It’s no surprise that restaurant design should be a top priority for restaurant owners everywhere, and in addition, restaurants need to ensure they’re look never gets tired. First impressions are important in this industry and some restaurants may never have really invested enough in their design or some may be trying to make their business more competitive by redeveloping their style. Either way it’s certainly worth considering whether re-designing your restaurant might be a good move.
- Does your restaurant function well?
Not many restaurants start with the opportunity to sit down and plan the exact shape and size of the space - and how the service should flow and function within it. More often than not, it’s a case of trying to make something work within an existing structure. Given the time pressures this industry applies to businesses owners, it may be that you’ve noticed for years that your restaurant could be more efficient but you’ve just never had the opportunity to do anything about it. However, if service isn’t fast enough, staff movements are hindered, kitchen workflows feel disorganised and chaotic, or customers are always asking where the bathroom is, perhaps its time to re-design the space in which you’re working.
- Do your interiors reflect the menu?
The best restaurant experiences are always consistent. If you have a menu of cutting edge modern dishes and your interiors are stuffy and out of date then your restaurant isn’t working as a whole. You’re giving a false impression of what’s on offer to customers who walk through the door and perhaps even reducing the enjoyment of the food by serving it in an atmosphere that feels out of sync. You don’t have to do anything as obvious as matching colours or plastering the walls with images of what you serve. However, carefully considered interiors that follow the theme of the menu help to reinforce your branding and ensure customers feel like they understand the experience, and can enjoy it.
- Have you re-designed since you first opened?
There’s no sense in continuously redesigning your restaurant space so that you spend a fortune and customers don’t recognise it from one week to the next. However, given the traffic that passes through a restaurant, it’s worth looking at updating it fairly regularly so that it feels thoughtfully designed and well maintained. Décor tends to play quite a central role in customer experience and if yours is faded, out of date or in a state of disrepair then it could be affecting your ability to attract new business and establish customer loyalty.
Try to continually make smaller changes to keep your furniture and accessories up to date, small changes can go a long way and ensure your space never feels worn out.
- Do you know your customers?
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that restaurant décor is very important when it comes to attracting your target market. If you need some inspiration then seek out your target demographic and ask them what they want with polls and surveys or hire a market research company for some help in defining your new look.
Spend some time looking at the latest industry trends to see if any might work for you and your restaurant or consult the professionals and get a designer or consultant in to give you some ideas. Make sure you have a very clear understanding of the demographic you’re trying to attract before you go ahead with a redesign. What do they look for in terms of facilities? Do they object to communal tables? Are they more likely to eat in pairs or groups?
- Does your restaurant lack personality?
It sounds like an odd question but businesses can have a distinct feel to them that convey a kind of personality. Do you want customers to feel like your restaurant is warm and friendly, cool and on-trend, classic and sophisticated? If you have a mix of design that is the result of years of half hearted changes - or is very bland - then a re-design could help create brand identity. Consistent brand identity that is appealing and specific provides a great basis for attracting customers, as the message is simple and clear. Interiors – and the layout of the restaurant – play a big role in this. Everything from the colour of the walls, to the lighting and the seating contribute to customer experience so if your interiors are currently without personality or interest then perhaps it's time for a change.