How to Design Your Fast-Food Restaurant

When people enter a fast food restaurant, they normally focus on ordering the fast food to stay or to go. They often associate fast food restaurants with venues that serve food to them almost immediately, especially to those on the go. Unfortunately, fast food restaurants have a bad rap for promoting an instant gratification culture without providing attention to the quality of the food and to the fast food restaurant design, in some cases. The fact of the matter is that they are here to provide fast and efficient services. But the fast food restaurant layout and design seems to be an afterthought to most people. Unbeknownst to many of them, a lot of thought and planning goes into the process of a fast food store design.

Incredible Design Ideas that Popularize Fast Food Restaurants

People sometimes need to be reminded that fast food restaurants are more about quick and efficient services rather than about gracious dining. If you take a closer look at the fast food interior design, you will realize that these restaurants seriously factored this in to ensure that the décor and comfortable seating encourages efficiency and speed in service to keep customers happy. They are increasingly breaking away from the one-size-fits-all model and adapt a more curated approach with more flexibility and variations in their interior design. Their goal is to provide an elevated dining environment with inexpensive food. Ultimately, they hope to see a sales lift with serving quality food and an upgrade with the design and fast food restaurant layout.


Designers put a lot of thought into creating a design that will makes guests feel invited and comfortable at a fast food restaurant and give them a distinctive image of the restaurant brand in mind. Some Fast service restaurants may borrow interior design concepts from others.


Space is maximized at fast food joints which many people appreciate. Because they are mostly located at larger malls or shopping centers, they have to make do with the space they have. The fast food interior design is made in such a way that allows you to maximize the space without making it look too cramped.

Common Factors about Fast Food Restaurant Concepts

Most fast food services have chains that operate in multiple locations across the country and even around the world. That means they need to have a restaurant color scheme and recognizable signature items for the décor. That way, customers notice their brands and logos almost immediately. This is unusually consistent but sometimes the signature may require some tweaking to fit the local area.


Fast food restaurants are typically family friendly dining venues. They create an atmosphere with a small fast food restaurant design that families, but especially kids are bound to love. Owners use this factor to ensure that children will remember them who will encourage their parents to visit their restaurants more regularly. The décor, for instance, is attractive and cute with restaurant booths and tables with coloring tablecloths to entertain kids with.

Setting the Standards with New/Updated Design Trends

It has progressively become more standard for fast food services to update their brands and design. Consultants recommend that restaurants upgrade their décor every 3 to 5 years with new paint, light fixtures, menus, floor treatments, restaurant furniture, etc. They also suggest a full redesign every 10 years by updating exterior architectural elements; if not scrapping the entire whole structure and building from the foundation up. These redesigns are merely a reaction to the changing demographics while trying to remain competitive with a growing number of more casual fast food restaurants that lure customers away from deep fried and greasy food with healthier options. Chains such as McDonalds, KFC, and Taco Bell are setting the new commercial standard landscape with a wave of design interventions that produce a more local look and feel to the location it is situated at.


Sometimes, the redesign is specific to the business trends and the location of the restaurant itself. Other times, the update is meant to set a new design standard from those who own and manage these restaurants – and pay for most of the expenses in decorating them. A full redesign is a common business practice that is transforming from an instinct to freshen up the décor into a more wholesale reaction to the latest design and demographic trends. A full makeover in a fast food restaurant can dramatically re-image one’s dining experience. While most chains have a common look and feel, they aim to be more locally oriented with location specific colors and décor that mirror the regional aesthetic.

Other Design and Layout Elements that Transform Your Decor

The role the interior of a small fast food restaurant design plays has grown from décor, colors, and material. It now involves being creative and searching for innovations that not only meet customers’ needs but also differentiates the restaurant brand from competitors. That may entail integrating other elements into your design and layout plan such as allowing guests access to free Wi-Fi, places for them to plug in and charge their phones and creating spaces intended to be used as backdrops for selfies. But creating a sense of difference and uniqueness can be challenging, considering that certain design tropes are becoming more conjoint with each other.


Ultimately, it boils down to even the smallest of details in your design that can make a huge difference. While they may not reveal themselves upon first glance, they become more noticeable once you look in more detail and absorb your surroundings. This approach makes the business and the process of developing a design for your fast food restaurant more exciting for you and hopefully for your customers as well!

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