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Brewpubs, taprooms, and breweries are relaxing spots for the community to gather and enjoy brews and company. Design a brewery floor plan that is accessible to all members of your community.
Blueprints and restaurant floor plans dictate the experience that your guests and employees have in the space. This guide will help you to design a brewery that packs in the fun and meets all the legal requirements in your area.
What is a Brewery Floor Plan?
Floor plans are maps of the physical space of the whole brewery. Every inch of space in the building should be accounted for. Floor plans are a visualization of the completed brewery and will guide the layout of the physical space. They’re also required for building permits in many states.
Floor plans require a little bit of creativity and research. How your guests and servers navigate your brewery is just as important as the ambiance and experience.
A brewery floor plan should include:
An ordering queue or waiting area
Dining and seating areas
Staff areas, offices, and break rooms
Your brewery’s POS system and cashier stations
Accurate measurements of the space
Options for Creating a Brewery Floor Plan
There are two ways to build your brewery’s floor plans and blueprints – you can do some research (which we’ve started here for you) and use software or hire a design studio.
If you want to take a shot at do-it-yourself floor plans, don’t stress about being an architect or artist. Software will make designing your brewery’s floor plans simple. SmartDraw, ConceptDraw, or CadPro are all user-friendly software that can create a custom blueprint to match the specifications of your brewery.
Perhaps you’d rather hire a design studio that can help bring a focused and consistent aesthetic vision to life. Designers will collaborate with you to craft an intuitive guest experience with a curated ambiance.
Take some time to brainstorm. Where will the kitchen be? The dining areas? Consider how all guests and employees will navigate the layout of your brewery.
Accessibility Requirements for Brewery Floor Plans
States and municipalities have building codes that public buildings must adhere to. Complying with building codes guarantees that your brewery is accessible to all guests. But, as architect Justin Alpert says, adhering to building codes is the bare minimum – think about how you might design a space that works for everyone, not just “the average customer.”
Employing the principles of human-centered design not only results in beautiful, usable brewery spaces, but can also lead to more customer engagement. As you start designing, answer this question – how can you engage all of your community with the design of your brewery?
The answer will all depend on you, your community, and your vision of your dream brewery!
How to Create a Brewery Blueprint and Floor Plan
Use this guide to build a clear picture of your brewery according to these design principles.
Floor Plan Design Best Practices:
Design accessible spaces with your customers in mind. Consider both your guests’ and employees' needs as well as local building codes.
Include ample space for your guests while they wait in line to order, or if your brewery has table service, while they wait for a table.
Create an intuitive flow of service so that customers aren’t confused by how your brewery functions.
Factor in where your employees will be working. This includes identifying where POS systems will exist to efficiently conduct transactions and communicate with the kitchen
Consider how the floor plan contributes to the theme and ambiance of your brewery.
Bar and Tap Floor Plan
The bar and keg taps are the main features of most breweries. Plan your brewery’s floor plan so that the bar is easy to access from the entire dining floor. Design the bar with bartenders in mind – consider consulting local pros or trusted employees when it comes to your bar’s layout. Industry experts know how the flow of service works best.
Also, designate certain spaces for bartenders to interact with guests and others for them to interact with table servers. Create a seamless workspace that’s enjoyable to use by thinking of production and service in every aspect of the design.
Brewery Kitchen Floor Plan
Even though they come for the brews, you’ll want to wow them with your menu. Be sure to budget enough space for your brewery’s kitchen to produce all the eats that’ll compliment your ales and pilsners. If you have limited space, use it wisely.
Be sure to create enough space for all the ovens, ranges, and other prep and cooking equipment you’ll need. Also, leave enough room for your employees to comfortably work. Working in a cramped space hurts time, productivity, and, eventually, profits.
Brewing Area Floor Plan
Lots of brewpubs and taphouses showcase their craft by adding an actual small brewery to the space. This not only gives customers some insight into the craft, but helps them to appreciate the freshness of local brews.
Staff Area Floor Plan
Staff areas, such as offices and break rooms, are important to the success of your business and should be included in your floor plans. Set aside a room for your managers to complete the administrative tasks that will keep your brewery running. Also designate space for your staff to take breaks.
Bar Area Floor Plan
This is where your guests will spend most of their time and, therefore, it drives the build of the guest experience. Design a bar with plenty of charm and an equal amount of care. The design should consider how all guests will access and navigate the space.
Are you imagining a tried-and-true restored hardware look, or would you rather break the mold with something more contemporary? The choices you make depend on the kind of brewery you’re trying to create.
One big factor to consider is the local culture. If there are other successful local breweries in the area, your customers are likely to have expectations for the business model. Design your brewery’s bar area carefully, so that it’s familiar but with unique upgrades. These strategies can help you develop a smart floor plan that supports your brewery’s success.
How Much Seating Should a Brewery have?
To understand your seating plan, consider the industry standard for space. According to Total Food Service, it’s a 60/40 model – 60% of the space is used for guests and seating, and 40% is used for prep, the bar, and the kitchen.
Another critical step is calculating the maximum occupancy of your space depending on local building codes. These will vary by brewery type and location, but we suggest the following capacity per guest in these types of establishments (local COVID guidelines may further restrict these calculations:)
Full-Service Restaurant Dining: 12-15 square feet
Let’s give an example using the suggested capacity above. A 3200 square foot brewery would have 1,920 square feet of space for guests and the capacity for a counter service brewery would be 106 customers. Each guest would have approximately 18 square feet of space.
Offering guests more space is usually a good idea. Spacing tables further apart and creating wide lanes for traffic is a great way to make your brewery accessible to people with disabilities. Plus, a study by Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration found that guests are more generous with their spending if they have more personal space.
Entrance Floor Plan
The entrance of the brewery is the first impression guests will get of the brewery – make it a good one. Use signs or architecture to clearly communicate that guests should either wait to be seated or feel free to find an open seat.
Prioritize a main pathway to the bar, and leave plenty of space for customers to wait for an open table. The location of your brewery is also a factor in entrance floor plans. In an area with lots of foot traffic (like a mall or shopping center), you might not need as much of a waiting area as you would if you were a stand-alone establishment.
Outdoor Seating Floor Plan
If you have the luxury of outdoor space, maximize it. A nice patio can attract a different niche of customers to your brewery and drive additional sales and profits. On the other hand, outdoor space that’s out of the way or hard to find can slow down service. This could lead to both guests and employees not wanting to use the additional space. To avoid this, design a floor plan that makes the space easy to access for guests and servers.
Restrooms Floor Plan
Believe it or not, restrooms are a deciding factor in many people’s choice of breweries, according to a survey by Zogby International. Designing restrooms that are big enough for all guests and easy to find from drinking areas will create an attractive edge to your brewery. Avoid requiring guests to move through staff areas to reach the restroom.
Cashier and POS Station Floor Plan
The POS is the center of your brewery – it’s how your cashiers or servers communicate with cooks and bartenders, keeping track of all of your operations.
Place POS stations strategically around your brewery so that your employees can access them conveniently. Situate them near the bar room. You may want to invest in handheld POS devices that your servers can use tableside. They’ll appreciate the reduced legwork!
Emergency Exits Floor Plan
Breweries, like restaurants, must be prepared for emergencies. Use design software to plan the fastest, safest routes out of the brewery, and be sure to mark external exits clearly. Once your floor plan is completed, be sure to communicate the routes to your staff and clearly mark external exits for customers.
Executing Your Brewery’s Floor Plans
Once you craft your brewery’s detailed blueprints and floor plans, it's time to start turning your plans into a reality. Plumbers, architects, electricians, designers, artists, and your staff can all assist you in building the brewery of your dreams.
Consulting an interior designer can help you to achieve the specific ambiance and experience you want for your customers. They can guide you through painting, decorating, and purchasing furniture that’s functional for your space and suits your brewery’s aesthetic.
Installing light fixtures in a commercial space should be done by an electrician to be sure it’s up to code – the same goes for plumbing and any structural changes you want to make. Trade professionals can make sure your brewery is up to code and safe for operation.
It’ll also be important to work with city, county, and state officials for all the proper permits for building and blueprints. If possible, maintain good working relationships with the employees in the permit office – they’ll be sure that your blueprints and any changes get approved on time.
This all may seem like a lot of work to do. But, your dream brewery is worth it. So, don’t forget to have fun and be creative! Designing and executing the plans you carefully made for your brewery is exciting – pour all of your passion for your brewery into the design process and your customers will appreciate it.