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In addition to providing a multisensory experience, the floor plan of a nightclub should be accessible and provide ample space for all guests. Let your creative vision flow, but make sure to research local and state requirements for nightclub floor plans.
Use this guide to create the perfect space for your community to gather, dance, and enjoy live entertainment.
How to Create a Nightclub Floor Plan
This is a map of the physical space of the entire club – from the staff areas to the entrance and everything in between. Blueprints and floor plans let you visualize how all of the spaces fit together and, more importantly, how guests will move through them.
Floor plans require both creativity and research, but luckily we’ve done some of the legwork for you. Build a floor plan that balances your vision for the space with the needs of your guests and staff.
A nightclub floor plan includes:
- A full bar
- Prep areas
- Staff areas and offices
- The entrance
- Seating areas
- Dance floor
- Entertainment space
- Point-of-Sale systems and cash-handling stations
- A dish washing area
- Emergency exit plans
- Accurate measurements
Options for Creating a Nightclub Floor Plan
Consider working with an interior design studio to help bring your vision to life. The right designer can curate a focused aesthetic for the space and collaborate with you to deliver the perfect guest experience.
Before you start the design process, think about how you’ll fill the space. Is the bar the central feature of your cocktail-focused nightclub, or is all the attention on the stage? Design a space that focuses guests' attention where you want it.
Accessibility Requirements for Nightclub Floor Plans
States and municipalities all have building codes to which public buildings must adhere. Complying with building codes ensures that your bar is accessible to all guests. But building codes are the bare minimum. Think about how you can design a space that works for everyone, not just “the average customer.”
Take inspiration for your nightclub’s floor plan from the people that will use the space. Employing the principles of human-centered design not only results in beautiful, usable restaurant spaces but can also lead to more engagement from customers.
How to Create a Nightclub Blueprint and Floor Plan
Use floor plan software to create a map of the spaces in your nightclub – one that can show emergency exits and accessibility routes. Then build plans for seating and the spaces you’ll leave for standing room.
This nightclub floor plan model from ConceptDraw artfully combines all the necessary elements of a nightclub floor plan – use it as an example as you design your space.
Nightclub Floor Plan Design Best Practices:
- Design accessible spaces with the people that will use them in mind. Consider customers’ and employees' needs as well as local building codes.
- Create space for your guests to stand in line if your bar is counter service, or a waiting area if it’s table service.
- Factor in an intuitive flow of service, so that customers don’t have to guess about where to go or what to do.
- Determine where your employees will take orders and use POS systems.
- Consider how the floor plan works for the theme and ambiance of your bar.
Full Bar Floor Plan
Design a wet bar that not only looks great, but is intuitive for your bartenders and other employees. Consider consulting professional bartenders. Industry experts know how the flow of bar service works best – no reason to reinvent the wheel.
The menu, style of service, and processes your staff will follow should inform the layout of the bar. Consider what stations need to be near each other, how many bartenders will be on each shift, and the service capacity of your nightclub.
Kitchen Floor Plan
Some states have laws that require food to be offered where alcohol and spirits are served. Don’t let your kitchen be an afterthought – plan to make the most of the space you have. Leave enough room for equipment storage, and for your cooks to prep and plate food.
Staff Area Floor Plan
Staff areas such as offices and break rooms should be included in your floor plans. Designating an area for staff can help keep your club organized by providing a central place to post schedules and announcements, and safely store personal items.
Entertainment Area Floor Plan
Don’t forget to include staging areas for performers. Leave enough room to house all sound and lighting equipment.
Nightclub Seating and Dance Floor Floor Plans
The industry standard for seating according to Total Food Service is 60/40. 40% of the space is used for prep, the bar, and the kitchen, and 60% for accommodating guests.
Think of it this way – if the capacity of your club is 250 people, then you might provide 125 seats so that 50% of your guests at capacity have a place to sit.
Another critical step is calculating the maximum occupancy of your space depending on local building codes. SeatingExpert.com suggests the following to create enough space for each guest:
18 inches between each occupied chair
42-60 inches between each square table
24-30 inches between corners of diagonal tables
Spacing tables further apart and creating wide lanes for traffic is a great way to make your bar accessible to people with disabilities. 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.
Offering different styles and kinds of seating such as booths, tables, and bar stools will ensure that there’s an option everyone is comfortable with. And different seating options open up more design opportunities.
Entrance Floor Plan
First impressions matter – especially since your guests are likely to wait in line for exclusive events at your nightclub! Craft an area that invites guests in. Use architecture or signs to encourage them to move with the flow of the space.
Outdoor Seating Floor Plan
A nice patio can attract a different niche of customers to your club, and drive additional sales and profits. If you have the luxury of an outdoor space, make sure it’s easy to access. If there’s a narrow, steep flight of stairs or a long walk from the kitchen, it won’t see as much use.
Restrooms Floor Plan
Believe it or not, restrooms are a deciding factor in many people’s choice of restaurants, according to a survey by Zogby International. Nightclubs have large capacities and need bigger restrooms than a lot of other businesses.
Design restrooms that are big enough for guests to navigate, and easy to access from the main floor of the club. Avoid requiring guests to wander through staff areas to reach the restroom.
Cashier and POS Station Floor Plan
You’ll likely establish a cashier station (or a few) along your bar, and more around the seating dining area. Plan to place POS stations where they can reduce the legwork required by your employees. You might use handheld POS devices that your servers and bartenders can take to your guests, to save everyone time.
Emergency Exits Floor Plan
Nightclub blueprints must consider emergencies – use design software to map emergency exit routes. Be sure to communicate those routes to your staff and clearly mark external exits for customers.
This fire escape plan from SmartDraw is an example of how to map exit plans for staff and guests.
Executing Your Nightclub’s Floor Plans
Once you craft detailed blueprints and floor plans, it's time to start making your bar a reality. Plumbers, architects, electricians, designers, artists and your staff can help you to build the best bar possible.
Achieve the specific ambiance and experience you seek by consulting an interior designer. They can help you to paint, decorate, and purchase furniture that’s both functional and beautiful.
Installing light fixtures in a commercial space should probably 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 ensure your bar is up to standards and safe for operation.
It’s also important to work with city, county, and state officials for all the proper permits for building and blueprinting. 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.
And don’t forget to have fun and be creative! Designing and executing the plans you carefully made for your bar is exciting – put all of your passion into the design process and your customers will feel it.
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