Restaurant Design in COVID Era

The COVID pandemic brought a host of new challenges to restaurant owners and restaurant design, but eateries across the country are rising to the challenge. They’re introducing new and innovative methods of providing customers with what they need in today’s world: a safe, sanitized environment in which to relax and enjoy delicious cooking and memorable dining experiences.

Some of these changes are almost invisible, like UV light additions to HVAC systems which ensure that an air conditioning system is not spreading a virus around the room.   These are typically installed in the air conditioning coils (coil sanitizing lights) or in the ductwork where returning air enters the conditioning system (air sanitizing lights). Both types of UV lights have the added benefit of killing mold spore and bacteria, and will greatly improve the air quality in your restaurant. Of the two options, coil sanitizing lights are easier to install and more budget friendly.

Photo courtesy of Fresh Aire UV

Other changes are more high profile, like the addition of handwashing stations or hand sanitizer dispensers to dining rooms and spacing out of available seating. While private dining rooms is not within the budget of many restaurants, installing higher booth backs is one cost-effective method of allowing individual diners to enjoy their own private space. Where existing booths do not reach to standing height, plexiglass partitions can be installed.

Golden Town Design, Kalbi Ichiban Pensacola, FL

Many health authorities have recommended outdoor restaurant dining as one important way to minimize risks of virus transmission while eating out. While moving dining tables out into a porch or patio area is feasible during temperate weather, many days are either too hot or too cold to make this viable. In situations like this, installing either patio AC and heating devices enable clients to experience comfortable ambient temperatures while enjoying their meals in the outdoor air.

Photo: Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam

Ornate, difficult to clean fancywork is on the way out. In kitchens and high traffic areas, such as the bar, restaurant owners are installing easy clean surfaces and switching Vessel Sinks for Under mount Sinks for easy sanitizing. Contactless is the new word of the day, and contactless payment is the best way to do checkout in our post-COVID times. In restaurant bathrooms, customers appreciate a conversion of bathroom sinks, soap dispensers and hand dryers to contact-less models.

The dining experience begins when a customer walks in the door and doesn’t end till they have left. Turning a germy doorknob can be a disconcerting beginning to an otherwise good experience, and switching to door less entry, automatic opening doors, a double push door system or StepNpull hands free opener can help alleviate initial concerns. 

If you’ve chosen to make renovations that will help keep your restaurant COVID-free, we’d like to help. At Golden Town Design, we understand the budget restrictions many restaurants are facing as they work to keep expense books balanced in the midst of quarantines, closings, and reduced clientele. We’d like to help you find the best, most cost effective way to transform your restaurant into a safe, germ-free space and provide your clientele with the experience and environment they desire in this post-pandemic world.

**COVID Restaurant Design**