Modern living is anchored on convenience. Between online shopping and working from home, more consumers are having stuff brought to them instead of going out to get it. While this has its merit, it poses a threat to the restaurant business. Will it survive the take-out revolution?
The difference between eating at home and dining at a restaurant boils down to ambiance and service. The ambiance, in particular, gives dinners a sense of occasion. It gives them a reason to dress up and match the elegance of the venue, which is a break from the norm. This is, therefore, something you could improve on to encourage dine-in customers. Here are some ways you could raise the ambiance bar in your restaurant.
5 Tips on Improving the Ambiance in Your Restaurant
Lighting has a physical and emotional effect on people. White and blue light, for instance, stimulate the brain and are emotionally perceived as being cold and not so welcoming. Yellow light, on the other hand, is perceived as warm and reminiscent of homely settings. It is also generally more flattering in the way it displays things and even people. Given a choice between the two, warm lighting would be a better pick for ambient lighting.
Incandescent bulbs are the most common choice for warm lighting. However, they consume lots of power, and you would require too many of them to light up an entire dining area. Consider installing LED strip lighting instead. A bulk roll could easily light up the entire space, and it is very energy-efficient. Moreover, it is easy to install and can be mounted on the ceiling, walls, and even in alcoves. For optimal brightness and a soft glow, a high lumen LED strip would be ideal.
Switch Things Up
Reorganizing the flow of a room is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to breathe new life into it. It brings about a feeling of newness and, when done right, could even help you use the space more efficiently.
You may have an easier time implementing this if you hire a designer to make you some sketches you could choose from. Nevertheless, if that is outside your budget, you could try out ideas such as:
● Repositioning any seating that obstructs windows to allow more natural light in.
● Removing a table setting or two; may reduce your capacity, but it will give you much more room to arrange the restaurant better.
● Create a focal point in the room to give it better flow and add a touch of grandeur. A piano or a water feature could be effective for this.
It is a common misconception that ambiance is solely based on the decor. The true decor is a huge part of it, but the general sense of a room is influenced by how human senses react to it. This means sight, sounds, scents, and tastes all play a role in how your customers feel in your restaurant. To use a more hip term, all these factors affect the vibe of the place.
With that in mind, please take a moment to evaluate the music that plays in the background as diners enjoy their meals. It is not possible to cater to everyone’s tastes, but perhaps you could begin by gauging the age demographic of your clients. This would give you an idea of what music they might enjoy.
Instrumentals, classical music, and jazz are neutral sounds that blend in well in a restaurant. They allow for conversation to flow freely when played just loud enough. The tempo can be upbeat or slow depending on the time of day and the kind of mood you hope to set.
Take a moment and picture a wicker seat. Now, take another and picture a high-back chair draped in elegant fabric. Notice the difference? Considering the two, it is not just the fabric and design that changed as you visualized them but also the comfort level you attributed to each of them. The odds are that you would prefer the comfort of the high-back chair at dinner, given a choice.
Besides comfort, the good fabric is equally an excellent way to add color and finesse to a room. This is why table linens are a mainstay in fine dining. Consider getting fresh napkins, tablecloths and where possible, invest in well-upholstered dining chairs or even a cheap table runner with quality design and materials. Try and play around with fresh colors as well to liven up the room. You could use a color wheel to ensure you blend them right.
Nothing beats walking into your favorite restaurant and catching a whiff of rich aromas in the air. However, there is a thin line between that and leaving a lunch meeting with your suit smelling of fried chicken. Overwhelming aromas can also make dining-in unbearable for expectant moms and other sensitive customers.
Good ventilation is essential in maintaining proper air quality in your restaurant. More so in the kitchen, where smells are more concentrated and spilling into the dining area. Suction vents could go a long way in keeping the air breathable. Remember also to change the filters in your air conditioning frequently.
Running a restaurant can be all-consuming. There is barely any time to stop and take in the room. Understandably, ambiance may not have been a top priority. However, for the sake of your customers and your bottom line, there is no time like the present to make some adjustments.