How to design the look of your restaurant

Designing your restaurant will entail decisions about everything from flooring and wall colors to staff uniforms and background music. Consider the following list when thinking of how to create the perfect design for your restaurant.

Surprising amounts of research have gone into colors’ effects on appetite. As a general rule, experts recommend that restaurants avoid all shades of red and blue. Red excites the body and gets customers eating fast, but it doesn’t lend itself to a fine dining experience, while blue stimulates thirst, not hunger. Most other colors are acceptable for inducing hunger. Paint with neutral tones are the best for casual dining. You should find a skilled professional painter to help you with deciding on this, preferably one with experience in designing restaurants.

The signage, lighting, furniture, music and paint colors should all reflect the overall atmosphere you want to convey. From the outside to the inside of your restaurant, every detail should promote the same mood. Have a clear picture in your mind so that you can explain it to designers, painters or construction professionals before any major work is done. You might even consider having your staff wear uniforms to complete the design theme of your restaurant.

If your goal is to get customers in the door and have them feel at home, you’ll need to consider the comfort level in your restaurant. The chairs and barstools need to be at reasonable heights, and you’ll also need to consider space between tables and around the bar. Even the plates and forks can affect customers’ comfort. Choose dinnerware and silverware that is strong and sturdy to further prove to customers that your restaurant has staying power.

Consider the flow of wait and kitchen staff so that everything moves smoothly. Orders should always come into the kitchen the same way, and, ideally, they should leave a different way so that orders flow out with no chaos. Don’t position tables too close to the kitchen or the bathroom, and determine how many of each sized table tops you want to offer. The flow of your restaurant also takes into account temperature control, so placement of fans and vents will matter, too.

Details – such as doorknobs, light fixtures, and sturdy menus – will speak volumes about the design of your business. Little details like these that are cheap looking will give customers the impression that your food quality and service are cheap, too, regardless of how good they really are. A table that rocks can give a customer a bad experience and keep them from coming back. Conversely, expensive-looking hardware, doors, or tablecloths can boost the overall feel of your restaurant.

  • Storage and refrigeration.

As much as you may daydream about the spectacular lobby or beautiful tables, you’ll also have to consider the practical matters such as where you will store food, utensils, spare cooking equipment, or tablecloths. Also, think ahead of time about how much refrigeration area you will need so that you don’t run out of a main ingredient during high volume times. Decide these things based on how often you plan to get deliveries and/or purchase food and other supplies.