You want to get people to visit your restaurant. Should you offer coupons, create a special menu, advertise on television, or try some radical guerilla marketing?
It turns out contemporary restaurant owners shouldn’t have to work too hard to get diners through the door. The latest State of the Restaurant Industry survey suggests that 84% of diners are chomping at the bit to stop doing dishes and go out to eat.
Instead of reaching out to them, why not curate a space that encourages them to come to you?
A few simple restaurant interior design shifts can transform your dining room into a space where customers want to be. Make 2023 the year of enhanced restaurant ambiance with a few easy aesthetic changes.
Read on to learn seven tips for how to design the inside of a restaurant that diners really want to visit.
1. Give Your Lighting a Facelift
Do you want your space to be a moody, romantic candlelit date-night destination or a bright, happening hangout where diners can study the menu?
Nothing sets the mood in an eating establishment more than lighting. You can create an entirely new tone simply by shifting the temperature of your bulbs from warm to cool.
Plus, lighting fixtures can transform the size and feel of your space. A prominent, hanging fixture can make a high-ceilinged warehouse space feel more intimate. Inset lighting can add some room if you’re dealing with low ceilings.
2. Cozy Up By the Fire
At fast-casual eateries, it’s often easy to get guests to come and take food to go—but what if you want to encourage them to stay a while and add some life and energy to your dining room?
One of our favorite restaurant design ideas is adding a fireplace with a few cozy seating options where guests can settle in with their lunch. It can transform your sterile dining room into a warm space to hang out for an afternoon.
You don’t need to rip down walls and put in a flue system, either. An electric fireplace plugs into existing outlets, providing the same warmth without the stress.
3. Update Your Restaurant Furniture
What do your current dining tables say about your space? Something as simple as the shape of your tabletops can send subconscious messages to diners about how they’re expected to act at your establishment. If your restaurant furniture doesn’t currently match the mood you want to achieve, consider replacing and re-spacing your tables to match your vision.
When tables are angular and close together, it suggests formality. When they’re blunted, round, and farther apart, it invites relaxation.
Likewise, formal chairs are typically heavier. Do guests feel comfortable bringing a chair from one table to the next, and do you want them to?
4. Mix Up the Color Palette
If you’re ready for a change, adding a fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest ways to transform the mood. The field of color psychology can help you choose a color scheme that evokes specific feelings, from happiness to peace and calm. Plus, many colors can help a space appear bigger or smaller, which can help you switch up the perspective.
As a bonus, colors can also help you establish branding. What shades do guests associate with your restaurant? Your wall color can help you build positive brand associations even as it tells a color story.
5. Make It Selfie-Friendly
In the age of social media, a single selfie is worth a thousand words—and when those thousand words are marketing copy, it can save you a lot of money! When opening a restaurant, consider adding a selfie-friendly element to your restaurant, whether it’s a fun, textured wall, cool piece of novelty furniture, or dedicated selfie station. Post some signage encouraging patrons to tag your business in their best pics, and you’ll have content to share on social media without putting in much work.
As a bonus, an iconic element can also make your restaurant more memorable. Customers will think of your novel, selfie-friendly addition when it’s time to choose somewhere to eat. Not only will they come once for the cute photo, but they’ll come again for the unique experience.
6. Add Depth With Mirrors
Adding a few mirrors is one of the simplest ways to change how diners perceive a space. Mirrors interact with light to create illusions. They can make small, intimate dining rooms feel large and cavernous without removing walls.
Likewise, mirrors can redirect light and make a darker space feel more energetic. Natural light makes a dining room inviting, and a mirror can help bring some in without adding extra windows.
Mirrors can add an additional decorative element that sets the tone and contributes to your theme without adding visual clutter. A classy, framed mirror can up the formality in your dining room. A series of round mirrors can encourage a casual sense of play.
7. Show Off Behind the Scenes
Why not offer your customers dinner and a show? Your hard-working kitchen staff goes above and beyond behind-the-scenes to deliver delicious, flavorful dishes to your diners. Opening up the kitchen and offering a peek at the action can make a restaurant feel energetic, vital, and exciting.
Simple Restaurant Interior Design Ideas
When diners visit your restaurant, they may come for the food, but the decision to stay and relax depends on much more than flavor. With the above simple restaurant interior design ideas, you can turn your eatery into a comfortable, ambiance-filled destination.
Whether you’re choosing unique restaurant furniture or creating a place to get cozy, you’re helping your establishment stand out, drawing customers back again and again.