Elements of Successful Restaurant Interior Design
Elements of Successful Restaurant Interior Design

As Indians depend more on meals away from home, dining at restaurants has become a lifestyle to relax and unwind. If you have ever travelled to Europe, you might have noticed that dinner meals are taken at a much later time than the United States’ and these meals have a celebratory air about them - people are heavily involved in a conversation and the dinner is viewed as an event. 

Indians have begun to view dining as a one-stop form of nourishment and entertainment. With so much interest and money invested in food, it is extremely important for restaurateurs to develop trends that positively impact customers - including an interior design that appeals to potential customers.

So how do restaurants program profitability and success into their interior design? Based on current trends in the industry and working with restaurants to design appealing, and profitable, restaurant operations, we believe the following elements are critical for successful restaurant design: 

Know Your Market 

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Running a restaurant in today’s world is not an easy task. At the end of the day, it is a business activity. To run any business, one needs to have a fair idea of his target audience and the market they are stepping in.

If you are designing a new restaurant, talk to your competition. You would be surprised how talkative your competition is, especially if they are successful.

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Getting feedback from your existing customers is extremely important. Chances are these people dine out at other restaurants and can tell you what they like and don’t like about the design there. 

Talk to Your Competitors 

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As a restaurateur, you need to determine what your customers want. This may sound like a daunting task but all it really takes is a little research. Who do you talk to? Talk to your customers if you are an existing restaurant. Business is like communication; it is a two-way process.

Your possible competitors will tell you what went right with their designs. You will also get the added advantage of seeing their design in action. 

Do a Market Research

Look at the demographics of your location, analyze your competition and determine if there is a niche for your idea. The information you receive from this research will be priceless. Also, you will be giving your customers what they want. 

Know The Trends

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You may think all interior designers are alike; it’s not true. A restaurant interior design is different from a residential or a healthcare designer.

An interior designer you hire should have experience in designing restaurants. They usually have a portfolio of their work to show you. It is an excellent way to look at the designer’s creativity and design ability. Pictures are worth many words, right? An interior designer should analyse the operations of a restaurant - the flow of the food from the kitchen to the customer’s table, the flow and circulation of restaurant design from a customer’s and employee’s viewpoint and knowledge of finish specifications for restaurant furnishings, including durability and feel of furnishings.

This is related to the aforementioned element but goes a step further. In our information-based society, people can find out more information at a faster rate - and things keep getting faster and faster.

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Trends are like seasons, they come and go. But, fashion and trends they repeat themselves. What might be in trend now, might not be the trend of the season in the next six months. Therefore, you might need the help of an experienced Interior designer who has specialised in restaurant interiors. 

Entertainment-themed restaurants 

Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe are excellent examples of this trend. Also, we are currently designing a prototype restaurant for Philadelphia Park, a thoroughbred racetrack and The Turf Clubs, off-track wagering facilities. We are creating a sports entertainment venue that serves food and beverages. Activities in this venue will not be limited to horse racing - the venue will have the capability to simulcast all forms of entertainment including concerts and sporting events. 

An exhibition cooking area where your chef is visible

It keeps the excitement up. Such areas the open-kitchen concept also works to improve the customer experience. Researchers believe that people who observed the chef thought the service was better despite the line because they could see the effort being made. 

Neighbourhood feel

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People do business with people they know and like. It is the same with restaurants. Restaurants are creating interior designs that make people feel like they belong. It helps to remember the customer’s name, too - this concept can be seen in TV sitcoms like Cheers, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, How I Met Your Mother, etc - a group of people from different paths of life meet at a bar in the hustle bustle of the city. They share their experiences while working and drinking at the bar.

Rustic, Classy and Vintage these are the latest trends in Restaurant Interiors. 

Don’t Forget Profitability

Remember you have a budget you need to stick to. Also, keep the employees in mind when you design the restaurant. Create a design that facilitates their movements in and out of the kitchen. This will create seamless service that will make customers happy. It will also contribute to high employee morale.

Internally, market your design to your employees. They may have some ideas to share with you based on their practical experience. Most importantly, emphasize to your interior designer the need to adhere to your budget and that your restaurant should run smoothly and look good. Tell your designer to create an interior that is programmed for profitability - this is where the designer’s value is really reflected based on their experience.

Your restaurant’s design - as well as great food and great service - have to appeal to restaurant patrons so they keep coming back. Incorporate these elements of success into your design and see!

Gunjan Gupta aka GG Shah is a New Delhi-based Interior Designer and the co-founder of 7WD Group (7 Wonders Designing Institution Pvt. Ltd.).


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