When most customers go to a restaurant, they’re interested of course in the obvious, the food and the service. But Robert Rogal thinks there’s another very important piece of the puzzle that restaurants need to think about. And that’s art.
The owner of RoGallery.com, an online fine art gallery and auction house says the competition in the food industry today is so fierce, restaurants need to do something to stand out. He believes they can do it with art.
“I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, when the Internet came along, everything changed,” says Rogal. “Using fine art is a way to quickly enhance the décor of a restaurant, and may also turn out to be a great investment for the restaurant.”
RoGallery.com has an extensive inventory of paintings, prints, photography and sculptures available in a multitude of styles for restaurant spaces around the world. “We have fine art from major artists such as Picasso, Miro, Chagall, Dali and have over 5,000 artists and 30,000 artworks in our inventory in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Long Island City – only a mile from Manhattan,” Rogal notes.
One of the gallery’s greatest advantages is the ability to package, frame, and ship art anywhere in the world. “You give me an order today, you’ll get it tomorrow… We know how to get the art out [to the buyer]” he says.
Rogal says his company sells through not only RoGallery.com but on other fine art sales sites like eBay, Amazon, OneKingsLane and others. “ I’m not only a seller, I’m a buyer of artworks as well. People who need art management to evaluate the artworks they have find their way to us as well – we are a full-service company.”
But restaurants are where art is especially important, Rogal says. He and his wife, Gail, eat out almost every night of the week, and the things they look for – “along with food, the environment, music, the three key ingredients for a successful restaurant—the overall style has to tie in with what you’re doing.” The ambiance of a restaurant is accomplished through adding fine art to their recipe, Rogal says.
He points out that a new restaurant in Boca Raton that RoGallery.com is working with for the art styling is doing just that. “They just commissioned one of our artists (Mark Kostabi) to do a painting, 14 1/2 feet by 6 feet high. The artist whom we represent is actually doing a painting based on a similar artwork he completed for a restaurant in Rome, Italy (Antica Pesa) that the owner of the new restaurant in Boca loved,” he says. “The owner saw this mural in the restaurant and he wanted it for his restaurant, though he’s doing it with a French twist. He’s having the Eiffel tower rather than the leaning Tower of Pisa!”
Rogal says there’s no one-way to plan art for a restaurant. “If I come into your home or restaurant, I may have some ideas for you that, since we know our inventory well, might not have occurred to you. It’s like going into a department store to try to find a piece of clothing. You might get confused by all the choices. But if you go to a specialty store, the owner might say, ‘I just got this in,’ and takes the clothing off the rack. He directs the item to you. We can direct pieces to a restaurant. Once we get a feel for the concept of the restaurant and space, we will be able to direct a few things their way.”
Recalling a restaurant (Café Society) that was in existence from 1938 (and has since closed in recent years) in New York City, Rogal says it commissioned major paintings that today would be quite costly.
“These paintings by Giancarlo Impiglia are available again from us now for a new restaurant space. Certain restaurants put as much into their environments as they do the kitchens and their chefs.”
What about budgets? “When you open up a restaurant, you’ve got to think about the terms of the lease, and how long you’re going to be there. Art is an investment, and it’s a mobile one that you can take with you. You might even see your art go up in value,” he says.
Restaurants have to think about their design, Rogal points out. “The menu has to change along with the environment over time. You have to make it cleaner, brighter, use inviting artwork, so new customers will keep coming in and enjoying the experience. A lot of it is common sense. Owners and managers get caught up in the everyday operation, and don’t take a look around them.”
To contact the business or send pictures of your environment with general design ideas email firstname.lastname@example.org. They will send back a few ideas to start building and creating great style for your restaurant. You can also browse the entire inventory of artworks available at RoGallery.com, we recommend browsing the categories food and restaurant art & bar and alcohol artworks.