Restaurant Design Consultants


Ready to improve or build your food service operations? Contact us to talk to one of our experts right away!

When designing a restaurant kitchen and dining areas, all of the pieces of the puzzle must come together. In the kitchen, saving steps saves labor for your staff. That streamlines their work and results in faster service and happy customers. No matter the restaurant concept, Rapids Contract and Design has the experience to make your restaurant vision a reality.

At Rapids Contract and Design, experience and knowledge combine to ensure you get everything you need out of your kitchen. Energy efficiency, equipment procurement, on-site project management…

Union Depot Bar & Grill Balcony View

Create Inviting Restaurant Design

When designing your establishment, the type of service you offer—delivery, counter, table, buffet, etc.—should be carefully considered and addressed. Create a mood and atmosphere for elegant dinner service, or ensure great flow for a buffet dining room. Counter-service restaurants can benefit from good design for the ordering and pickup queues. For flexibility, consider dedicating a space to delivery drivers and takeout customers, and make sure to maximize your outdoor dining space.

With Rapids Contract and Design guiding your restaurant, you can be assured that you will receive everything you need in terms of design and durable, commercial-quality furnishings that fit your restaurant design perfectly.

Get Ideas From Experts in The Industry


Track Record of Success With Major Chains

Optimizing Restaurant Kitchen Operation 

One of the first considerations to any restaurant design is your restaurant concept. Is it a quick-service counter with takeout and delivery, a casual sit-down concept for breakfast and lunch, or a full-service fine dining establishment? What is your menu? Will you offer catering? Will your restaurant feature a full bar or a few beer taps? All of these factor into the restaurant kitchen design and equipment procurement.

Food Prep

Wash, cut, mix, and assemble dishes with ease, even during high-volume service hours. It all relies on the efficiency of your kitchen layout.

Cooking Equipment

Ensure you’re on track for growth by thinking about your menu and how you want to change or expand it in the future. Frequent changes to menu items may necessitate adaptable cooking equipment, while more focused menus may be able to rely on a few large, efficient appliances for fast cooking.

Bars and Beer Systems

Deliver drinks as fast as possible with a well-designed bar, complete with a commercial beer system, high-volume ice machines, and well-planned storage. The right bar design saves bartenders and barbacks from wasting time on unnecessary movement and effort.

Food Storage

Organized and efficient shelving and walk-in coolers and freezers can make or break your restaurant operations. Make it easy for anyone to access, label, and store food, and choose energy-efficient refrigeration equipment to save on costs. 

Dishwashing Equipment

Inefficient handling of dishes and silverware can hold up everything. Make sure you can keep your restaurant supplied during the busiest times. Let Rapids design a streamlined area for cleaning.

Energy Efficiency

Now, more than ever, restaurants are benefitting from the latest energy-efficient lighting, kitchen equipment, and food storage systems. Let the LEED-certified designers at Rapids help you save money on operational costs so you can maintain profitability.

On-Site Project Management

Rapids Contract and Design manages your project from the first day to the final touches. With an experienced project manager on your side, you can stay on track with your restaurant and bar design and kitchen buildout. We keep our eye on the tradespeople and make sure they coordinate together with any inspections that your city requires. Don’t leave project management to chance—get the professionals who have seen it all in restaurant and commercial kitchen projects across the country.

Contact Rapids Contract and Design for the experience and knowledge you need to open your restaurant on time and on budget.

Ancho & Agave Restaurant Beverage Station

Frequently Asked Questions for Restaurants

How long does it take to install a restaurant kitchen?
The time it takes to install a restaurant kitchen can vary widely based on several factors, including the size of the kitchen, the complexity of the design, the type of equipment being installed, local regulations and permits, the availability of contractors and skilled labor, and the efficiency of the installation process.

In general, smaller and less complex kitchens in an existing foodservice space might take a few weeks to a couple of months to install, while larger and more intricate kitchens could take several months. Here are some key factors that can influence the installation timeline:

1. Design and Planning: The design phase can significantly impact the installation time. If the kitchen’s layout and design are well-prepared in advance, it can help streamline the installation process.

2. Equipment Selection and Availability: The type of equipment needed for the kitchen can affect the timeline. If specialized or custom equipment is required, it might take longer to source and install.

3. Permits and Regulations: Obtaining necessary permits and complying with local regulations can sometimes be a time-consuming process that impacts the installation timeline.

4. Construction and Infrastructure: If any modifications or construction work is required to accommodate the kitchen, such as plumbing, electrical, or ventilation systems, this can add to the installation time.

5. Skilled Labor and Contractors: Availability of skilled contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other professionals can influence how quickly the installation can be completed.

6. Project Management: Efficient project management can help keep the installation on track and avoid delays.

7. Unforeseen Issues: Unexpected challenges or issues that arise during installation, such as equipment malfunctions or structural problems, can extend the timeline.

8. Size and Complexity: Larger kitchens with more intricate setups, multiple workstations, and specialized equipment can naturally take longer to install.

9. Coordination and Scheduling: Coordinating the various tasks involved in the installation, such as equipment delivery, construction work, and inspections, requires careful scheduling.

It’s recommended to work closely with a firm like Rapids who has solutions engineers, designers, project managers, project coordinators, and support teams experienced in commercial kitchen installations. we can provide a more accurate estimate based on the specific details of your project and help manage the process to ensure it’s completed as efficiently as possible.

How much does a restaurant kitchen cost?
The cost of setting up a restaurant kitchen can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size of the kitchen, the type of cuisine you’ll be preparing, the quality of equipment and materials you choose, location, and local regulations. Here are some of the major cost considerations:

1. Location: The cost of commercial real estate can vary greatly based on the region, city, and neighborhood where you plan to set up your kitchen.

2. Size and Layout: The overall square footage and layout of the kitchen will impact costs. A larger kitchen will require more equipment, materials, and space planning.

3. Equipment: The cost of commercial kitchen equipment varies based on the type and brand. High-quality, specialized equipment can be more expensive. Equipment includes ovens, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, fryers, grills, ventilation systems, dishwashers, and more.

4. Ventilation and Exhaust Systems: Proper ventilation and exhaust systems are crucial for a commercial kitchen to ensure air quality and safety. These systems can be a significant cost factor.

5. Utilities and Infrastructure: Costs associated with plumbing, electrical work, and gas lines installation or modifications need to be considered.

6. Construction and Renovation: If you’re building or renovating a space to accommodate the kitchen, construction costs can vary based on the extent of the work required.

7. Permits and Regulatory Compliance: Obtaining permits and complying with health and safety regulations may incur fees.

8. Interior Design and Finishes: The quality of finishes, such as flooring, countertops, and wall coverings, can impact costs.

9. Furniture and Fixtures: If you’re setting up a restaurant or eatery within the kitchen space, the cost of furniture and fixtures for the dining area should also be considered.

10. Labor Costs: Labor costs include not only the salaries of kitchen staff but also costs for installation, construction, and any specialized services needed.

11. Contingency: It’s wise to budget for unexpected costs that may arise during the setup process.

Due to the many variables involved, it’s challenging to provide an exact figure. However, to give you a rough idea, setting up a basic small-scale commercial kitchen could start around $50,000 to $100,000. Larger, more complex kitchens with high-end equipment and finishes could cost several hundred thousand dollars or even more.

To get a more accurate estimate for your specific situation, it’s recommended to consult with our commercial kitchen design and construction professionals. We can assess your needs, provide cost breakdowns, and help you plan a budget that aligns with your goals.

What layout options are available when designing a restaurant kitchen?
When designing a restaurant kitchen, the layout should prioritize efficiency, speed, and safety. There are several layout options to consider, each with its own advantages depending on the size of the space, the menu, and the workflow. Here are some common layout options:

1. Assembly Line or Linear Layout:
This layout resembles an assembly line, with different stations for each step of the food preparation process. It’s ideal for fast food chains with a limited menu of items that can be prepared quickly. The workflow progresses in a linear fashion, from order taking to food assembly.

2. U-Shaped Layout:
A U-shaped layout places the cooking equipment and prep stations along the three sides of a U shape, with the middle left open for movement. This allows cooks to access equipment and ingredients without having to cross paths frequently.

3. L-Shaped Layout:
In an L-shaped layout, the kitchen equipment and workstations are arranged along two adjacent walls in an L configuration. This can be effective for smaller spaces and helps streamline the workflow between cooking and preparation areas.

4. Island Layout:
An island layout positions equipment and stations in the center of the kitchen, allowing cooks to access equipment from all sides. It’s suitable for larger kitchens with ample space and can provide a more flexible workflow.

5. Zoned Layout:
This layout divides the kitchen into distinct zones, each dedicated to a specific task such as cooking, preparation, dishwashing, and storage. It’s efficient for larger kitchens and helps prevent congestion by keeping different tasks separate.

6. Open Kitchen Layout:
An open kitchen layout allows customers to see the food preparation process, which can add transparency and a sense of freshness. This layout requires careful organization to maintain a clean and presentable appearance.

7. Parallel Layout:
In a parallel layout, equipment and stations are placed along two parallel lines. This is useful for kitchens with a linear workflow, where tasks progress from one end to the other.

8. Zone and Flow Layout:
This layout combines zoned areas with a logical flow of food preparation. It ensures that tasks progress smoothly and avoids unnecessary backtracking.

9. Hybrid Layout:
Depending on the specific needs of your restaurant, a combination of different layouts can be used to optimize space and workflow. For example, a U-shaped layout for cooking and an assembly line for order preparation.

Remember that the layout should be tailored to your restaurant’s unique requirements, menu items, and anticipated customer flow. It’s important to consider factors like the placement of cooking equipment, prep stations, serving areas, and storage to create a seamless and efficient kitchen environment. Consulting with Rapids’ professional kitchen designers and solutions engineers can help you make informed decisions and create a layout that maximizes productivity and safety.

Where do you get your supplies from?
You can obtain foodservice equipment and supplies from various sources, both online and offline. Here are some common options:

Restaurant Supply Stores: These are specialized stores that offer a wide range of commercial kitchen equipment and supplies. You can find everything from cooking appliances to utensils, furniture, and cleaning supplies. Rapids currently has Restaurant Supply Store locations in St. Paul, MN and Marion, IA.

Online Retailers: There are numerous online retailers that specialize in selling foodservice equipment and supplies but clearly Rapids Wholesale’s Webstore is the best in the business!

Wholesale Distributors: Some distributors cater specifically to businesses in the food industry. They often offer bulk purchasing options and may have discounts for larger orders. Rapids Account Management Team is standing by to assist.

When sourcing foodservice equipment and supplies, consider factors like price, quality, warranty, and customer reviews. Compare options from different sources to make informed decisions that align with your budget and needs. Additionally, be aware of any local regulations or codes that might affect the type of equipment you can use in your commercial kitchen.

Previous Work – Mellow Mushroom

When you think of complementary themes, the Iowa Hawkeyes and a space farm are probably not the first two that come into your head. However, after you visit the Mellow Mushroom in Coralville, you may just change your mind. The owners of this popular establishment managed to blend these two ideas seamlessly into a pizza place that can keep the whole family entertained. Check out the project to see:

  • Customer Spotlight Video
  • Bar Photos
  • Kitchen Photos
Mellow Mushroom Restaurant
restaurnt kitchen design

Previous Work – Rock Elm Tavern

With traffic in the area increasing, plans were made to open a second location of Rock Elm Tavern in Maple Grove, MN. Rapids Contract & Design worked along side Owner Troy Reding and his Interior designer Marit Zosel (a family friend) to complete the complete spatial layout. Rapids provided full packages for this project including the kitchen equipment, full furniture package as well as the bar millwork package. The restaurant underwent a tough inspection process with two weeks left until a fully-booked soft opening weekend. With only two hours before the scheduled opening, final approval was received and Rock Elm Tavern was good to go.


Rapids Contract serves the United States with locations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri!

Get in touch with one of our experts and let us know how we can help with any of your foodservice needs.

Talk to one of our experts right away and get immediate assistance. We are open Mon - Fri, 8am - 5pm CST.

Get in touch with one of our experts and let us know how we can help with any of your foodservice needs.

Talk to one of our experts right away and get immediate assistance. We are open Mon - Fri, 8am - 5pm CST.