A take-away restaurant must be furnished differently from a sit-down restaurant, as most of the space will be dedicated to food production rather than dining. Any tables and seating that you install should be functional rather than comfortable, designed for quick customer turnaround. Your take-away restaurant should also have the information systems necessary to send orders from the counter to the kitchen and the equipment required to produce meals quickly and efficiently then pack them for takeout.
Furnish your take-away restaurant kitchen with equipment that will enable you to execute a simple menu in a short amount of time. Include a stove for precooking ingredients and a grill and fryer for filling orders. Allow ample, accessible space for packaging materials. Place a hot holding case between the kitchen and the front of the house to keep menu items warm between the time they are produced and the time they are sold. Install plenty of refrigeration for back-stock as well as smaller refrigeration units in kitchen work areas for easy access to ingredients that need to be kept cold.
Furnish your counter area with cash registers programmed to send orders to the kitchen. Install a counter with a sneeze guard to keep the area sanitary. Provide refrigeration, hot holding and room-temperature storage for items that you sell in high volume that do not suffer for quality if you store them. Keep drink dispensers close to the cash register with cups, lids and straws readily available. Dedicate part of your counter area for utensils and condiments. Furnish this space with bins and dispensers for holding items that are self-serve and free of charge.
Furnish the area over your front counter with a well lit, easy-to-read menu. Write and word your menu so as to minimize the number of questions that customers will ask about menu items. Provide pictures when possible, and offer a limited selection of menu items in order to facilitate fast service.
Furnish your dining area with functional tables where customers will be able to consume their food without getting too comfortable or staying too long. Create an atmosphere which, without being unpleasant, makes customers disinclined to linger.
Acquire the necessary permits before attempting to operate a restaurant.
- Acquire the necessary permits before attempting to operate a restaurant.
Devra Gartenstein founded her first food business in 1987. In 2013 she transformed her most recent venture, a farmers market concession and catering company, into a worker-owned cooperative. She does one-on-one mentoring and consulting focused on entrepreneurship and practical business skills.