There’s no doubt that going to a restaurant is about more than just the food. Of course, your customers are hoping for a delicious meal but the environment that they dine in is just as important in determining the overall experience.
That’s why when developing your restaurant concept, the interior design needs to be just as well considered as the menu. In fact, the way that you style your eatery should work in harmony with the food and be a reflection of the cuisine on offer.
Consider TGI Fridays for instance. It’s a casual dining chain that serves up American cuisine and quirky cocktails. As such, most of its restaurants have the bar as the focal point and the walls are adorned with bright and fun design elements. In contrast, Nobu is a Japanese fusion restaurant with sites across the globe and it is largely viewed as a high-end place to dine. The interior design reflects this by making reference to Japanese crafts through its use of wood and lighting.
In this article, we explore the aspects of your restaurant’s interior design that are worth considering when it comes to reflecting the menu and creating a completely immersive dining experience.
Find furniture that fits
Furniture is an integral part of a restaurant’s interior design as it plays a huge role in your branding and the overall mood of the space. Plus, it can be used to create distinct sections and give your customers an insight into what to expect as soon as they step through the door.
For example, red and white leather seats, metal tables and booths stretched across one wall are synonymous with a 50s-style American diner. Leather tub chairs, however, might give the impression of a slower pace, where guests are welcome to linger for a nightcap after their meal.
The furniture you pick needs to be comfortable and durable enough to withstand constant use, but there are so many options to choose from when you consider shape, style, colour and material.
Play with lighting
Lighting in a restaurant helps dictate the ambience and add to the overall décor. However, the lighting needs to be well-balanced. You don’t want it so bright that diners feel like they are being interrogated yet you also want to avoid it being so dim that they can’t read their menus properly.
The colour and warmth of the lighting are important, as are the placement of any fixtures and the shades you choose. For example, cool white spotlights are very different to warm pendants and bright neon signage creates a different vibe to accent lights that highlight wall art.
When deciding on your lighting, take into account what, if any, natural light you have to work with too. It may be that accentuating windows or making use of skylights will fit with your theme better.
Combine shape, colour and texture
Clever use of colour, shape and texture is a great way to ensure that your menu continues seamlessly into the interior design of your restaurant.
For example, if you serve cuisine from a specific country, you might incorporate the colours of the country’s flag into your restaurant’s identity. Or, if all of your dishes are based on fresh seafood, the use of ripples and waves would be a great way to give a nod to the ocean.
It can really pay off to think outside the box when it comes to your interior design details. Unusual items can add to the sense of occasion and give your diners something extra to remember about their visit.
For instance, the Mexican restaurant Kol opted for leather tortilla warmers instead of fabric or plastic alternatives. They choose a deep brown finish, complete with the restaurant’s branding and these tied in perfectly with the rich hues and wooden components that make up the restaurant’s interior.
Don’t forget the small details
When forming your restaurant’s concept, interior design should encompass everything that your diners will see or interact with. That’s why you shouldn’t overlook the small components such as menu covers, bill presenters and coasters.
The quality of these items and how well they tie in with your restaurant’s identity can contribute to the overall dining experience significantly.
If you are struggling to find those interior design finishing touches, don’t be afraid to go bespoke. Being part of the design and creation of pieces will ensure that they match your restaurant’s cuisine and character perfectly.
Here at Billy Tannery, we offer bespoke services for businesses. So, if you are interested in customised versions of our existing range of leather goods, or you have an idea for truly unique leather items, we’d love to hear from you.