Ever sat in your favorite restaurant and wondered who was behind the awesome design? You can thank a restaurant architect for that. And if you’re looking for a career where you can use your culinary experience and love of design, here’s what you need to know about this awesome career.

What a Restaurant Architect Does

These architects specialize in the construction, remodeling, and expansion of restaurants. They don’t just draw up plans and move on to the next client. Their job may involve a lot of moving parts. Restaurant architects are responsible for things like:

Building Design

During the pre-design process, restaurant architects get with their clients and help them turn their concept into a workable project. They may travel with their clients to pick out the perfect location for their new culinary hot spot. The architects take into account the surrounding areas, the layout of the space, and how well it accommodates the utilities and equipment the new restaurant needs. From there they may be tasked with creating a preliminary drawing along with cost estimates based on those schematics.

Interior Design

When a restaurant owner needs a new interior look for their establishment, they may call on a restaurant architect to help make that happen. Like the building design, they also transpose the client's wishes into detailed design renderings that lay out everything from the light fixtures and signage to the bar placement and dining chairs. They are also in charge of sourcing all the materials for an interior design project.

Kitchen Design

A restaurant can look amazing but if it can’t serve food, it can’t open for business. Building a restaurant kitchen requires not only practical planning but the right supervision so the project doesn’t break any health codes or violations. Restaurant architects work with construction teams and vendors to make sure that this part of the project is handled properly.

Overseeing the Construction Process

The design and construction of the restaurant kitchen isn’t the only thing a restaurant architect may oversee. A client may hire this specialized worker to manage a restaurant project from design to completion. A restaurant architect can make sure the project runs on time and according to approved plans as well as making sure everyone is following all building rules and codes.

How to Become a Restaurant Architect

To become a restaurant architect, you’ll follow the same path as any other architect regardless of the industry they work in. That path starts with getting a bachelor’s degree in an architecture program that’s accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (or the NAAB). There you’ll learn the fundamentals of design, structural systems, and building materials. There will also be opportunities to do internships. After graduation, some students even move on to get a masters or even a PhD in the field. After you get your formal education, you’ll have to take (and pass!) the Architecture Registration Exam to become licensed to work in your state. Passing this test proves to state officials that you’re fully capable of practicing architecture on your own.


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