After discussing things like the importance of a good restaurant layout and how to spot quality restaurant furniture, we have a two part post on how to create a winning restaurant atmosphere. The kind of atmosphere that will make your customers come back and bring their friends too.
Creating the perfect atmosphere for your restaurant can take a bit of trial and error. You have to fiddle with lighting, seating, music, decorations, food, service, and how to best receive customer feedback. All these and more can affect the mood and atmosphere of your restaurant.
So like we promised in the beginning, here are some tips for creating a great restaurant atmosphere.
- The design and colors should match type of food you’re serving. Imagine walking into a Mexican restaurant and finding blues, greens, and snowflakes. It wouldn’t make sense. Finding the right colors isn’t too hard since you already have an idea of what you need. Italian and European style cuisine go for more a more classic or family look, such as framed black and white photos , white table clothes, stucco walls, etc. Mexican and Spanish restaurants go for reds, oranges, and yellows. Seafood restaurants usually mix red and blue and have a coastal ocean theme. If you’re struggling, go to a restaurant that is similar to yours and see how they decorate.
- The lighting should match the meal time. If it’s breakfast, you’re restaurant should have the lights on and the dining area well-lit. At lunch, they can be dimmed a bit, and most restaurants dim the lights even more for dinner. Don’t make it too dark to where it’s hard for people to see at all. Regardless of the time of day, the lighting should be bright enough to see colors and the table.
- The music volume level should match the meal time as well. Breakfast and lunch can be a nice background noise. Some places amp up the volume so much for dinner that customers have to shout to hear one another. This should never be the case. It’s uncomfortable and just makes it difficult to have a conversation if the music is too loud. Try to keep the volume at various levels of background noise and never have it so loud that you have to shout to be heard.
- Your restaurant seating should be comfortable. Cramped seating is uncomfortable for both customers and staff. Trying to squeeze by without knocking elbows, heads, other chairs or tables, is frustrating and doesn’t add to the atmosphere. Good restaurant seating should be comfortable for the staff and customers so make sure that the tables have enough room for drinks and plates, silverware and extra napkins, and things such as candles or a small one flower vase. A tiny table for two is difficult for both the server and the customers to work with. Consider these things when finding seating.
Because we know that these tips require some thinking over to see what you’re already doing wright and what you need to add to your restaurant’s atmosphere, we will add the rest of our tips in our next post.