Design and purchasing factors in foodservice operation

Design and purchasing factors 

A customer’s first impression on entering the service area is of great important and their business may be gained (or lost) on this alone. The creation of atmosphere by the right choice of decor, furnishings and equipment is therefore a major factor that contributes to the success of the foodservice operation.

 A careful selection of items in terms of shape, design and colour enhances the overall decor or theme and contributes towards a feeling of harmony. The choice of furniture and its layout and the linen, tableware, small equipment and glassware will be determined by factors such as:

 The type of clientele expected  

The site or location of the establishment 

 The layout of the food and beverage service area 

 The type of service offered 

 The funds available.

The general points to be considered when purchasing equipment for a food and beverage service area are:

 Flexibility of use 

 Type of service being offered 

 Type of customer 




 Ease of maintenance 


 Cost and funds available 

Availability in the future  replacements 


 Rate of breakage, i.e. crockery 


 Psychological effect on customers 

Delivery time.

Front-of-house service areas are some of the busiest of a foodservice establishment, especially during the service periods. 

It is therefore important that these areas are well designed for operational purposes and that department heads ensure that all members of staff know exactly what their duties are and how to carry them out efficiently and effectively.

The service areas behind the scenes are known as back-of-house areas. These areas include the stillroom, hotplate (or pass) area and the wash-up.

 The back-of-house service areas are usually between the kitchen and food and beverage service or front-of-house areas. 

They are important parts of the design of a foodservice operation, acting as the link between kitchen or food preparation areas and the restaurant or food and beverage service areas. 

They are also meeting points for staff of various departments as they carry out their duties and so a welldesigned layout is essential to ensure an even flow of work. The back-of-house areas must also be efficiently organised, stocked with well-designed equipment and appropriately supervised.

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