Article contributed by Lucy Wyndham
Studies surrounding the restaurant industry have revealed that some of the most important drivers for customer experience are core service delivered by employees, the quality of the food and the physical environment of the restaurant.
The physical environment and ambiance of any restaurant can have such a great impact on the overall image that it can result in the positive or negative perception regardless of how great the food and service is. By utilizing interior design techniques you can increase your restaurant’s appeal, boost your marketing efforts without much work, and add to the overall value that your customers place on the dining experience.
How to Create the Right Atmosphere
First, it’s important to define your restaurant’s general personality. Once you have figured out the vibe and style you’re going for, you can move on to the creative, interior design part of the process. The atmosphere of any restaurant or dining space is created by combining various interior design techniques that intertwine four of your customer’s senses: visual, tactile, olfactory and aural. That is, to say, that you’ll want to really create a great atmosphere based on colors, lighting, music, scents and even the temperature of the room. You can do this in a variety of ways, but it will be important to try and focus on mixing the four in a way that is harmonic yet subtle. If you’re a fine dining restaurant, for example, you’re probably not going to want to combine loud, pumping music with modern art deco on the walls.
Elegance, Style & Color
Elegance as an interior design element doesn’t have to only be incorporated in high-end, fine dining restaurants. And choosing to add a touch of elegance doesn’t mean that you have to forego comfort. Elegant atmospheres are simple and harmonious. To accomplish this feel, add a candle to every table, keep the lighting low and warm, and choose music to match a relaxing vibe. For a more upbeat atmosphere that’s still elegant, you can try more upbeat music that’s not intrusive, like a soft, fun jazz, and brighter lights. For seating, always keep it comfortable regardless of your atmosphere, and choose styles that fit the theme. Regarding color, one study found that in regard to preferred color used in interior design, 42% of participants favored warm colors in a quality restaurant. However, it’s probably best to stay away from intense reds and yellows as they are often associated with fast-food institutions in today’s modern culture.
Creating a Shareable Space
Naturally, this means creating a space in which people want to share with their friends, family and maybe even coworkers. But it also means creating a space that customers want to share on social media. Add unique interior design elements by choosing a few stand-out pieces that reflect the theme of your restaurant such as a colorful accent wall that features a mural, a unique and interactive piece of furniture or you can even try adding a photo wall that mirrors the feel of a photo booth. This creativity will go a long way in creating a unique selling point for your restaurant that will allow you to turn into a local icon while also helping you promote your business online through social media.
The Power of Great Interior Design
Don’t go overboard on the design elements you try to introduce into your restaurant. Work with the space you have and decide on the style you want your customers to experience and remember even after they’ve digested their food and are on the drive back home. Combining elements that will evoke the use of their visual, tactile, olfactory and aural senses is key, along with ensuring that the atmosphere is comfortable and inviting.