Today the idea of a restaurant has gone beyond just a place to have an enjoyable meal, but rather has become a place with a unique dining environment that aims to provide an overall pleasant experience. Every component of a meal is important, however it is the surroundings, the ambience and the people that significantly contribute to the memories that the guests will take away with them.
Daousser Chennoufi, founder and CEO of Draw Link Group, shares a few primary factors that play a major role in creating a restaurant’s ambience and design theme.
Furniture is an important part of interior design, with features such as comfort and functionality proven to be of a higher value for customers than visual shape. Our experience shows that the majority of restaurant guests would prefer softer and taller furniture. In addition to that, there is a direct link between the furniture preferences and the climate; in countries with cooler climates customers prefer venues with warmer upholstery, while in warmer climate zones the choice goes to colder furniture, e.g. leather seating.
It’s important to create ample spacing between tables, as a lack of space can create a lack of intimacy, while too much space will make guests feel like they are ‘on show’.
Color creates a sensory stimulation and has a psychological association with the sense of smell as well as with appetite. For example, the colors red and yellow have proven to be appetite stimulators, which results in people eating more, and therefore are most commonly used in fast food chains. Moreover, colors can directly influence your space perception. Dark warm colors can not only make a space look smaller but create a more personal and intimate feel.
Ambience directs the mood of the guest, which in its turn will affect the time spent in a restaurant and the amount of food and drinks ordered. Ambience is created by the lighting, music, artworks and the design theme of a space.
Appropriate lighting completes the design thought, making the right accents on the furniture and all the objects within the space. Brighter lights can decrease the range of a meal duration, while dimmed lighting can make the atmosphere more comfortable and relaxed; therefore increasing the time the guests stay in a restaurant.
Nowadays there is a tendency towards smart luxury and informal dining, and customers tend to prefer modern venues with a casual, social atmosphere, rather than high-end venues.
The exterior look of a dining space is important because it creates the first and last impression that customers have of a restaurant. However, interior design still remains a stronger influencer that adds value to the customer’s experience.