Design Your Restaurant with Your Customers in Mind
Your customers are more likely to return to your restaurant additional times if they feel welcome and comfortable when they are there.
This is why it’s so important to take great care not only with your food and your menu but with the interior of your restaurant.
Your successful restaurant is built on a multi-dimensional foundation that includes a delicious menu, superb customer service, comfort, restaurant layout, and overall ambiance.
If your customers’ overall experience is over the top and full circle, your restaurant will enjoy better success.
In this article, we look at how you can design your restaurant with your customers in mind.
Create a Knockout Front Entry
The first thing your diners see is your front entry, so take special care when designing it. You want it to me immediately clear that you care about your customers. It should also be a statement on your brand and set the tone for your entire restaurant.
Make your front entry unique and comfortable, especially if guests will be waiting for their tables there. Get creative and add some décor that works with your theme. (tweet this)
Ditch the Bad Tables
You know which ones we’re talking about – the tables near the restrooms, the wait stations, the kitchen, or a drafty front door.
These are the tables that are sure to leave your diners with a bad taste. They will be uncomfortable, and the sights, sounds, and feelings will make for an overall bad experience.
One suggestion is to sit at all of your tables. Experience what it’s like to sit at each seat at the table. Ask yourself about the view and the vibe in each seat.
Identify the problem tables and then do something about them. While it might not be feasible to remove the table altogether, you can use room dividers and tall plants to disguise the area.
Everyone of your guests deserves an exceptional customer experience. So, make sure none of your tables are “bad” tables.
Design for Your Target Market
When planning your restaurant design, layout, and décor, consult your initial research on your target market.
For example, are you targeting customers with families or the young, professional crowd looking for a modern bar-type feel? You would use different design techniques to cater to one or the other groups.
Depending on your target market, your restaurant may be more industrial-styled, or it could be bright and bold with unique design flairs. Your restaurant may also feature local art, or perhaps it’s designed to be really simple to let the menu really shine.
Know your customers and your audience when designing. Stay true to your vision, but make sure your design is in keeping with the needs and desires of your target customers.
Create the Right Playlist
Music can really set the tone for your restaurant, so make sure your playlist fits your overall vibe.
You’ll find that music contributes to the overall sensory experience for your guests. So, decide what kind of music you’ll play in your restaurant and stick to it. Your choices should complement your design.
Design Balanced Seating
You want to accommodate the maximum amount of people to increase your bottom line. But this shouldn’t be to the detriment of your customers.
Consider your overall maximum seating capacity. Then, decide if you can really comfortably accommodate these people.
Your overall capacity is also dependent on your restaurant type. For example, fast casual restaurants may cram more people in, while fining dining restaurants may spread people out a bit.
Give Your HVAC a Nod
Do your guests complain about being too hot or too cold?
You don’t want to hear this too often, especially that they are too hot. Cold diners can always put on their sweater or jacket, but hot ones can’t do anything about it.
Your HVAC should be up to par. It should be able to handle your entire restaurant with ease, so design the system so it can.
A comfortably cool restaurant is important to the overall customer experience. Don’t let it get too hot, or you will quickly lose customers, and they won’t return.
Design Restaurants with Style
According to one source, diners spend more money in restaurants with well-designed, clean bathrooms.
Your bathrooms are an extension of the front of your house and an important design consideration.
The bathrooms should also exude your brand personality, restaurant theme, colors, and overall ambiance. Your guests should feel comfortable in your bathrooms, and they should be incredibly clean and well-maintained.
Have staff check your bathrooms on an hourly basis so they are always in tip-top shape. This is just another way to show your customers you care. (tweet this)
Create Access for People with Disabilities
While you may have created a comfortable experience and restaurant design for your customers, there is one group you might have missed.
Your guests with special needs should find a restaurant that provides an enjoyable experience for them as well.
Here are a few things to think about when designing your restaurant and considering people with disabilities or the elderly:
- Have aisle ways large enough to accommodate wheelchairs and people with walkers.
- Have adequate lighting for people who may not see as well in dark rooms.
- Ensure that your restroom is easily noticeable and adequate for people with special needs.
- Have larger menus on hand.
- Set your televisions with closed captioning.
- Make arrangements for service dogs.
- Train your staff in how to accommodate people with special needs.
When designing your restaurant consider accessibility for all of your diners to ensure everyone has a wonderful experience.
Designing your restaurant is more than picking out a color scheme, some furniture, and table settings.
It’s really thinking about your customers and their comfort. It’s about marketing your overall restaurant and creating a brand that includes your vision, your décor, your food and your service.
You’ll find that it’s beneficial when the interior of your restaurant complements your menu. When it does this, the overall guest experience increases, your online reviews are positive, and people recommend your restaurant to friends and family.
Bottom line – don’t let the design of your restaurant be an afterthought. Include it in your marketing strategy from day one, and you’ll find that happy customers equal your success.
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to all your restaurants and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!
Images: Krisztián Korhetz and Rezha Ramadhan on Unsplash
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