Now more than ever we are seeing an increase in Australian fine dining. With more and more restaurant’s popping up all over the country, it is a given that the industry is now more alive than ever.
In response to this, restaurants are spending a significant amount of time, looking at new and innovative ways to make their restaurant stand out from the crowd. Whether through creating a unique menu with food for each choice, or attaining the industry’s greatest chef – restaurants everywhere are pulling out all stakes, often overlooking the importance that their restaurant design can have on their overall success.
As the Editor of FoodService Magazine, Sarah Rees points out, ‘in an industry based on food and beverages, design has an immoderately large influence on the success of and reception to an establishment.’
“From the moment a customer walks into your venue, they start forming judgements and setting expectation, priming themselves for the time ahead,’’ says Sarah. Visual impact often being a customer’s first and lasting impression of a restaurant.
Deciding on a concept to follow should be the first step that goes into the design of your restaurant and be something that appeals to the passing eye. When thinking about the overall concept to be achieved, a big question that needs to be answered is what kind of dining experience do you want to offer your customers? Is it a more casual style of dining, or somewhere for customers go to treat themselves with a fine dining experience?
The concept can then be carried through lighting and what effect you want to have on diners. Lighting can create a certain mood and can reflect the restaurant’s impression, encouraging diners to stay longer.
Layout is also something restaurateurs everywhere need to think about when it comes to design. No one wants to sit in an unbearably small restaurant that makes simple movements an impossible task, leaving you back-to-back with complete strangers. Functionality is the key to make your restaurant more inviting and somewhere diners want to spend their time and relax over a meal. Ensure that your restaurant is not just a room full of tables; people need to be able to move freely in and out.
Sarah also highlighted award winning hospitality designer, Paul Kelly’s suggestions on design. “Visually, anyone can make something look good, but if you don’t understand the position of the key aspects of a space, the place could be inefficient.’’
So when thinking about the design of your restaurant, try to view it in the eyes of your customers and what you want them to take away from their experience of dining at your restaurant, ensuring that the overall concept works hand in hand with your restaurant design.