Restaurant Interior Design Tips to Boost Your Customers and Profits
There is so much that goes into creating the perfect restaurant setting. Having the proper interior design aesthetic can potentially make or break the success of your endeavor. Depending on your market, you can even get creative during each season to make your restaurant stand out in other ways.
Consider the Heating and Ventilation
The HVAC system in your restaurant can wind up being one of the essential components. Kitchens tend to release a lot of smoke, heat, and strong smells that can interfere with a restaurant’s ambiance.
Much like you would refer to a hot tub maintenance guide to keep your hot tub in great shape, you want to ensure that you’re properly caring for your HVAC system. Ensure that you have proper ventilation in the kitchen and have a restaurant maintenance plan for the ventilation and air-conditioning in the seating area.
Creating a comfortable setting is impossible if distracting smells fill the air, and you can’t keep a moderate room temperature. Your HVAC is an unsung hero in the success of your restaurant design.
Consider Your Concept/Style
One of the most vital things to decide is your concept. You don’t have to have a theme — themed restaurants are a specific niche and aren’t for everyone. Instead, decide if you want a modern, trendy look instead of a classic one. Is your menu and customer base on the formal or more casual side?
Remember also that your menu can influence your choices in your restaurant’s interior design. If your cuisine focuses on a specific region or culture, consider implementing it to influence the artwork and table styles you might use.
When you have a better idea of your style, it will be much easier to pull everything together. Ultimately, the concept should match the overall tone of the food. Think about the aesthetic differences between a high-end bistro, a Thai restaurant, and a fast-casual buffet. Think about the different layouts and artwork that these types of restaurants would use. There aren’t rules because all restaurants are unique. You can still use existing restaurants to gauge what works and what needs improvement and apply them to your own.
Consider the Seating and Layout
A common mistake that restaurants make is trying to cram everyone in the seating area. Sure, the goal is to bring in as many customers as possible to make more revenue, but crowded or cluttered seating can be detrimental.
Moreover, your seating should match the theme or style of the restaurant. Depending on your setup, you may want to consider something more muted to match the rest of the design without overpowering it.
Your style of cuisine matters here, too. If you plan on delivering a more luxurious, intimate experience, keeping seating further apart is essential. It’s also ideal for being socially distant! In something faster and more casual; however, putting patrons closer together is more common.
Doing a little bit of research on tabletop variety is essential, too. Not every patron group that comes in will be the same. So, you will need to know the array of 2-top, 4-top, 6-top, etc. to put in your restaurants.
For smaller, more intimate places, 2-tops tend to be the best option. But if you have a family restaurant, offering larger tables would accommodate families a bit better. You might need to experiment with several arrangements for the best fit. Whatever you choose, the restaurant’s layout and flow have to be comfortable enough to accommodate the crowd, keep customers feeling safe and comfortable, and minimize crowding or accidents. If you use table management software, you should keep in mind that you want a layout that can translate easily to a restaurant floor map, making it easier to train staff.
Perhaps the most underrated aspect when considering restaurant interior design is the lighting. Not all lighting is created the same, and lights do far more than illuminate a room. The lighting is part of what makes the ambiance in the entire restaurant. Different lightings will create different moods, and that mood is the indelible ambiance that guests can’t always describe but will still appreciate.
Understand what you’re to create with your lighting. Are you looking to highlight individual spaces, draw attention to the restaurant’s specific details, or create cozy, welcoming spaces for your guests? Maybe you’re trying to bring neutral lighting to the forefront to make your place look light and airy.
The great thing about proper lighting is that it can hide flaws, highlight your restaurant’s beauty, and impact your diners’ overall experience. Not only that, but the lighting tends to be the first thing that passers-by notice.
When we think of interior design, we think of appearances. But the music that you play in your restaurant can have a considerable impact on the overall appearance. The music you choose should complement the style, the décor, and (of course) the restaurant’s menu.
The proper background music can boost the restaurant’s image and even increase the appetite of your customers. Some experts may suggest rock music to raise the appetite. Moreover, it can even lead to faster eating, which empties tables quicker. Classical music, meanwhile, requires a more refined approach and more sophisticated foods.
Restaurant Interior Design — Concluded
The interior design of your restaurant indicates more than the quality of the food. Remember that customers aren’t merely seeking food when they dine out, but the experience. Those experiences are what turn curious customers into regulars. Provide a comfortable, inviting spot for customers to hang out, and you can focus on your food and customer service.
Looking for more info on engaging the senses in your restaurant? Check out our article about restaurant sound design.
About the Author
Peter Rossi, a professional hot tub designer and founder of ByRossi.