Coffee Shop Design

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• Floor Plans • Elevations • Plumbing & Electrical Plans •
• Health Department Review • Equipment & Cabinetry Sales •


Coffee Shop Design

Design and Planning Services for the Specialty Coffee Industry.

Design & Layout Services are cafe design specialists. Since 1996, we have worked with over 700 clients interested in opening a cafe. Our goal is to create the most functional and efficient floor plan for your new coffee business, while helping you open on time and stay on budget. Our extensive experience in the food service industry will ensure that the equipment we specify for your cafe will support your menu and concept. We provide you with many of the vital plans and construction documents needed to obtain competitive bids and avoid expensive build-out mistakes. Even the equipment and cabinetry for your new cafe can be ordered directly from Design & Layout Services. We know what it takes to make a cafe function successfully.



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Coffee Shop Design

There are numerous books and coffee consulting web sites that educate new coffee retailers on how to start a coffee shop. Important topics such as cafe site selection, business plan development, marketing and employee training were all covered in great detail by numerous coffee companies. However, there was a lack of information focusing on floor plan design, equipment selection, construction documents and the building and health department codes. Design & Layout Services was founded over ten years ago, to fill this missing void specifically for the new specialty coffee retailer. Our services begin by gathering information on your cafe design such as your concept, menu, square footage and proposed opening date. From here, we begin the step by step process of helping you open the new coffee shop of your dreams.

Existing Wall Plan

The first step is to acquire the interior dimensions of your space. The dimensions can be emailed to us from the building architect. You can also take the measurements of the walls, doors, and windows yourself and fax them to Design & Layout Services. Take the measurements as if you were laying carpet.

We will use these dimensions to create a document called an existing wall plan. Once this information is checked and verified, we will begin the floor plan layout for your new cafe.

Floor Plan Design

The floor plan is designed to specifically match your coffee shop concept, menu and space. We properly match pieces of equipment that will support your menu items. Essential pieces of equipment ranging from dry storage, refrigerated storage, food prep and ware washing are designed into the cafe first. The front and back service counters are then incorporated into the plan so that employees have efficient work space and the proper equipment to deliver orders quickly to the customers. This equipment includes coffee brewers, coffee grinders, airpots or shuttles, espresso machines and espresso grinders, as well as the display case, cash register and the cold drink smoothie station. The last additions to the floor plan are the customer areas in the coffee shop. These may include various seating arrangements, retail and condiment counters, restrooms and possibly a coffee roaster or fireplace.

The preliminary cafe floor plan design is emailed for your review in a PDF format. We will then call you to discuss the layout, traffic flow, the various employee stations, equipment selection and answer all your specific questions. We will discuss any changes and continue to make further revisions until a final floor plan is completed for your new coffee shop. We do not stop until you are a 100% satisfied with your cafe design. The design includes all of the revisions needed throughout the floor plan design process for your new coffee business.

Health & Building Departments

Next, your health and building departments need to be consulted to verify that the local regulations are met. Design & Layout Services can aid with the plan review process and email or fax your floor plan to the person who does the plan review. Your health department will discuss the menu, food preparation issues, NSF equipment standards and grease trap and floor drain requirements as well as review the required floor, wall and ceiling finishes. It is also important for the client or general contractor to verify with the building department that your coffee shop design is compliant with parking, zoning, fire exits, restrooms and ADA regulations. Design & Layout Services will make the revisions to the cafe design based on the input from these local departments

Construction Documents

Once the health department and building department have given an initial approval of the floor plan, Design & Layout Services will proceed with providing many of the plans your contractor, plumber and electrician need to accurately bid and construct your new coffee shop. The New Wall Plan will provide the contractor with the dimensions required to build the new kitchen, storeroom and restroom walls correctly. A new cafe will also require new floor drains, water lines and electrical stub-ups under the coffee bar and below certain pieces of equipment such as the espresso machine. The Floor Penetration Plan and Penetration Dimension Plan will give the plumber and electrician the specific dimensions and requirements for any utility that needs to be located in the floor. There are also numerous electrical outlets, water lines and drains that will need to be placed in the new cafe walls. These Plumbing and Electrical Requirements are provided individually on 8 ˝” x 11” pages. Each piece of equipment is clearly shown in both plan view and elevation with the dimension for the required utility. The electrician will know exactly where to put the outlets, the required amp loads and even the plug configurations. These documents will also show the plumber where to locate the water lines and which ones need to be filtered.


We will further help you visualize your new cafe with elevations for each wall of the kitchen, the back service counters and coffee bar. The elevations of your counters will show the locations of the drawers, doors and built-in equipment such as sinks, ice bins and cup dispensers. The kitchen elevations allow you to see the shelving, faucets, filters, and trash receptacles much easier then in the floor plan view.

Wall backing dimensions are also provided on the elevations that describe where additional support is required for wall shelves. Section views of our standard cafe cabinetry components are also included.

Equipment Specifications & Quotation

Once the construction documents and elevations are completed then we will create an Equipment Specification book. This book includes specification sheets which have equipment dimensions and information on the construction materials, finishes and options that are available from the manufacturer. The health department will often require these to be included with the plan review application to verify that the equipment is NSF certified. The quotation will give you competitive pricing on your foodservice equipment, cabinetry, tables and chairs you will need to outfit your new cafe. The quote includes an itemized list of all foodservice equipment and cabinetry, identified by manufacturer and model number. The item numbers on the cafe floor plan all correspond to the same number on the plumbing and electrical requirement pages, equipment specification sheets and the quotation. This detailed information is incredibly valuable in the development of an accurate budget for your coffee shop business plan.

Plan Review & Construction Bids

When complete, Design & Layout Services will send you multiple sets of your finished cafe design including the floor plan, wall dimensions, elevations, plumbing & electrical requirements, equipment specification book and quotation. When you receive the documents, one set should be sent to the health department along with the plan review application and fee. Another set should be given to your general contractor for bidding purposes. We are available to answer any questions from your contractor or health department as your coffee business develops.

Cabinetry Sales

When your coffee shop design has been completed and approved, you will need to decide who will build your cafe cabinetry. Most customers cannot find a local source that has the experience to build their custom coffee bar. As a benefit to our customers, Design & Layout Services can supply the cabinetry for your new cafe. We have successfully designed and built cabinetry for customers throughout the country, from Alaska to Florida and New York to Hawaii. You can be assured that your finished product will be built to match your plans and elevations. Design & Layout Services utilizes the most current graphic design and drafting software available. This technology allows our drawings to be directly linked to our preferred vendors, who can immediately begin production. This results in lower costs and shorter lead times.

Equipment Sales

The foodservice equipment for your new cafe or coffee shop can also be conveniently purchased directly from Design & Layout Services. Being an approved equipment dealer with many of the national foodservice equipment manufactures, we purchase your coffee shop equipment package directly from the manufacturer. This allows you special pricing on your refrigeration, ice machine, shelving, sinks and display case. We do not supply the following coffee shop equipment - espresso machines, coffee brewers or grinders. These can be purchased directly from your local dealer. With over 20 years of experience in the foodservice business, we will supply the equipment that supports your menu and meets health department codes, all at a competitive price. Many of our customers take advantage of this one-stop service that saves them valuable time and money.


Design & Layout Services will consolidate all the sinks, refrigeration, cabinetry and furniture in Minneapolis and deliver them to your cafe when the contractor is ready. You can arrange to have your contractor be on site to unload the truck, uncrate the equipment, and set-up your cabinetry and the coffee shop equipment.

The final plumbing and electrical connections will also then be completed by the general contractor.




The actual plan submittal to the health department along with the application and plan review fees is the responsibility of the client. It is also the client or general contractor who will submit plans to the building department to get the building permit. The client should also verify if an architectural stamp or engineered drawings are required to secure a building permit. Design & Layout Services is not licensed as architects or mechanical engineers. The plans, elevations and specifications provided by Design & Layout Services are not intended to replace architectural or engineered plans that may be required by the local building department.