Don’t Overlook The Importance Of Interior Design For Your Restaurant

Don't Overlook The Importance Of Interior Design For Your Restaurant

The “flavor” of your interior should match the flavor of your menu.

You’ve thought about the menu, the chef, the food and the website. Don’t overlook the importance of interior design for your restaurant.

A 2014 study shows that the interior design of a restaurant is one of the factors that influences customer satisfaction.

To stand out in an already crowded industry, your restaurant has to provide not only good food and service, but also a unique dining environment to enhance customer satisfaction.

The comfort of your guests is important to their overall acceptance of your restaurant, and it contributes to their whole experience from food to customer service.

Whether you’re taking care of your interior design yourself, getting a consultant or hiring a company to design and construct your new restaurant or remodel your current one, let’s talk about interior design and how you can use it to your advantage.

Do This Before You Begin

Before you pick up a paintbrush or hand out the hammers, consider the comfort of your guests. How many do you want in your dining area at one time or in your bar? How do you want them to feel while they’re there?

Your pre-planning must keep the customer in the front of your mind when designing your restaurant space.

The other task before beginning the interior décor planning is to decide how many spaces you want in your restaurant. Here are some spaces to contemplate:

  • Main dining room
  • Private dining rooms
  • Bar area
  • Patio dining area
  • Entry and waiting area
  • Server stations

Decide on a Concept

What kind of restaurant do you own? Will it be one of the new fast, classy casual restaurants that are in vogue right now? Or, will it be a burger joint, fine dining or a unique concept all your own?

When designing and planning your restaurant menu, carry your concept through to the interior. After all, you wouldn’t serve Mexican food in a restaurant that was decorated like an Italian bistro.

You want your customers to walk in your door and be met with the sights and sounds appropriate to your type of restaurant. Consider your restaurant’s theme when designing or re-designing your space. (tweet this)

As you work on your concept, remember to match the look and feel of your restaurant to your branding. Your customers will tie the two together, so it’s important that your interiors, packaging, menu, advertisements, website and even the exterior blend well together.

Set the tone while you’re working on your restaurant concept. Here are a few ideas:

  • Fast Food
  • Casual
  • Elegant
  • Modern
  • Small and Intimate
  • Large and Noisy
  • Casual
  • Indoor/Outdoor

Blend the Front and Back of the House

In the book, Successful Restaurant Design, the authors explain that the interior of a restaurant is a complex system that depends on all of its parts to function correctly. They say the front and back of the house are meaningless without each other.

Each space should function according to its job, but also as it relates to the whole. For example, you probably wouldn’t find a deep fat fryer in a vegan, health conscious deli.

Color Plays a Role

Color can reflect the theme of your restaurant. (tweet this) Carry your brand’s colors through from your online presence to your restaurant interior.

Customer satisfaction is again reflected when you pay attention to color. Since color perception is connected to emotions, color plays a role in the happiness of your customers.

Fast food restaurants are often red and yellow because research shows these colors stimulate appetite.

While blue may be an unappetizing color, many fine dining establishments use blue because it has a calming affect that leads diners to a feeling of comfort and satisfaction. Blue also has the ability to make people feel like time is passing more quickly, so diners won’t feel so frustrated at the long cook time common to fine dining.

Lighting Has a Profound Effect

Depending on the theme of your restaurant and the feelings you want to elicit, lighting can certainly make a big impact.

Natural light is often the way to go. Consider large windows as a way to give your restaurant a more open feel. (Remember shades during the brightest time of day.)

In addition to visual pleasure, sunlight affects people psychologically and influences health. Natural sunlight not only supplies illumination, but benefits humans psychologically and physically, so they’ll feel better eating in your restaurant.

Lighting contributes greatly to the ambiance of your restaurant. You can use yellow or golden electric lighting, fireplaces or candles to create a warm feeling.

Lighting can also create a feeling of intimacy in smaller spaces. In large spaces, use chandeliers or modern lighting depending on your restaurant concept.

Designing the Space

Space and layout matter. Design you restaurant so it functions well. Since diners are spending a fair amount of time in your restaurant, you’ll want to ensure their comfort.

If your restaurant has tables, don’t place them too close together. Maximize your space, but make sure your diners will be comfortable with your layout. Some restaurants are moving away from a room full of tables and incorporating other seating designs.

You and your designer should work out the space and layout before any construction is done.


Get creative with furniture type and placement.

Furniture and Accessories

Consider the size and shape of your restaurant when planning for the furniture. You’ll also want to carefully plan your accessories from the paintings on the wall to the table centerpiece. Along with these accessories, you’ll want your dishware, silverware and napkins to continue the theme of your décor.

To Conclude

Whether you decide to do it yourself, hire a professional restaurant design consultant or certified interior designer, you’ll want to play a significant role in planning the interior design of your restaurant.

It’s your job to guide them through the process of designing and decorating the interior of your restaurant so it seamlessly supports your advertising efforts, but most importantly so that it generates customers who leave your restaurant fully satisfied by your food, your service, and your ambiance.

Have you designed or re-designed your restaurant? Do you have tips for other owners? We’d love to hear your suggestions for increasing customer satisfaction through the interior design of your restaurant.

Images: Felipe Neves and Kool Cats Photography

4 responses to “Don’t Overlook The Importance Of Interior Design For Your Restaurant”

  1. A well-written comprehensive post on interior designing. Thanks for writing and sharing this post.

  2. Informative and nice post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Derek Carson says:

    Nice article, but I think I could use a consultant! If anybody is interested or knows a talented designer, please contact me.

  4. Zoe Campos says:

    Thank you for telling me that we should always match the final look of our restaurant to our desired branding. I’m currently helping my brother organize his ideas about an ice cream shop he wants to open just at the corner of my street, and I think it will be a good idea to have a vintage theme and pretend like we’re back in time. Aside from the interior, I’ll try to look for an awning manufacturer around our area for the vintage feel we are aiming for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *