It isn’t just the food and wait staff that make the environment at your favorite restaurant. One would argue that the general atmosphere of any successful restaurant relies on a trendy yet inviting interior. The food can be extraordinary but if your restaurant is not designed correctly, it can throw everything off and even deter potential repeat customers. Follow these easy tips and make your restaurant both welcoming and chic!
Proper window treatments and a calculated lighting scheme go hand in hand. Window treatments can be anything from curtains to shutters to blinds. Whichever you choose, it’s important to have a privacy option for your guests. No one wants to eat their dinner and feel like they’re in a fish bowl. When choosing curtains or blinds, you should not necessarily go for the same you would in your own home. Curtains in restaurants need to be of a thicker, darker material so that they can withstand the wear and tear of restaurant life.
The right lighting is absolutely key. It is safe to assume that no one wants to eat under blaring, fluorescent lights so let’s leave that to the office buildings and grocery stores. The amount of light in your restaurant should depend on which service it is – breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. During brunch and lunch hours, it’s acceptable to have brighter lighting in the restaurant. During dinner hours, however, you should opt for a dimmer lighting scheme to set the ambiance and make the space feel more intimate.
Your seating chart and the actual seats themselves should be selected with intention. When you’re setting up your space, think of the restaurant on a busy night. There are servers hustling around, tables are being bussed and new diners are being seated all at the same time. You need to optimize your arrangement so that your staff and clients can carry on without being interrupted.
When it comes to your chairs or booths, consider comfort and cleanliness before you think of style. You may find a chair that looks the part, but in reality, it is rather uncomfortable for your clients to sit in and is difficult for your staff to clean.
Choosing where to put your kitchen has a massive impact on the overall mood of any restaurant. Will you build an open kitchen where your diners can see their food being prepared from start to finish? Will you fill the restaurant with the smell of today’s special? Or will you take a more discrete option and tuck your kitchen away in the back? When making this decision, consider the noise level and the comfort of your diners. If you plan to have live music on five nights a week, perhaps an open-plan kitchen isn’t the right setup for you.