One of the most crucial aspects that guarantee a recurring customer base for any restaurant business is a seamless harmony between the audience profile, restaurant interiors & of course, the cuisine.
While most businesses would naturally focus on the cuisine, location and other novel marketing aspects, the interior design, layout, decor and all the smaller elements that go along with it are extremely crucial.
In this detailed post, we breakdown the various aspects that are key to understanding which interior style & décor a restaurant business should opt for and the best way to go about doing so.
Table Of Contents
- Choosing A Style/Theme
- Cutlery, Props & Miscellaneous
CHOOSING A STYLE/THEME
While many restaurant owners are fairly remiss about this and rely on a free-flowing design idea, it’s probably not a great idea to do so.
The consistency in the dining experience is something that most consumers ideally require. The presence of a particular design style is what most customers subconsciously expect.
While this may seem like a no-brainer, owners of several restaurants are guilty of ignoring this aspect which can be an expensive mistake.
If your restaurant is targeting college students, there’s little point in using expensive upholstered furniture & fancy chandeliers, while this may seem like a basic example, the principle applies in great detail across all restaurants.
The first step towards successfully doing this, is by developing a thorough understanding of your audience, current audience or potential audience and profiling them for their likes, tastes, interests, fascinations, hobbies etc.
The ideal colour combination, including the colours of furniture, walls, crockery and things that are seemingly trivial like employee uniforms and tiling are all super important.
This post by RapidBoostMarketing has clearly defined the several questions to ideally ask before selecting a theme.
The reason we’ve placed the budget at second position is because an upstart restaurant owner is typically not aware of the prices involved in setting up the interiors of a restaurant. They tend to be fairly adept at knowing the costs of the civil works and the real estate but in India, more often than not, they’re fairly clueless.
Based on the styling option selected, an interior designer should be consulted who will be in a much better position to give accurate cost estimates.
The reason this factor is pegged at the second place is simply to undertake a feasibility study. If a particular theme or design style is not feasible, any further effort that would have gone into researching it is dismissed immediately.
The layout of a restaurant is the third aspect to consider and a bit of profiling comes into play here as well. A few questions are critical to ask at this point.
Do my customers prefer privacy or an open environment?
Should I prioritize more capacity & compromise on an orderly, al fresco set-up?
How many large dining tables should be present? How many 2 seater tables?
These considerations help plan the interiors rather smoothly.
At this point, choosing a lighting arrangement is rather smooth, precisely because the decision on the theme & the layout has a strong bearing on the lighting.
Lighting arrangements are key to blend with the theme. For instance; a modern-industrial style restaurant would rely on dim lighting, thus accentuating the appeal of the restaurant establishment.
A fine-dining restaurant inside an upscale social club would rely on glaring, fancy lights in the backdrop of some dark pieces of furniture.
Within the same restaurant itself, lighting decisions can change for different tables. Two-seater tables would require even more dim lighting to retain privacy while larger tables would rely on brighter lighting arrangements.
We have already covered different lighting arrangements & their effects in great detail in this post.
Easily one of the more important decisions but also the most ignored.
Furniture for restaurants, especially themed restaurants is an expensive purchase and requires a great deal of investigation.
Depending on the layout finalized, the owner may choose from a variety of different furnishings or or even a mix of more than 2.
And the possibilities of customization’s are potentially infinite!
A restaurant owner must choose between chairs, barstools, counter-height chairs, height-adjustable tables, enclosed booth seating for added privacy, sofas, plain benches and several such options.
Add customization’s to the mix and the decision is even more tricky. Choosing between different grades and qualities of leather, wood, fabric, styles is not an easy job.
This is why this should be done in consultation with an interior designer & an expert supplier of restaurant furniture, that has a strong portfolio of contract manufacturing and installing furniture for restaurants.
In India, while there are several such manufacturers, only a few of them are actually direct suppliers that are able to sell at less than wholesale prices.
Furniture roots is probably the most popular and well known among them all when it comes to commercial dining furniture at least.
If you haven’t thought through this from the get-go, it’s completely fine, this can be taken care of independently of the main theme and décor.
But it is important, If a customer does not appreciate the way he is welcomed into the restaurant, all efforts put into the interiors are wasted.
This means, using comfortable lobby seating, facilities, elegant reception desks and staff that are courteous and well-trained is absolutely essential. Although this is something that is beyond the purview of interior design, the performance of successful design is heavily reliant on it.
CROCKERY, PROPS & MISCELLANEOUS
These include all the decorations, design elements and also utilitarian aspects of the restaurant that’ll help with a harmonious design.
The decision of which crockery & cutlery to be used is influenced significantly by the styling & type of restaurant.
For instance, an upscale Indian Restaurant will typically use colourful & vibrant cutlery and a modern-minimalist restaurant will tend to use light coloured, Scandinavian grey or beige cutlery.
In order to amplify this further, many restaurants, especially the vibrant ones, use various props and objects for improving the ambience.
Some use an upcycled car or jeep as furniture, while some others use hanging decorations. Some restaurants are modelled around a library or simply put up a bookshelf or a board game shelf for an added theme.
Whatever the theme or styling you’ve selected. Setting up your dream restaurant is not an easy task. Programming it for success takes a lot of effort, and more importantly the right set of in-house team and experienced suppliers and vendors.