There are many factors influencing you when choosing where to dine out – of course, the food needs to be delicious and the service exceptional, but what about the interior design? The ambiance of a restaurant is determined by its interior design and should never be overlooked in the development process. Eating is a pleasure to be enjoyed, and when the surroundings are just right, food tastes even better.
So what interior design tricks can be used in restaurants to bump up the number of dining reservations? Read on for tasty tips on delicious dining spaces.
The restaurant game is highly competitive, so every aspect of an establishment’s design must be perfect. Managing the many different areas such as front of house, bars, cloakroom, private dining rooms, kitchens and server stations can be quite a juggling act. From a design perspective it is essential to have aesthetic consistency throughout which underlines the concept and flow of the venue. Whether it’s a fresh contemporary style or a traditional theme, carrying through an entire design concept from start to finish is the key to getting the right ambiance. From furnishings to table linen, lighting and signage, if it hangs together harmoniously it’s a pleasant space to be in.
Restaurants with a clean and contemporary ambiance are enduringly popular. Right now, the canteen style with high ceilings and an airy feel is very much in vogue. Smooth lines and blends of stainless steel, concrete, exposed ducting, industrial retro stylings and lots of wood are very much of the moment in cutting-edge eateries.
Whether it’s picture windows with jaw-dropping views or street-side brasseries with floor to ceiling panels, natural light is a sure-fire winner. Light energises a restaurant and gives it a positive atmosphere. Practical considerations such as sunshine control and shading at certain times of day are easily managed with the various types of stylish shutters available. Seeing the food on your plate and the faces of your companions is important, so neglect natural lighting at your peril.
For more intimate and romantic atmospheres, low level mood lighting, candles and softly twinkling chandeliers work well. In dark spaces, experiment with the new breed of LED bulbs that effectively simulate daylight. Mirrors in restaurants are a popular feature, great for checking out what is happening over your shoulder if you are a diner, but also heavily relied upon by designers to open up cramped spaces.
Comfort is an area where interior designers need to push for quality. Long leisurely meals are best savoured on a comfortable seat with enough room to feel relaxed and at ease. Furnishings that are the right scale for the dining space enable easy flow around the room for diners and staff. Busy canteens often line up trestles for a shared, communal dining experience. Conversely, formal dining demands greater privacy and separation as it is celebrated as more of an event. However they are accommodated, comfort and space for diners are non-negotiable elements of any restaurant design brief.
Successful restaurants are always full, often with queues snaking out of the doors, and it’s those restaurateurs who get the unique blend of menu, service and ambiance just right who are taking the biggest slice of the action. Isn’t it time you joined them?