A restaurant is more than just the food that you serve. Besides your menu, you must consider your staff, your customer service philosophy, and how you want people to feel while dining at your establishment.
One of the biggest ways to improve your guests’ experience is with the decor and theme. While tables and chairs are a necessary functional component of your business, that doesn’t mean that form and style need to be completely ignored!
If you’re looking for ideas to get you started decorating your restaurant, here is a step-by-step guide on choosing the right theme for you.
Consider your menu
This may seem like an obvious starting point, but it’s important to remember your menu when you think about a restaurant theme.
There are some concepts that just don’t seem to go together, such as a sleek, modern look with lots of dark woods if your business only sells grilled cheese. Remember that potential customers will be sizing up your decor the second that they step through your door, so if something feels incongruous or makes them feel uncomfortable, they’re likely to leave.
Even though your menu is an important factor to drive your theme, that doesn’t mean that you have to be generic in your approach. If you’re operating a Mexican or Chinese restaurant, consider other ways to build your restaurant’s milieu besides putting some sombreros or paper fans on the wall. Look to your country’s flags for color inspiration, and use color scheme tools that help your color palette go beyond a singular color.
Build an inspiration board
Try building an inspiration board to see what throughlines your initial brainstorming may have subconsciously come up with. Using a website like Pinterest is a great way to gather a bunch of visual inspiration and analyze it to begin making decisions.
You can make boards for overall ambience, as well as pin specific lighting fixtures, linens, and tables. This way, you have references to go on when you go shopping.
Consider your budget
Speaking of shopping, make sure to consider your budget when you’re brainstorming themes and decor for your restaurant. While there may be a great accent piece or wall treatment that would work great with your theme, you don’t want to blow your budget all on one or two pieces. Then you’ll likely have to scrounge for other furniture that’s of a lower quality.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to find uniforms for your staff to wear, too. Since that’s also an extension of your restaurant’s theme, it’s a good idea to browse websites of clothing suppliers like Jobeline to get a feel for how your workers’ uniforms will affect your bottom line.
Give it a personal touch
Just because you’re designing your restaurant around a certain theme doesn’t mean you can’t give your restaurant a personal touch. Getting prints of popular items from your menu or even your staff and family can help personalize an otherwise alienating concept.
Especially if your restaurant is inspired by a specific person or trip you took, design a custom canvas print that showcases this moment to hang right in the entryway. It can be a great way to set the tone for your guests’ experience.
Just as every human is unique, every restaurant should be unique too. With the exception of fast food franchises which aim for a consistent experience wherever you go, it’s important to differentiate your restaurant from the competition by choosing a theme and decor that set you apart from the rest of the pack.