People dine out at restaurants in order to create a unique experience. They are looking for something special that they cannot replicate at home. One way to provide this is to create an atmosphere where people can socialize and feel comfortable. If people enjoy your atmosphere as well as your food, they are more likely to develop an emotional connection to your restaurant, which is a prerequisite to creating loyal customers. Consider the following elements in your dining room:
Install lighting fixtures to match your design concept. Bright lighting is usually a mistake. Do not make the lighting too dramatic and flashy, or customers will be over-stimulated. Soft, low lighting will help create a feeling of comfort and imbue the dining area with an aura of privacy and intimacy. To create elegance or coziness, use candles or table lamps. Brighter lighting can be effective when it is coupled with fun colors and designs, so that it will create a more casual, loose atmosphere.
When choosing your tabletop supplies, select dinnerware and decorations that will go well with your food and your dining room décor. Make sure that the following elements, if you choose to use them, match your design concept:
Dinnerware should be chosen especially carefully, since it will affect the presentation of the food. A high-end establishment can go with fine china with decorative rims, while a more casual restaurant would be better off with strong ceramic
china dinnerware. White or off-white is always a good choice for the color of dinnerware, since it will not interfere with the presentation on the plate. However, a restaurant with a more fun or playful concept can go with brighter more colorful dinnerware.
» See our Commercial Dinnerware Buying Guide
A silent atmosphere can sometimes make customers feel uncomfortable, especially in a smaller dining area where they may feel that their conversation is being overheard. To help customers relax, supply them with ambient music that matches your concept and has a wide appeal. You can also host live musicians. Several studies suggest that upbeat music (at about 120 beats per minute) can contribute to a faster turnover. However, studies also show that classical music can increase spending at a restaurant by making patrons feel more wealthy and sophisticated. , In the end, the most important thing is to play music that customers will enjoy. Join a music licensing company to get the rights to play a wide range of music in your restaurant.
Make sure to paint the walls appetizing colors. Studies show that reds, greens and browns stimulate the appetite compared to purples, blues and blacks. White will generally feel too stark and sterile. Walls with wood molding and a dark, rich paint color (like maroon or forest green) will create a relaxed, intimate feeling, while a bright color (like red) will create a fun, festive atmosphere. Compared to wood, plastic and metal tend to create a colder, more sterile environment, but a good design can use metal and plastic to support a contemporary or avant-garde look. You can use your walls to feature local artwork or any art that matches your concept; you can also use the walls for merchandising. If the ceiling is too high, you can hang fabrics to lower the ceiling and create a more intimate space.
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, and it is a proactive system for food safety. Proactive means, rather than fixing a food safety issue after the fact (reacting to the situation), food service establishments have plans in place to prevent food poisoning. Most restaurants already use HACCP-based procedures in their daily procedures. Checking and recording the temperatures of hot food items, like soups or stews, every two hours is an example of a HACCP practice. Many new restaurants or other food service facilities develop HACCP plans that are tailored to their specific establishments.
Wooden floors can reflect light and add a warm glow to your dining area. Tiled and stone floors can also reflect light, and can enhance the charm of your restaurant. Carpeting is the most difficult flooring to maintain. However, carpet muffles sounds within the dining room, which can be beneficial to restaurants that want to create an intimate atmosphere.
If you have some natural light shining through, putting plants and flowers in your restaurant will be calming to customers. Greenery will add an exotic yet charming twist to the design, while flowers will add color and an appealing scent. In general, plants will bring a good energy to your atmosphere. However, if you use live plants, make sure to take good care of them, since an unhealthy looking plant can ruin appetites. Indoor pools and waterfalls can also be a soothing addition to a restaurant’s atmosphere. Studies have shown that the sound of running water relaxes people and abates stress.
Columns coupled with tile or wooden flooring will help to resonate the sound in the dining room, creating a higher volume. This can add energy to the room. In contrast, lots of fabrics and carpeted floors will muffle the sound to create a more private, quiet atmosphere.
You can advertise your own food and products with point-of-purchase displays, wall posters or table tents. This is a good way to encourage sales of merchandise, high-margin or new menu items. » More on Merchandising Displays for Your Restaurant
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