How to Design a Cafe Restaurant

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A cafe restaurant is an informal place for a pastry and coffee, or a light lunch during the day that is transformed into a romantic spot for dinner at night. Cafe fare is usually simpler than the food in tablecloth restaurants. Small-town cafes frequently become relaxed places neighbors gather to visit over a cup of coffee and a sandwich. Clean lines and lots of light are features of many cafes. Start with these basics to design a cafe restaurant.

Hang cafe-style curtains on the windows. Use light colors for a less formal look. Darker, solid colors will create a more mature, elegant look.

Set square tables around the center of the room and booths or banquettes along the walls. Use light-colored tablecloths, and place candles and fresh-cut flowers on the tables.

Install wood or wood laminate floors. Use a rustic, textured wall treatment in white or off-white. Hang large photographs of city scenes, bright posters or vibrant art.

Select a location that has room for sidewalk seating. Use wrought-iron tables and chairs on the sidewalk with patio umbrellas, or build an awning or a shade sail. Use tablecloths and fresh flowers outside, too, and candles for romantic evening dinners.

Build a bar out of wood similar to the floor with a display case at one end for fresh pastries. Prominently display an espresso machine on the bar, and hire a barista to make coffee drinks.


  • Make Wi-Fi available for customers who are stopping in for a cup of coffee and lunch during the daytime. Lower the lighting, and discourage patrons from using their laptops in the evening.