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Designing Your Restaurant


It is important to think carefully about the design of your restaurant because it will have a great impact on your customer’s first impressions. You cannot have tatty, out of fashion interior design and still expect paying customers to be impressed.

Thee design of your restaurant extends to the facia, the menus, table wear, the background music and the choice of furniture, not to mention the colours of the walls, the lighting and the quality of your overall finish.

Don’t forget that eating out is now a part of most people’s regular life; no longer do we just go out for anniversaries and birthdays. Many people go out for dinner at least once a week, even with the current credit crunch people are still eating out at least once a month, even if they are tightening their belts in other ways.

This means that restaurants have to be both special and normal. That is to say that you are catering for a very sophisticated market nowadays – they go out regularly and so know a good restaurant when they see it. If they don’t see it, they won’t return.


Interior Design

The trend of interior design television shows has made every one think that they are perfectly capable of designing the next big thing with just a little bit of MDF and a trip to Ikea. Unfortunately, that could not be further from the truth. Good restaurant interior designers know all about colours and lighting that appeal to customers and make then look and feel good – a great way to get people to return to your restaurant.


Overall Style

Before you even make the first paint stroke, think about what type of style will compliment your food and what type of atmosphere you are trying to create. Relaxed? Trendy? Upbeat? You can’t really serve burgers and milkshakes in a restaurant that is full of candles and burgundy velvet. You don’t have to stick to classics though – you don’t have to have red checked tablecloths in a French bistro, but maybe you don’t have to reinvent the wheel either.


There is nothing wrong with a little theme in your restaurant – to some extent customers like it as long as you don’t go for the full on 1980s trend. Stick to a more contemporary style of adding a theme to your restaurant – subtle details like the music you play and the type face on your menus.


Good design does not have to cost a fortune, but neither can you cut important corners and expect your restaurant to look classy. Don’t waste money on expensive paint or glasses, but don’t scrimp on the fixtures and fittings. Only buy plain white crockery – it is easy to replace and shows of your food to the best advantage.


You may need to consult a local architect if you are planning to make any structural changes, but this will increase your cost considerably.


Don’t just buy (or more expensively, commission) fancy seating and furniture without first making sure that it is really comfortable. You want your customers to feel good in your restaurant, so think about the height of the chairs in relation to the tables and how the backs of the chairs feel. Also, don’t make the common mistake of having loads of small tables in the hope of making more money – customers wont return when they have experienced their first meal on an overcrowded table as soon as you get a couple of plates and glasses.

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