Simple Design Tips for Your Restaurant or Café
After an evening of browsing the web for inspiring examples of restaurant-specific interior design, I came to this conclusion: the examples people pick for these kinds of things are almost exclusively gaudy and/or ridiculous. Those that aren’t absurd looking are so sophisticated and chic that your average restaurateur can’t possibly afford the same level of swank. But interior design, whether you consider it so formally or not, is important — so what’s an average Joe to do?
First, let’s get one thing straight: design is important. People like a sense of ambiance when they eat out; it’s what brings them back, perhaps second to the food. Ambiance, however, doesn’t have to be all contemporary lines, stainless steel, and swank leather. Depending on the theme of your restaurant — the food, the feel — good design could take on any number of looks. What they’ll have in common is these simple traits:
Understand Your Target Market
A hot dog stand probably shouldn’t look like a night club, just as a gourmet french restaurant might look silly with paper placemats and a striped awning. Just as your food and marketing appeal to a certain demographic of loyal customers, so should your design.
Seek Out Customer Feedback
Speaking of those loyal customers — why don’t you let them help you out? Getting some simple feedback from your most loyal customers, as well as the customers you’re targeting, can help you understand just how your restaurant could incorporate design to play up on current strengths and address the further desires of your customer base.
Consider Expert Help & Other Alternatives
Not everyone has a great eye for design. I know I don’t. If you do, more power to you — chances are, though, that you’re in the restaurant biz because you make great food, not because you’re the next design star. The good news is that there’re plenty of design firms and consultants specializing in just such a thing — some of which count restaurants as their main clientele focus. A little research (asking others in the business, searching online) should turn up someone perfect for you to work with. In case you’re not flush with cash, you might even know someone personally who has a great eye. Someone who DIY’s their own home and garden with great results. A friend who can channel HGTV and go all Decorating Cents and give your place a simple, inexpensive facelift. Consider your options.
Even if you think your restaurant looks great, give these tips a thought. A little updating couldn’t hurt.
I’ll be back with another design-related post on Friday. Until then, you can contact us here.