What Goes Into Designing the Perfect Office Cafeteria Layout?

Are you in charge of human resources or employee perks at your company? Do you manage the finances of a company? Keeping employees happy and managing costs is essential work. When it is done well, it contributes to overall employee morale.

If the decision has been made to incorporate a cafeteria in an existing office space, designing one that fits the needs of the staff may seem like a challenge. There are ways you can make this process easier. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing the perfect office cafeteria layout for your office space.

ASSESS THE AVAILABLE SPACE

Office floor plans vary, so the layout for a cafeteria should be thoughtfully considered to maximize the space’s usefulness. Good questions to ask include:

  • What are my electricity requirements going to be?
  • Is there adequate lighting?
  • Is there an exit and entrance?
  • Will I have to design around any windows?
  • What is the anticipated foot traffic?

Because there are many options for cafeteria layouts these types of questions should be answered at the beginning to ensure efficient use of space.

For example, if there will be many modular units, vending machines, or other types of food dispensaries that require electricity, there should be enough power outlets available. Or if there is going to be a full kitchen, is there adequate room for ventilation and plumbing?

PLAY WITH TECHNOLOGY

Contactless checkout has become a norm when purchasing food. Having a cafeteria that’s equipped with contactless checkout is sure to be a hit with staff. Touchscreen units to purchase coffee and other essentials streamline the ordering process. Also, having an app that manages pre-orders and checkout can make it so that a physical person is not required to sit at a register.

Having these kinds of options can reduce the amount of time an employee spends in the cafeteria. The quicker they order, the faster they get their purchase, and the sooner they check out and get back to work. Having kiosks and vending machines available speeds up the transaction process as well.

SUPPLY A VARIETY OF OPTIONS

Keeping in mind common dietary restrictions will make it easier to plan for diverse food and beverage offerings. Vegan, gluten, soy, and peanut-free grab-and-go options are sure to attract employees craving a quick bite. Early morning breakfast sandwiches and coffee are great for those who run out of the house without a bite to eat. For lunch, made-to-order sandwiches, entrees, and salads tend to draw a crowd. A coffee bar (available all day) allows staff to grab a cup whenever needed. Before a mid-morning meeting or after an afternoon presentation, this is sure to be a popular spot.

CREATE COMFORTABLE SPACES

It’s important to include gathering spaces in the layout. These spaces benefit from comfortable chairs and tables with a relaxed decor. High-top tables with stools add a trendy, modern feel to a cafeteria. Comfy, padded chairs and smaller tables invite casual communication between workmates. Neutral lighting adds to a calming space and helps to promote reduced stress levels.

Some examples of gathering spaces include waiting, eating, and work areas. For example, if you have a made-to-order kitchen, it may take a few minutes for the food to arrive. During this time, a waiting area keeps those employees out of the way of the other foot traffic but still close to the counter to receive their food.

AVOID COMMON MISTAKES

Instead of thinking about all of the facets of a cafeteria, many focus only on the food and beverages and not on the best ways to use the space. Incorporating foot traffic in the design plan makes sure there won’t be bottlenecks or areas of congestion at any given time. This preparation is especially important to avoid issues during peak times like breakfast and lunch.

When considering foot traffic, a mock-up of the layout can help you to see if your design will support the anticipated visitors. If there are pathways that are too narrow, they should be adjusted or reimagined to fit the customer’s needs.

DESIGN THE BEST OFFICE CAFETERIA

While it may seem daunting to design a cafeteria in an existing space, it can be done. Thinking about the space and how it can be used to serve as many people as possible as quickly as possible is an important step. Planning for foot traffic, offering a variety of options, and creating a comfortable environment all contribute to the perfect office cafeteria.

Ready to plan your office cafeteria? Contact us today.

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