3 Ways to Revitalize Your Restaurant for Spring and Summer 2018

revitalize your restaurant or bar with these three tips

Posted: May. 09, 2018

In time for spring and summer, revitalize your restaurant or bar with these three tips.

A well-crafted ambiance is like catnip for restaurant customers. When it’s inviting (and combined with great food), ambiance gives customers endless reasons for coming back again and again. It’s also a way to be creative and unique. Let your brand speak through subtle details—like new silverware—to noticeable décor statement (like this all-pink dining room).

How the elements of ambiance intertwine with your restaurant space can enhance your brand’s image and reinvigorate your business. Staff will feed off the new, bustling energy that change tends to bring, and customers will enjoy the new-and-improved “you.”

Below, we recommend three ways to give your restaurant’s ambiance a refresher.

Lighting

The power lighting has over a room is astonishing. And yet, it’s so often overlooked by restaurants. It doesn’t matter what type of business you run—it can be a café, ice cream shop, or pizza parlor—take care to choose lighting that enhances an inviting mood.

Types of lighting to avoid:

  • Fluorescent.
  • “Cold” lighting (often has blue undertones).
  • Direct lighting on tables and in guests’ eyes.

Lighting is more than a utility; it’s a mood booster or a mood killer. Tim Strother, a prominent restaurant interior designer reveals the value of good lighting, “[Lighting] has to be soft and flattering to make guests feel comfortable so that they are confident and relaxed and enjoy their stay in the restaurant.” 

What kind of mood are you trying to set for guests? Fluorescent and "cold" lighting tend to prevent guests from sinking into their meal. If you want people in and out, then they’re the right choice; however, if you want guests to linger, your safest option is with golden lighting. Additionally, lights—whether they are overhead, on the table, or floor lamps—should be discreetly placed while still providing plenty of light to see what’s on a plate. 

For more expert advice on interior and exterior lighting in restaurants, see here.

Tableware

Changing your tableware is akin to sweeping and mopping the floor; the improvement isn’t obvious at first but something is different—and it feels good. Updating your tableware can have a subtle effect that guests aren’t aware of at first but will later recognize with pleasure.

Tableware consists of any item that goes on the tables, including:

  • Flowers
  • Vases
  • Candles
  • Votives
  • Napkins
  • Flatware
  • Plates
  • Cups
  • Wine glasses
  • Tablecloths
  • Placemats
  • Decorative accoutrements

Since the investment can be low, tableware is an excellent way to get started depending on your budget and restaurant-facelift needs. Here are some ideas:

  • Fresh flowers to bring warmth to your décor.
  • New white tablecloths for a crisp look.
  • Colored water glasses that add a surprising pop of color.
  • New dishes and bowls to enhance your design aesthetic.
  • Modern candle votives or long-burning oil votives to enhance the golden-lighting effect.
  • New condiment holders for a polished table.

There’s no doubt that the options for tableware are endless. Fortunately, there are also endless ideas to get inspiration from, from Pinterest to Instagram to interior design magazines. Start looking online and you can find almost any idea you want, and at different price points, too.  

Floor Plan

Designing the right floor plan is one of the more challenging parts of designing ambiance, even for design experts. According to Strother, “The biggest challenge for us is to make sure every table is a good table – whether you’ve booked months in advance for a special occasion or a last-minute walk-in at a regular favorite restaurant—you should never feel hard done by.”

A well-designed floor plan has the power to satisfy guests, improve your operations, and help FOH staff to perform their best.

Like Strother says, every table should be a desirable place for customers to sit. Do you have a no-go zone in your restaurant? (The type of place that customers frequently ask not to sit in.) Then switching to a new floor plan might be the refresher you need this summer to reinvigorate business.

Here are some pointers for an optimal floor plan:

  1. Move tables and chairs away from the entrance, serving stations, restrooms, and kitchen. Customers shouldn’t be distracted by the noise and activity happening at these places.
  2. Make pathways for the front-of-house team that are without obstructions. Swift access from the kitchen to their tables will increase the FOH’s productivity rates.
  3. Add multiple serving stations if you have a large floor plan. It’s important that servers can get a fresh napkin or utensil right away if needed. Disguise your serving stations like tables so they aren’t an eyesore for guests. (For example, make them the same height as the tables and add similar decorative items so it blends in.)
  4. Optimize the space to fit as many tables as possible without overcrowding.
  5. If you are in the early stages of setting up a restaurant, put some distance between the restrooms and kitchen areas.
  6. Take advantage of your “pleasure points,” these are areas that are most pleasing to the eye, such as large windows that get the sun, an attractive bar, a special architectural feature, or outdoor patio. Customers will naturally gravitate to places that make them feel inspired and that are attractive, so try to identify the most pleasing parts of the restaurant and revolve the seating around this area.

“It’s the small details that make a restaurant great and whilst they’re details that guests may not necessarily notice at first, they reveal themselves once you start to look in more detail and absorb your surroundings,” says Strother.

Follow Strother’s lead and refresh your ambiance using these three tips for a wonderful summer season!

Additionally, we recommend updating your restaurant POS with an iPad-based system that’s proven to support operations and increase revenue.

 

 

Posted: May. 09, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois

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