Displaying items by tag: restaurant design

Friday, 15 May 2020 15:50

How to Safely Re-open Your Restaurant

As restauratns around the state begin plans for reopening, there are many concerns about how owners can keep staff and customers safe and happy.  We want to be here for you to offer some solutions and ideas that may help put you on top so that your customers can return knowing they will be taken care of.  After all, they want to support you and want to feel safe while doing so.*

While we have yet to find out the specifics on what will be required, it is safe to assume that the following criteria will come into play.

Social Distancing inside Restaurants

We have been hearing it for months: we must do our best to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet between individuals.  What does this mean for dinner parties, where we have more than 2 or 3 people to a table?  Let's explore some ideas using the basic principle of all good design: Space Planning.

When space planning a restaurant, there is already a certain amount of fluid space, or circulation space factored into the overall plan or table layout.  We need to plan for people pulling their chair out in order to sit down, while someone may be walking by for example.  But in this new world where we are looking to ensure we maintain six feet of seperation, we need to understand that this means we need MORE than six feet between seats from one table to the next.  Why more? Because we have to assume that each person uses about 2 feet of curculation space, simply to get in/out of their seat.  It would be safest to assume an additional 2 feet of space per table, so theoretically you would have 8-10 feet total from the back of one chair to the back of the chair in another dinner party. Is this even realistic? If not we are going to need to design creatively to ensure that we can protect each table in one way or another. This could be an opportunity for a design twist!

What are we going to do with all that extra space?

We've all been there.  Walking down a street looking for a cool new spot to dine.  For the most part we are drawn to the restaurant that is bustling full of noise over the space that is sitting only one dinner party.  They say the most expensive thing in a restaurant is an empty table.  If we are looking at decreasing the number of tables by at least 60 percent or blocking tables from being in contact in order accomplish safe practices, then we need to make sure we don't decrease the curb-appeal.  Perhaps there is a creative way we can make this new negative space look intentional so that the restaurant doesn't seem so empty?  Decorative screens, greenery, hanging panels, etc. these are all ways that we could enhance the quality of the space, add a little design flair, and make this space feel a bit more like it is part of the mood.  When thoughtfully designed, this could be an enhancement rather than looking like it was put up in desperation.

Restaurant Workflow with Social Distancing

All the restaurant owners I know have more than just their patrons to take into consideration.  They want to have their staff back, but also ensure that they can do their best to keep staff as safe as can be expected. I've worked in a restaurant before and I know there is a very delicate dance that takes place in the back of the house.  When that dinner rush comes, everyone is moving and grooving, and there isn't much space to work.  Now that we are reducing our number of tables it may be a bit easier to flow as your staff will be moving at a slightly slower pace, but we may need to take a look at how the back of the house is set up to see if there are some creative ways to plan the prep space, line, and expo so that people can maintain a safe distance.  The solution here will come down to a unique plan for each restaurant as no two spaces are the same.

Waitstaff Workflow with Social Distancing

Your servers are the face of your business and they will help your cusomers feel at ease.  We need to design logical workflow that makes them feel safe.  Perhaps we decide that your restaurant is now a "one way street" for service staff, to prevent waitstaff from running into one another.  Or perhaps with fewer tables on the floor, you will be able to operate with only a few servers and we can designate seperate stations for each of them.  There may be unique features about your restaurant that we can use to our advantage in desinging a new workflow for your staff.

Health & Cleanliness in Restaurants

As part of reopening we are going to need to ensure that there are extra measures taken to keep peoples hands clean.  We can work to design logical points for "sanitization stations," and while we are at it let's go ahead and make them look good.  There is nothing romantic or exotic about a jumbo bottle of hand sanitizer strapped to the wall.  We can design a nice looking display, or even a clever fixture to hide the labels from your guests, all while keeping with the theme of your restaurant.  

Ready for help?

Send us a note or give us a call we have a new service ready for our fabulous restaurant owners!  Our restaurant re-opening planning session is designed to get you a plan in 2 hours or less! You can implement on your own, or we can tell you how we can help implement for you.  

Megan Thompson

Principal | Associate IIDA

*As I write this, I understand that information is changing by the hour in some cases.  As of now there are not complete reccommended or required applications for addressing safety inside of a restaurant.  I also understand and respect that not everyone is in favor of reopening and going back out in public.  My aim here is to help those business that are able to and want to open so that they can optimize the safety of all patrons and staff.  Refer to your local health department and jurisdiction for complete guidelines.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your restaurant had customers lined up outside the door and around the block? That kind of popularity is every restaurant owner’s dream and it’s not an easy goal to achieve. Plenty of factors influence your customer reach, from the quality of your food to your customer service. It should come as no surprise to learn that the interior design of your restaurant plays a big role in your customer reach. How can you effectively leverage your restaurant interior design in Denver to attract more customers?

It’s all about cultivating an ideal customer experience within your restaurant. There are a handful of notable ways that your interior design can influence those customer experiences. Let’s break down the specifics of how your interior design can help you attract more customers.

Instagrammable Decor

The days of the newspaper food critic have officially come to a close. Thanks to the dominating influence of social media, everyone has become a foodie. We can now instantly share our experiences and recommendations with our close friends, family members, and others via social media. These digital platforms have forced restaurants to completely change their marketing tactics! All of those social media platforms have become effective tools that you can leverage to attract more customers.

Social media can help instill a sense of credibility for your restaurant and influence customer decisions on where to eat. These digital resources provide you with a terrific opportunity to further engage with your customers as well (e.g., promotional strategies, follower coupons, etc.). Whether it’s Facebook, Yelp, Google, or Instagram, social media has become a significant marketing tool for restaurants.

For all the positive opportunities that it can provide, social media is still a double-edged sword. Customers can post negative reviews and share subpar restaurant experiences which will negate any positive reviews. As a restaurant owner, you want to keep your negative social media exposure to a minimum and instead leverage these platforms to benefit your business. This is why you need to focus on your restaurant interior design in Denver.

Your restaurant needs to cultivate an impactful and positive customer experience through all of your interior design elements. Do not underestimate the power of your interior spaces! All of your atmospheric details influence the customer experience in significant ways. Everything from your light fixtures and seat designs to your table accessories and wall colors impacts the customer experience. We guarantee that poor lighting and jarring design pieces will discourage positive customer experiences.

If you want customers to post about your establishment on social media and drive further customers to your location, then you need to thoroughly think through all of your design choices. Maybe you need to add some eye-catching furnishings or Instagram-worthy decor pieces. Those adjustments and changes could turn out to be the perfect backdrops for terrific customer reviews and social media photos.

Influence Customer Psychology

The best restaurant customers are the ones that eat fast, tip well, and come back again soon. Every restaurant owner would love to have customers return for subsequent dining experiences on a consistent basis. To accomplish this goal, you need to foster customer experiences that are positive and enjoyable. As it turns out, your restaurant interior design in Denver has a large psychological influence on the typical customer experience.

Numerous studies have documented the mind-bending psychological effects of interior design materials. A plethora of design factors can affect the emotional state of your customers. Some examples include:

  • Lighting - The presence of natural daylight can actually boost one’s happiness significantly. Darker atmospheres with little light will increase a customer’s anxiety and make them feel more on-edge.
  • Colors - Vibrant shades, like yellow, orange, and green, encourage socialization and communication, and they also evoke strong feelings of hunger. Darker hues, like purple and deep blue, can evoke gloomy feelings and antisocial behaviors in your customers.
  • Size & Space - Your ceiling height and total restaurant area can subconsciously influence a customer’s mood. Is their table near other place settings? Is there a lot of foot traffic in their vicinity? Could a customer feel cramped at their table? These factors can greatly impact a typical customer visit.
  • Room Accessories - Did you know that a proximity to plants can actually improve your mood and reduce your stress? It’s true! Other decorative accessories (e.g., wall decor, tableware, branding, etc.) can foster other positive and negative emotions as well.

Let’s briefly assume that your restaurant is dimly lit and compressed in total square footage. In this scenario, we’d predict that your eatery would have a hard time retaining and/or attracting new customers. It is truly incredible how significantly an eating environment can psychologically impact people.

Does your restaurant lack natural daylight? If so, your establishment could benefit from floor-to-ceiling windows. Do you often hear the background music over the chatter of your guests? Then maybe it’s time to update the colors on your walls to encourage more conversations and socializing behaviors.

It’s your restaurant so you should make the most of your dining areas to entice more customer visits! It’s time to start leveraging your design elements to make your customers feel more comfortable, relaxed, and happy throughout their dining experiences.

Attract More Customers With Exceptional Restaurant Interior Design In Denver

At the end of the day, all that your restaurant needs to do is foster an exceptional customer experience. When a customer has a pleasant time at your local establishment, they’re more likely to return and bring others with them. Since so many factors feed into that typical dining experience, you can’t leave anything to chance! Don’t just rely on your delicious food to bring in new customers. You need the best restaurant interior design to attract and retain the customers that you want. Our incredible interior design team can help you achieve that goal.

At Spark Interiors, our interior designers strive to provide a white-glove level of service for our commercial interior design projects. By working through our iterative design process, we will upgrade your restaurant with the design of your dreams. We will leverage our expansive network of vendor connections to fill up your restaurant with the most exquisite furnishings and the most fitting decor choices. With our professional guidance and expert support, your customers will be lining up around the block just to get a peek inside.

Contact Spark Interiors today to get started on the upgrades for your restaurant interior design in Denver.

Understanding how to maximize a space and plan for its potential uses is key to successful commercial environments. Whether you are a new business owner hungry for your first space with tons of ideas flowing, or you are moving from one office to another in town and just need some help, hiring an interior designer can help you save time, money, and headaches.