For prospective or current restaurateurs, restaurant design is an important aspect of running the restaurant business. It is important to ensure that the image your restaurant projects is in line with your customers’ expectations to ensure repeat customers. The basics of restaurant design can be explored using the following aspects of the restaurant’s ambiance. When customers enjoy their environment, they are more likely to stay longer and order more food and to also come back for another visit.
Although you may be tempted to cram in as many tables and chairs that your space will allow (since more customers mean more sales), but beware that crowded spaces may not be that inviting. Customers tend to prefer some space between their table and their neighbor’s table. It makes for a more comfortable eating experience. Always remember that the goal is to make the customers as comfortable and satisfied as possible, in order to provide a positive experience and increase word of mouth referrals.
Almost everyone has been to a restaurant that had less-than-desirable tables. These may be the tables adjacent to the restrooms or the tables immediately next to the front door. When you are designing your own restaurant, try to eliminate or reduce the offensiveness of such tables by strategically designing your space. For example, by placing a row of large plants between the restrooms and a particular table, that table may not be as offensive. Consider employing decorative screens / partitions between tables such that more privacy is achieved, since most patrons prefer a quiet, private space, in which to eat their meals.
Also consider using music to enhance the ambiance in your restaurant. It will not only set a tone in the restaurant, but it will also drown out some of the less pleasant background noises that are inevitable in every restaurant, such as a dish breaking. When selecting the music for your restaurant, take into account the style of your restaurant as well as any theme. Avoid CDs since they are repetitious, unless you plan on rotating CDs regularly. Hiring a live band will definitely add a unique sense of ambiance to the space, but it can be costly, so many restaurants choose to only feature live music on certain nights of the week.
Make sure that the heating and cooling systems in the restaurant are operating at peak efficiency. Since the kitchen tends to generate quite a lot of heat and odors from all the cooking processes, it is important that the dining area has adequate ventilation for the comfort of the guests. Especially in the summer, a restaurant with poor or no air conditioning will definitely suffer from lost sales as patrons leave to visit other cooler restaurants.
The design of a restaurant is a critical aspect of every restaurant’s development process. Keep in mind that the overall goal is to keep the customers comfortable and satisfied in every way while they are on the premises. By taking into account some of the guidelines outlined here as well as some common sense, you can increase your restaurant’s chances of success.