saying: keep a budget. 

  • Shop for outdoor seating

If outdoor seating is something you are going for, shop for outdoor furniture. This is different from the indoor furniture of your restaurant. Outdoor seating is always less flashy and more practical.

  • Shop for signage and awnings

Some signs you need to shop for include Exit, Open, Closed, Order Here, Takeaway Here, Restroom, Male, Female, and others you might want.

  • Shop for menu boards

Got your menu planned? It’s time to put that on the board. You could go with illuminated boards behind the counter or choose something old-school like chalk and blackboard – it works only if your menu is small or you’re offering specials periodically.


As you plan your restaurant’s interior design and construction, remember that every decision shapes your restaurant differently. From the color of your walls to the arrangement of your seating, each detail contributes to the unique identity of your place. 

So, as you’re diving into the process with passion, armed with your checklist, watching your dream place come to life, connect with Exotic Commercial Interior Design Company in UAE. Our expertise can elevate your restaurant’s design, making it a true standout in the UAE’s culinary scene. 

As a well-reputed and experienced Restaurant Interior Design Company in the UAE, we can provide fresh ideas, practical innovation, and unparalleled, out-of-the-box interior plans that can turn your space into an unbearable hotspot in town.

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