When you go out for a meal, you don’t always consciously think of what the restaurant looks like; you’re usually more interested in whether or not the food is good and affordable. For restaurant owners, however, restaurant design is an expanding business, focused on building an image that will immediately bring their restaurant to a customer’s mind and build up their foot traffic.
In this age of reality TV, where even the Average Joe is able to get his fifteen minutes of fame if he’s interesting enough, media exposure via shows like The Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible can be almost as important to a restaurant as good food and friendly staff. In Restaurant: Impossible, British chef Robert Irvine completely overhauls an ailing restaurant in 48 hours, and with each episode shown, customers are drawn to the overhauled restaurant by curiosity. With luck, the new design and food will then keep them coming back. This is especially true for a restaurant that needs to attract a new clientele in order to keep themselves running.
Media exposure is also important to a restaurant’s image because of the prevalence of social media and the swiftness with which customers can share their good reviews – and their bad. Sites like Yelp feature reviews and comments from regular people and can easily sway those who are still unsure whether or not they should go to any given restaurant.
In order to attract more business, especially more foot traffic, a restaurant needs to be visually appealing both inside and out. A well-done outside facade can often bring people in off the street, where they can then discover what else the restaurant has to offer. This can also combine with the social media aspect because foodies will often post about their experience on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Of course, more patrons is an indication of more profits for the business, which can then in turn attract better and more experienced chefs and cooks.
Types of Design
Restaurants that choose a niche or theme to build their food around have found benefit in continuing that theme into their design. Some of these themes include:
- Based on cuisine, like French, Italian, British, or Mexican
- Based on era, like the 1950s or the future
- Based on sports, music, and other hobbies or entertainment
- Based on age, like Chuck E. Cheese for kids
A good restaurant design can tie everything together to present one unified image to patrons, encouraging them to both continue coming back and to recommend the restaurant to their friends. By bringing the whole package to your clientele, you will build a loyal and happy consumer base that will keep your restaurant in business for years to come.
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Phil Bosco is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @philthomastalk.