When searching for a place to grab lunch, eat with friends and family or go on a romantic date, the decision is more often than not based off of restaurant ambiance. If a restaurant is too dark, too bright, overly cramped, has too many menu options, which are difficult to read, it will interfere with them being the number one contender for those seeking that perfect space. So what then are the criteria for fulfilling what truly makes “the perfect space”? Here, is a list of 4 areas which can surely make your restaurant the “go-to” spot!
Nothing sets ambiance like lighting. If a restaurant is too dark, certain people will complain; however if it is too bright, those wanting a cozy evening escape will typically choose elsewhere. With lighting, balance is key! If your spot is a frequented lunch establishment, brighter lighting and bigger windows will be your secret. If you have more of a date-night, dinner spot, dimmer or more direct table lighting, will make all the difference. If by chance, your establishment is the best of both worlds, lunch AND dinner, bigger windows will still never hurt and lights which operate on a dimmer will quickly become your best friend.
I am sure the man who really wanted to own his own steak house never thought ‘color-scheme’ would be something which effected the popularity of his perfectly grilled steaks. However, despite the tenderness of the meat, humans are attracted to environment and if sitting in front of the best steak in the world means eating in a truck stop diner…people may be less likely to indulge.
Color operates on a wheel of popularity and style. What was “in” in 1990 is not going to be “in” in 2020. This is where moderation and taste come into play. Less is always more when it comes to style and color. Choose colors, which match the theme of your restaurant. Greens and blues will always appeal to more individuals than oranges or yellows. If you really want a loud accent color, pair it with natural tones and use it in moderation (light fixtures, every 20th floor tile, chair cushions etc). And when in doubt, always go natural and minimal! Stick to timeless and you’ll never disappoint.
If you often hear your customers say, “the table is so sticky”, it is time to make a change. Sticky should only be used when referencing honey, gum or candy, not the supposed to be freshly wiped down tables of your restaurant. Cleanliness can make or break any establishment, especially a restaurant. Ensuring your bathrooms are spotless, tables wiped down after every guest and floors neatly vacuumed at least twice a day will make all the difference in the world.
What is a restaurant without a menu? Well, basically nothing except a room with a bunch of tables and chairs. The menu is the whole reason anybody walked through the front door so it deserves some extra TLC. Though menu items don’t affect ambiance directly, the style and layout of the menu do! Make sure the menu is easy to read, has clear and distinct titles to every section, is clearly priced and not too jam packed with options. People love a selection but they also don’t want to feel like they just walked into Walmart. There is variety, and then there is everything but the kitchen sink. Again, the menu should match the theme of the restaurant. It should give people a bit of surprise but not leave them scratching their head. People like to know what to expect when going out to eat but also enjoy a simple menu surprise now and again.