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Hospitality Storage Solutions

Storage in a hospitality design project is an important consideration. There is a high turnover of food but also of other items. Items such as takeaway cups, and serviettes. While these are items for customers there is a storage need for other things such as cleaning products. It’s not just food that needs to be stored in a hospitality space so here are some of my hospitality storage solutions used for clients.

What you need to store and how much of it?

At a very quick and top-level brainstorm in a hospitality space you need storage solutions for the following: cold food, fresh food, dry food, menus, tableware, takeaway containers, cleaning products, staff belongings.

This is not an extensive list and I’m sure hospitality business owners will have a more exhaustive list but when working on a hospitality design project, these are the items that clients need storage solutions for. These are universal items most hospitality business owners will need.

The size of your space and business will determine the quantities of ‘stuff’ you will need. But in all zones of your hospitality business, you will need storage. In the kitchen for cold food, tableware, and cleaning products.

In the coffee counter for coffee and other beverages, fresh fruit for juices, fridges for cold liquids such as milk, and takeaway bits. On the main floor you will need a waiter’s station for storage of water, glasses, cutlery, and menus.

The bathrooms will need to store items such as cleaning products, hand soap, toilet paper, hand towels. You need space to keep bins as well.

At close of business, you will need to store or stack furniture, especially outdoor furniture, planters, umbrellas and so on.

A hospitality business has a requirement for a lot of stuff. So across all of your hospitality space you will need storage solutions.

Accessing things in storage

If one of the challenges is finding a suitable home for all your hospitality storage needs. Working out when you will need to access all these things is also a challenge. You will need to find the right place for the right thing, needed at the right time. For example, there is no point storing things you regularly need such as takeaway cups in a storage bench seat.

But putting receipt paper, batteries for a/c remotes and other misc items in a storage bench seat could work. A bench seat is used all day by customers so if you run out of something during the day it will be difficult to access that item. However, a storage bench seat is good for things not used very often such a toilet paper or paper towels.

Ideally, if you check your toilet in the morning and ensure there is enough toilet paper for the day, you shouldn’t need to access toilet paper during the day when you have customers.

Common storage solutions

When working with clients some of the hospitality storage solutions we’ve implemented include a storage room. If we’re working on a site with an empty shell, we incorporate a specific room in the floor plan.

Larger than usual coffee counters to accommodate large undercounter fridges is also a common hospitality design storage solution.

As mentioned above a bench seat with storage underneath is also handy but some clients think this can be inconvenient if they need to access something during the day when they are being used by customers.

But I still think if you plan what you need and stock up in the morning this is a viable solution. Storage bench seats can accommodate a lot of stuff.

Some clients arrange for regular deliveries of smaller quantities for some things, especially food which is best fresh. You can always negotiate a good rate with hospitality wholesale suppliers to ensure the cost of delivery isn’t prohibitive.

Other clients don’t have takeaway cups. They only use keep cups or encourage clients to bring their own cups and offer a discount.

A large cool room in the kitchen helps to manage food storage and some clients decommission a second toilet and use this has a storage space. Admittedly I wasn’t too thrilled about this idea, but it was the decision they made.

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Good floor plan

The key to a successful hospitality business isn’t just about creating Instagrammable spaces or maximum seats, it’s also about a highly functional space that provides efficient storage solutions. A good flow of movement is also important and is good lighting, all this starts with a good floor plan.

In the brief stage of the design process I ask my clients about storage. What they need to store, how much, and when they need to access it. It’s a robust and honest conversation beyond the ‘fun’ stuff such as furniture, finishes and fixtures.

Good storage is critical to the successful operation of your hospitality design business. I recently met with a high-profile restaurant in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. I was there to discuss the alfresco dining area but on a tour through the space (designed by an award-winning interior design studio) the client was pointing out all the things randomly placed everywhere because of lack of storage.

Specifically, furniture used outdoors and for events. No consideration was made to where this furniture would be stored. Therefore, the client’s only option is to stack chairs in areas of the space that are visible to diners. I could understand their frustration.

The right space for your hospitality business

Which is why selecting the right space for your hospitality business is also important. Size, location, parking, storage, services and so many other important aspects to a successful hospitality business are worth considering as early as possible to avoid a design faux pas.

Errors such as stacked chairs visible to clients or decommissioning a functional toilet to create storage space. While there is no such thing as a perfect space and compromises are part of the interior design process, careful planning will go a long to ensuring your space is successful with ample storage, which in turn results in a successful hospitality design and hospitality business.