There are mainly two things to consider when you are trying to make a decision of where to put your counter for your customers to make payments, and in what shape and size, etc. These are: 1) whether what you need is a pay-first, pick-up later system as in many coffee shops and hamburger or doughnuts shops, or a pay-later system, and 2) whether you want your shop to look more professional and detached, or more homelike and casual. Actually there is another thing which is, 3) whether your customers would be paying at the counter at all. But we could leave out the third one, because if you are worried about that your restaurant will be quite a formal one where your staff would pick up the cash or credit card from your customer to return it back after making the payment for them, as may be the case in many family restaurant chains and more formal dining places and tearooms.
If your counter is going to be approached by your customer for the payment, the first thing to consider, i.e. whether it’s pay-first or pay-later system, becomes important. If it is a pay-first system because you sell coffee or hamburgers that are to be picked up by the customer whether they eat in or take it to go, you would need a relatively big counter, or at least a counter joined by a bigger table of some sort, for you to set down the ordered food and drink. You might have several people waiting at the same time, in which case the need for a big counter or table becomes greater. You would have to have straws, paper napkins, small packaged portions of jam or butter among other things, which all need to be set on or near your counter so that your customer could easily pick them up. The material and shape of the counter should also be chosen in consideration of this.
As for the second point, i.e. whether you want your shop to look detached and professional or homelike and casual, it depends on several things including your menu, the overall interior design, the area of the town, the music you play and the quality of staff that you employed them for. If you sell premium hand-dripped coffee with no room for a big brunch or bottled beer, you might want your counter to look very simplified; a cold sort of material might be to your advantage. If you sell sandwiches using your grandmother’s recipe, fried chicken or single pieces of pizza or hotdogs, you will want your countertop and/or table to look hygienic but warm and welcoming. If your menus aren’t the greasy type, you could do well with a wooden counter with an open kitchen that shows behind it.
The positioning is also dependent on those two factors. If your restaurant is a first-pay system it is more likely to be a self-served one, and your counter should be at the center of your place, not literally in the center but in a very noticeable way. If people need to sit down and have a quiet meal at your shop and pay afterwards because you sell curry or Japanese, you should have your counter out of the way from the main dining area and place it in the hallway. Whatever type of counter you may need, you can buy restaurant equipment nyc that is at your disposal; search well through the professionals’ offered categories.