One of the most important aspects of designing a canteen is considering space and mobility. A canteen that is congested and overcrowded will mean that employees are unable to prepare their food and it makes the moving of furniture a difficult task. Therefore, at the beginning of the designing process, the amount of chairs needed to seat each employee needs to be accounted for; this will help to decide the measurements for the canteen. Having enough room for large tables is also a good idea, since these help to encourage socialising and collaboration between workers. In addition to the food/service area, there also needs to be enough empty space between each piece of furniture so that tables and chairs can be moved around easily.
The area in which employees prepare food also needs to be spacious so that several people can access appliances at one time. It’s also important that the necessary appliances are installed, including a refrigerator, oven, kettle, microwave, stoves with multiple burners and coffee and water dispensers. This will ensure that employees have a wide range of options for their daytime meal. It’s essential that flooring, particularly in the kitchen area, is slip-resistant in order to avoid dangerous risks and injuries. Additionally, it helps to have flooring that enables the easy cleaning of spillages and resists the build-up of dirt.
An adjoining entertainment room or lounge area is also something to consider when designing a canteen, so that employees can fully switch off and reset before starting an afternoon of work. Simply setting aside some room for soft seating and magazines makes a difference, or you may choose to have an extra room for games and relaxation.
The canteen can also be a place of interaction. Putting up a whiteboard or creating a chalkboard wall will give your employees the opportunity to share motivating or inspiring quotes, whilst adding their own personal touch to the space. This way, your employees will have a break from their workload whilst still having the ability to be creative. The last thing any employee wants is a canteen that they associate with their school dinner experiences – cold, stodgy and uncomfortable – so it’s ideal to design a space that is modern yet interactive and functional.