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  • Writer's pictureWell Design Fitout

How to design a restaurant in UAE?

Besides an appealing menu and culinary delights, the restaurant’s aesthetics hold the key to attracting and retaining customers. Despite having great food, most restaurants fail to consider the restaurant design. Restaurant interior design should be like a magnet for guests, promising them both an exceptional culinary and sensory experience. In other ways, an enticing décor and a unique layout are the first impressions when a customer walks in. An appealing restaurant design makes a great marketing vehicle that can be used for robust brand building and advertisements. To be of relevance and consequence in today’s competitive environment, your restaurant must be a brag-worthy commodity on social media which means it should be “instagrammable”! If you have just purchased a restaurant or a space in Dubai, here are some tips on designing a restaurant interior:

Space Plan

Based on the location and the space available, the most critical task is space planning and most restaurant interior design agencies in Dubai invest time in getting this part right. A well thought out layout plan gives a clear idea of optimizing the available space and the best way to arrange the furniture. For instance, placing the kitchen, washroom, service counters, and, most importantly, laying out clear paths for customers and servers. While optimizing space, it is crucial to ensure that the customer experience is unaffected, which means there is enough room for privacy and comfort.


The kitchen is the heart of any restaurant, and it has to be designed to absolute perfection. An open kitchen layout that puts it into the entire display is best to showcase the restaurant’s culinary expertise in action. The use of glass and viewing panels encourages customers to see and appreciate the effort and passion into crafting the cuisines. A bright, ventilated, spacious kitchen ensures unrestricted movement for the staff and gives them ample room to cook, walk, and clean. Most interior designs for restaurants in Dubai, especially fine dines have put their kitchen at the center of attraction to gain customer confidence and appeal.


Restaurant interior design ideas should be memorable evoke a particular emotion in a good way, so choosing a theme is crucial. It may help bring forth thoughts related to a specific region, culture, style or just pure fantasy. The theme must marry into the culinary concept of the restaurant; else it may overwhelm or confuse the guests. The space should give a distinct feel and a specific restaurant interior design theme. For instance, a tropical rainforest or medieval times themed restaurants are a huge trend in many parts of Europe. Rustic, wooden, natural elements are the latest trend in interior designs. These elements blend to evoke joy and playfulness while balancing with decor elements that maintain sophistication.


By curating an eye-opening entrance, you can attract customers and make them feel special when they enter the restaurant. The main entrance should be unique, classy, inviting and matches the restaurant’s theme. For example, if you serve Japanese delicacies, the opening can have cherry blossom flowers combined with colourful handmade Japanese culture art along the walls that separate the rooms. If you are serving seafood, you may consider using an ocean-themed entrance.


A seating layout plan is a balancing act of maximizing profits while also ensuring customer comfort. A rule of thumb regarding square foot per customer in a fine dining restaurant is anywhere between eighteen to twenty square feet. However, it may vary between cities, and it would be much lower in places like Japan, where the space costs are astronomical. You may need to research or experiment to reach a delicate balance between having enough tables to make a nice profit and enough space for comfort and a pleasant experience.

In terms of seating, one needs to think beyond booths and stools. It can break or make a dining experience. Simply switching to art deco chairs can elevate the ambience of the restaurant. If you go to shops selling antique items or flea markets, you will find a good variety of selected and eclectic mixes. Even refurbishing existing chairs with a fresh paint job may do the trick in some cases.


Good lighting lights up the soul of the theme in a restaurant by amplifying the design elements. It evokes a magical mood when the right kind of lighting blends into the interior design theme. The best balance is maintaining a good combination of dim ambient lighting and natural light, which creates a relaxing mood. Besides the ambient light, lights for specific tasks like highlighting pathways or bars can be mesmerizing. Ensuring that the lights are adjustable to match the space, colours, and time of the day is crucial, apart from aligning with the brand colours.

For late evening meals, warm relaxing lights like a tabletop light could invoke a sensation of romance. Most modern restaurant interior designs have great light fixtures. Experimenting with lighting, whether ornate or industrial, is an excellent way to create ambience in the restaurant space. Restaurant interior designers have taken their inspiration from the glitzy lights of the city of Dubai and induced them into their designs.

Ceilings & Decor

Ceilings can make your space look bigger if introduced smartly into the design and décor theme. A design continuity in painting, patterns or design elements can make the restaurant look spacious. You don’t need a cathedral ceiling or massive chandeliers to draw attention. Transform your humble ceiling into a treat for the eyes using texture, colour and the right décor.

Avoid over-the-top decor, as it can be distracting rather than helpful. The restaurant interior design agencies incorporate decor ideas that maximize your space. For instance, using mirrors in design is a classic tactic for increasing the illusion of depth in an area, which can be especially helpful if your dining room is on the smaller side. Mirrors both reflect light and draw focus, creating the optical illusion of a cramped space being much larger than it is.

Indoor plants and rocks are other natural elements guaranteed to have a pleasing effect. They look fantastic but more importantly, they’re proven mood-boosters known to eliminate stress, and they can reduce air toxins by 87% in just 24 hours. Give your restaurant an infusion of natural goodness by placing plants on shelves, having a water feature and pebbles, creating an artificial firewall or hanging floral decor from the ceiling.


Expensive may not always be the best option, but pick the right furniture for your restaurant and not go overboard on spending if necessary. Choosing units that blend into your restaurant concept are easy to maintain or replace is vital. While it is of utmost importance that the furniture enable comfort and privacy while reducing monotony, it is also crucial to ensure that the layout does not impede customer or server movements.


You definitely cannot ignore flooring, just because most of the flooring is hidden or covered. Getting a bit creative with your floors is a fun restaurant decoration idea that will impress the visitors and give them something of a delight. Of the endless flooring options for a restaurant, choosing the correct pattern that complements the rest of your décor is vital. Apart from the cosmetics functionally, the flooring should ensure safety and durability. In general, to provide a hazard-free environment, the kitchen and toilets should be non-slippery flooring. Other things to consider are noise, durability, simple to maintain and replace.


Colours have a significant impact on the mood and affect decision-making, so avoid garish or dull colours. Use colours that make the restaurant spacious and bright while aligning well with the brand colours. It would not hurt to research the importance of colours before designing your restaurant. Cool colours like blue are an appetite suppressant, and warm colours do the opposite. Muted earth tones are always better than overly bright, distracting colours. With family-style restaurants, use soft pastel colours and change to more vibrant colours around the bar. Avoid dull colours, and instead, go liberal with vibrant hues to brighten up the space. The apparent fact is that the colours need to be coordinated with the restaurant theme and the branding. A themed accent wall is a definite winner to have in any restaurant as it draws your guest’s eyes to a focal point. An accent wall also allows you to brag about your brand colours and personality and reinforce the theme of your restaurant interior design. Not to mention the marketing value it adds by being an “instagrammable” spot for viral photos and videos on social media.

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