With an ever-increasing number of eatery options for consumers to choose from, how important is the appearance of a venue towards producing a decision?
Whether you are opening a new restaurant, own an existing restaurant, or just creating a restaurant business plan, you should give great consideration to the look of your restaurant, exterior and interiors alike. Although your patrons will primarily spend a greater amount of their time inside your restaurant than out, this will be one of the first things they encounter, and will instil instantaneous opinions and expectations based upon their ever-increasing number of prior experiences.
A carefully designed and well controlled atmosphere will provide a soothing, comfortable and relaxed dining experience for your customers. The hospitality industry is one of a personal service and is subsequently deeply rooted within the behaviour and environment vectors of your brand.
Every aspect of your restaurant’s appearance from signage, wall art and displays, lighting, flooring, and furniture right down to the tiniest details such as the cleanliness of cutlery and glassware, the texture of the menu, the colour scheme used throughout and the comfort of the furniture – everything is representative of your brand’s values and ethos.
These smaller details are all the more important for smaller establishments where the reputation and customer base is a fraction of the size of national chains and high-end eateries. For example, if a dirty fork was placed in front of you in an establishment such as Gaucho you might put it down to a simple error, whereas if you experienced the same slip-up in a less reputable, lesser known establishment you might assume this to be the norm. Such is the power of restaurant branding.
The visual impact of your establishment should be an honest reflection of your service offering to customers, and not promising that which it cannot deliver. The interior design – aspects such as lighting, colours and background music can influence your customer’s mood, and will in turn inspire their selection of cuisine offered in your menu, and could prolong their stay.
Your restaurant’s appearance and identity should be seen as a vital investment, both for new and well established enterprises, and not as a reluctant after-thought.
Image source: New York Markt