Commercial Restaurant Buildings

Commercial Buildings For A Restaurant: What You Need to Know

Although the property's cost frequently takes precedence as the foremost determining factor, it's essential to understand the significance of the building's design. The overall functionality of the building carries lasting consequences for your business's entire lifespan. The allure of affordable rent may quickly wane when the increased overhead resulting from an inefficient building design disrupts your operations. Ensuring that your building aligns with your needs and fosters an efficient and productive business environment is a paramount consideration deserving of your meticulous attention.

As professional Restaurant Design Consultants, we offer guidance to our clients on how to assess a building's suitability for a commercial kitchen or restaurant. The following checklist presents essential considerations that should be at the forefront of your thoughts as you explore the building or engage in discussions with your design professional.

9ft -10ft Suspended Ceiling in The Kitchen:

This feature enables you to reach the space above the ceiling for maintenance and servicing purposes, as well as providing the means to address any potential damage to specific ceiling sections. Several city codes have mandated the use of this particular ceiling style. In locations where extra clearance is needed, such as for taller equipment like ice machines, it's customary to elevate a section of this suspended ceiling.  Suspended Ceiling

Flat Roof with Membrane or TPO style roof:

Good commercial buildings will feature strategically placed mecahnical equipment on their rooftops, a design choice that offers several advantages. First and foremost, this rooftop placement conserves valuable interior space, which can then be utilized for core business operations, storage, or additional facilities. By relocating machinery, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, as well as other noisy or heat-generating equipment, to the roof, it effectively keeps potentially disruptive elements outside the primary workspace. Moreover, the choice of a flat roof design contributes to these advantages. Flat roofs not only offer a sleek and modern appearance to the building but also enhance safety measures. The level surface of a flat roof makes it safer for maintenance personnel to access equipment and conduct necessary inspections and repairs. This easy accessibility translates to reduced downtime, as maintenance tasks can be executed more efficiently.

Metal Stud Walls or CMU Block Wall:

This establishes a fire-resistant wall assembly, a necessity for vent hoods and grease ducts. We strongly advise the use of metal studs or CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) block walls, particularly in regions situated behind the cooking line and vent hoods. Building codes, such as the IMC (International Mechanical Code) and NFPA 96, exert control over the permissible construction methods for use alongside commercial cooking equipment and restaurant vent hoods. It is imperative to ensure that your building aligns with these codes; otherwise, you might find yourself facing the need for extensive modifications. While building inspectors retain the final say in granting exceptions to these regulations, it is far more prudent to ensure that your building's construction complies with the codes from the outset. This proactive approach not only averts costly remodels and demolition but also ensures the safety and functionality of your establishment in accordance with industry standards.

Pocket Door – Vestibule:

Incorporating a double door entry, commonly known as a pocket door or vestibule, into your building design brings about multifaceted benefits that extend well beyond the initial impression. The foremost advantage lies in its ability to alleviate the operational demands on your air conditioning system.

By having this dual-door setup in place, you create a buffer zone that effectively mitigates the entry of external temperature fluctuations, whether they be scorching summer heat or chilly winter air. This insulating effect acts as a formidable barrier against the relentless onslaught of outdoor conditions, ultimately reducing the burden placed upon your air conditioning equipment. As a result, your cooling system operates with greater efficiency, consuming less energy and saves you money in the process.


42”-48” Back Door:

Restaurants and various other commercial enterprises that frequently handle substantial deliveries should prioritize the inclusion of a rear receiving door with a generous width of 42" to 48". This width specification ensures ample clearance for the efficient transfer of merchandise into the establishment.

In certain scenarios, the need arises to accommodate palletized shipments, where the roomy dimensions of the delivery door become even more valuable. A spacious receiving door not only facilitates the smooth and expeditious unloading of goods but also streamlines the logistics of handling large and unwieldy items, ultimately enhancing operational efficiency.

Attic Space:

Sufficient attic space should encompass a minimum height of 5 feet to accommodate the various essential components of the trades like HVAC ducts, pipes, wires, hangers, and chases. To ensure your building aligns with these requirements, we strongly advise having a vertical clearance of at least 14 feet from the floor to the trusses. This clearance not only facilitates the seamless installation and maintenance of these critical elements but also assures that your building is adequately prepared for the demands of these utility systems.


Parapet Wall:

Parapet walls are boundary walls that typically project beyond a building's roofline and generally reach a height of approximately 36 inches. Their significance spans across safety considerations and aesthetic enhancements. These architectural elements serve the dual purpose of acting as a protective shield for rooftop equipment while simultaneously contributing to the overall cleanliness and refinement of the building's appearance.


Parking Lot:

An ample parking area that accommodates patrons, facilitates smooth drive-thru traffic, and caters to commercial deliveries is of paramount importance. It is crucial to keep in mind that the ease of ingress and egress from your parking lot is essential for ensuring a seamless and convenient experience for all.



If you need help in figuring out if a building is right for you get in touch with us. We can help consult with you about the best way to set up your design.


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