While most chefs hope that the food is the main draw to their restaurant, it’s hard to say that customer comfort & ambiance is not as important. For example, most world-class restaurants offer an unparalleled experience, with one component being the food. The furnishings matter, from the height of the chairs to details that give a place some personality — like the color of the light bulbs, how the tables are arranged, the art on the walls and the color, carpet, and comfort, all come into play.
While you may be a way away from earning your first Michelin star, here are some ways that furniture can show your guests that you’ve already arrived.
Look for the Unexpected
You want your restaurant to be something people remember, both for the food, as well as the atmosphere. Adding some unexpected elements like a beautiful, large-scale mural on the wall or bringing the outdoors in with a tree or other foliage can give your place some character.
We’re all for incorporating vintage finds into the mix or finding a cool and quirky art piece, but keep the kitsch to a minimum, or risk having guests feel like they’re dining in their great aunt’s basement.
Keep it Simple
While minimalism may be considered trendy at this point in time, it’s timeless and relatively easy to get right. Plus, if there is ever a culture backlash against the style, you can always add new elements to the mix to keep things fresh. Think monochrome colors – all white or all gray with a few pops of color here and there can be real powerful. Tired spaces are being re-invented with commercial furniture and lighting. If you’re lucky enough to have a brick wall or exposed beams, leave em be, and go with a clean, stark aesthetic.
The Details Count
When you’re thinking about restaurant design, you’re likely thinking more on the scale of seating and wall décor, lighting and more, the devil is in the details. The napkins and silverware, as well as the cups and glasses used to serve beverages. Quality shines through in all areas, for example, plastic, dirty looking cups or flimsy silverware give a bad impression even if the space looks pretty good overall.
Another detail that speaks volumes is the menu—make sure to use good quality paper and a design that fits in with the décor of your signage and overall vibe of the restaurant. The menu is your single most important piece of marketing collateral, after all.
Online Restaurant Menu
If you choose to create a website for your restaurant using a website builder, you’ll find it incredibly easy to create a menu as well. Most website builders for restaurants provide built-in features that allow you to showcase your menu online. You can easily add and customize menu items, include descriptions, prices, and even mouth-watering images. This makes it convenient for your customers to browse through your offerings and place online orders.
Lighting is Huge
Lighting can play a big part in helping guests decide if they actually enjoy being in your dining establishment. If you’re a restaurant that serves upscale dinners, go romantic and think candles, dim lighting and bulbs with a warm soft glow. If you’re a farm-to-table brunch establishment, think about unique touches like fresh wildflowers or succulents as table settings. Take advantage of open windows and natural lighting, rather than unflattering fluorescent bulbs.
Ditch the Tablecloths
These days, tablecloths feel dated and require spending extra time washing and replacing dirty cloth—time better spent on running your business. Look for tables with an attractive surface that fits in with the rest of the décor for a wipe-and-go solution that’ll stay fresh for years to come.