Friday 31 March 2017

Builder's Block - 5 Steps towards a Standout Restaurant Redesign!

Ever been to a restaurant where the décor has you weak at the knees long before you've even tasted the food? I have been to a few exquisitely designed restaurant lounges where I've been mesmerised by everything - the glamorous colour palette, eclectic furniture, luxurious table-settings, beautiful flatware and ofcourse the delectable food! However I've also been to places that are quite nondescript with less than impressive décor.

So what makes a restaurant design a standout? When I was in college, my dissertation was on Room Designs in Hotels and their impact on Patrons and it is a topic I'm quite passionate about. There are a few fundamental 'dos' when it comes to redesigning restaurants and even though it can be challenging, a well designed interior that creates the perfect ambience for patrons to enjoy, is definitely rewarding and imperative for long term success.

So to further discuss how to redesign a standout restaurant, our guest contributor Sarah has put together a few fundamentals.

Designing or redesigning a restaurant or cafe is an exciting and stressful time in the life of a restaurant owner.

There are many considerations to take into account; your budget, target market, the restaurant type, and the location to name a few. These factors will influence your overall choices. But when it comes to making the space unique and one-of-a-kind, you need to go that extra mile.

Below are 5 steps you can take to ensure your restaurant or cafe remains ahead of the design curve.

True Colours
Studies have concluded that colours play a more-than-coincidental part in influencing our mood and even our appetite. Colour has the power to trigger feelings of love, anger, hunger and thirst, as well as affect overall mood and well-being. Therefore it is important to consider how you use colour as you redesign your restaurant space. Are you introducing colour in a way that will entice your customers, or in a way that triggers unpleasant uncomfortable feelings (or worse, nausea!)?

Tried and true colour schemes include warm colours grouped together variations of reds, oranges and some hues of yellow or variations of cool blue and white. These colour schemes are safe and invoke no strong reactions either positive or negative.

Choosing a colour scheme which suits and enhances your surroundings is important. If you’re in a setting with lots of greenery and trees, fresh greens (pantone colour of the year 2017 is ‘Greenery’) and white will further enhance this sense of nature and beauty. If you’re in a city-centre, whites and industrial rustic metallics help emphasise the connection to the buzzing, modern metropolis.

Think Outside The Box
An easy trap to fall into is to think that a restaurant ends at the front (or the back) door. So much of what makes a restaurant truly excellent is its overall environment, including any outdoor dining areas. In places with a mild climate, outdoor dining spaces are relished for the alfresco setting and fresh air. Enlivening a bland, nondescript outdoor area with sealed concrete or exposed aggregate from Pavement FX is a great way to reclaim an otherwise unused or unloved outdoor area and turn to into something special that guests will delight in.

Natural Features
Another timeless design hack is to incorporate available natural features into the restaurant space.
To do this, you could install large windows, an articulated sliding door or even a skylight. Work out which natural features you’d like to enhance (lighting, proximity to mountains, trees, an exciting streetscape) and work with an architect or builder to integrate these features into the restaurant space. By doing so, you’ll create an interesting focal point and evoke a mood into your venue which is hard (and expensive) to recreate artificially.

Pick & Mix
Why settle for common when there’s an ever-growing range of interesting, new and reproduction dining furniture? Eclecticism or ‘mix and match’ helps your space to visually define its own aesthetic. Choose a mixture of new and vintage furniture to suit your taste and the style you’re trying to convey, with an emphasis on diner comfort and quality (and not a bentwood chair in sight!)

Your Kitchen Rules
A great kitchen is at the heart of every great restaurant - so why not showcase it? There’s something thrilling for a diner being able to watch their food be expertly prepped and cooked. It adds a personal and human element to the dining experience - like viewing a live sport.

In order for your kitchen to be visible to patrons, you will need to consider its layout, visual appeal of the kitchen, uniform of your staff and storage and spatial planning. A clean kitchen provides diners further enticement to eat. Also consider the aesthetics of the kitchen and any cabinetry. Are they in need of a refresh? Take care of these details before taking the plunge to showcase the highlight of your restaurant.
Navigating the pitfalls of modern design has its share of headaches for any savvy restaurateur. Armed with this list of quick steps and ideas, hopefully your restaurant will be dishing up some red-hot design home-runs in no time.

Till next time... research well and hard before redesigning your restaurant!

About the Author
Sarah is a writer, musician and luthier hailing from Melbourne, Australia. After spending the last decade writing for a wealth of magazines, journals, blogs and newspapers, Sarah is still on the lookout for artistic outlets wherever she goes.


  1. In the competitive world of today, it is vital for the restaurants to inhibit a good sense of design features aside from the obvious factors of good quality of food with variety. Taking into consideration these factors, the restaurant builder and design teams at RDDNY offer their unique set of services for you to successfully launch your new restaurant project.

  2. This is great! These photos of several restaurants are just amazing.

    NWSM Building Group Garage Doors


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