Does this scenario sound familiar? Your restaurant serves great food. It’s highly rated by the local community, and even local food bloggers and critics rave about the flavors coming out of your kitchen. There’s just one thing missing. The ambiance of your restaurant just doesn’t match the quality of the food. And it is costing you dearly.
How much does environment, attitude, and decor affect your restaurant’s profitability? We’ll explore why the overall atmosphere is just as important as the food you serve. We’ll also go over some tips on how to improve your restaurant atmosphere with décor. Finally, we’ll offer some tips on how to improve atmosphere by changing staff behavior.
How Ambiance and Decor Affect Your Bottom Line
A recent study revealed that how much money customers are willing to spend depends on ambiance. Your restaurant’s atmosphere affects how long customers stay and whether or not they decide to return. Customers are in your restaurant to have an experience and will be willing to pay more and come back time and again if it’s enjoyable. It is also important to remember that customers who leave online reviews for are likely to talk about not just the food, but the decorations, place settings, tables and chairs, and overall feeling of your restaurant.
Tips to Create More Welcoming Décor
Interior decorating can be an intricate science, so you’ll want to consult with an expert before making any drastic renovation plans. But just because you don’t have an expert decorator doesn’t mean you can’t make some impactful changes on your own. Here are a few quick and easy tips that can help you get started:
The Golden Arches are golden for a reason. Color schemes are the first thing your customers register, and the right colors will invoke the right emotions. Blues and purples are known as difficult restaurant color schemes. Easier restaurant color schemes are reds, yellows, and neutral colors such brown, white, beige, and ivory. Warm colors promote positive feelings and increase appetite, so it is important to find a balance. Consider giving your restaurant a fresh coat of paint or try adding color with an accent wall.
You want your seating arrangements to look good. That’s a given. But you also want to see the seating arrangement from a customer’s perspective. It’s important to make sure customers aren’t feeling cramped or crowded. But, at the same time, you also need to balance your seating capacity. If you’re looking for a quicker turnaround time, sitting people in the middle will cause them not to linger after they finish eating.
You want your customers to be able to see your amazing food – and your fantastic decor – so lighting is essential. Just like the color scheme, lighting should match your restaurant concept. Do you want soft, romantic candlelight or would colored lights be a better fit? Lighting can also be used to emphasize interesting parts of your restaurant – like great local art or a top of the line bar.
Just like all other aspects we’ve mentioned, the art should match your restaurant concept. We can all agree bare walls in a restaurant aren’t very appealing. But crowded and busy walls can be distracting and overwhelming to customers. Large oil paintings or drapes would fit a fine dining experience, while photos of the local sports teams would be appropriate for a neighborhood diner and grill.
Whether you change your color scheme, spacing, lighting, or art, it is important to remember to not force the ambiance. You’ll want to let it develop naturally by adapting to the customers’ needs and the environment of the surrounding neighborhood.
Ambiance and Your Staff’s Behavior
Cheers celebrated going to a place where “everybody knows your name.” The decorations and design of your business, while important, are rendered nearly useless without a kind and attentive staff to keep it running and make customers feel wanted.
While you want your customers to feel welcome, your staffs’ their personality should reflect the atmosphere you’re trying to achieve. A bubbly and fun personality most likely wouldn’t be the best fit for a high-priced fine dining atmosphere. Even when you find the right personality, customers will appreciate staff that is knowledgeable about the menu and the restaurant in general.
Ambiance is just as important as the quality of food you serve. It can influence how people feel about your restaurant and how likely they are to return. It can even determine how they review you in many of the online review forums. If you didn’t know already, online reviews are the new personal recommendation. So, remember, it only takes a few simple things like the right color of paint and a bright smile to bring customers back and keep your business profitable.