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Restaurant Design Ideas to Wow Your Customers in 2023

Conal Yarwood-Frost
7 Jan 2023

As consumer tastes have changed and social media has become a larger part of all of our lives, restaurant interior design is more important than ever. Creating a certain ambiance has always been a part of restaurant management but consumers now expect a curated experience right down to the smallest details.

A restaurant's interior design should convey a unique emotion and vibe to its customers while also serving the needs of the business. This is no easy task in the hospitality industry. Balancing the front of house and back of house is difficult enough without also having to think about how your lighting aligns with your seating.

Running a restaurant requires you to make a thousand little decisions every single day. These decisions can have a big impact on your restaurant and your customers. To ensure you're providing the best dining experience possible while managing your whole business,you need to make design choices as part of your daily routine.

In this blog, we'll be exploring the topic of restaurant design in detail. This will include the basics of interior design and how you can incorporate different styles into your restaurant. We will also give you a list of restaurant design ideas that will help you entice new customers and connect with your target market.

What is restaurant interior design? 

Restaurant interior design describes the design styles and feel of the inside of your restaurant. Interior design is an integral part of your branding as it describes who you are as a business and what experience you want to give your customers. When your customers walk through the door, they should immediately understand your mission.

You build your design concepts the same way you build your menu. Start with your initial concept and work outwards. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What mood are we trying to convey? 
  • How will our concept serve the restaurant and the customers? 
  • What resources do we have available? 
  • How can we achieve the style we want with what we have?

Your answers will help define your restaurant design.

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The seven elements of interior design

Interior design is often at the forefront of the mind of a modern restaurant owner. These restaurateurs use the seven elements of interior design to ensure that their ideas work best with their restaurant.

Space

The physical space your restaurant occupies has a huge impact on your interior design. For example, if your restaurant sits snug in a hole in the wall, you won't be able to create a spacious dining hall. 

The size and shape of your space informs what you'll be able to design. In some cases, you may be able to knock through a wall or extend the space, but generally you'll have to work with what you have.

When you create your concept, you need to work with the space to maximize the number of customers while still keeping them comfortable. Your interior architecture will also play a part in this, especially if your space features obstructions like support poles or awkward angles.

Form

At first glance, form may seem like a similar concept to space but this isn't the case. Form refers to the use of objects within your space. This means things like your tables, chairs, and restaurant POS system terminal. You should consider the amount of space these items take up, the material it's made out of, and how it looks in the restaurant.

Every item in your restaurant should have a purpose and work in tandem with your theme. This purpose doesn't have to be practical. For instance, you may choose to use sheer curtains because they work with your theme, rather than block out the outside like curtains are "supposed" to do.

Line 

Every room features natural lines that draw the eye. Clean lines can make a room feel smaller or larger depending on the direction they flow. Vertical lines (doorways, windows, frames, etc.) make a room seem larger, while horizontal lines (tables, counters, etc.) draw attention to a focal point.

You should consider what mood you're trying to achieve when you lay out your line. A more intimate setting benefits from more horizontal lines. In a grand dining room, you should try to emphasize your vertical lines as much as possible.

Light

Proper lighting is essential to creating ambiance in a restaurant space and is deeply intertwined with your other design elements. Your first thought should be how you can use natural light within your restaurant. The level of natural light will help you choose your colors, your seating arrangements, and the amount of artificial lighting you bring into the restaurant.

With artificial lighting, you can control how the light fixtures look, how much light you get, and where it's directed. Artificial lighting can be used to "paint" with a certain mood. Your lighting should convey your desired theme while also being practical enough that your diners can see their plates in front of them.

Color

The colors you use in your restaurant can make or break your entire concept. Colors are highly tied to human emotion and choosing the wrong ones can leave your guests in a sour mood. Most restaurants use a signature color so that their customers associate it with them while they're out and about in the world.

Neutral tones are used in modern minimalism to give diners a sense of simplicity and ease. Many modern restaurants and cafes will focus on neutral colors in an effort to put their regulars at ease. As a general rule, you should use your lightest colors on the ceiling, mid-tones on the walls, and save your darkest colors for the floor.

Color can also be used to cover up imperfections. Painting over awkward angles blends them into the walls. Radiators or other unsightly architectural features disappear when fully painted.

Pattern

Patterns will often be encouraged by your interior designer as they add points of visual interest to the room. Items that are patterned in the same way or at least similarly form visual cohesion. With the right pattern, you can pull your entire interior together in a way that will delight your diners.

If you do decide to use patterns, you must ensure that they work within your overall restaurant interior design concept. A pattern that works on a cushion may not work on the floor. Two patterns that complement each other in the store can completely clash in your restaurant.

Texture

Texture is an often overlooked part of restaurant interior design. Texture refers to the finish of items in your restaurant including the tables, cutlery, and surfaces. When considering texture, you need to provide something that is both visually interesting and practical. Think about how your guests will interact with your restaurant and how you can use texture to keep them comfortable.

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Restaurant design ideas

Restaurant design is difficult to get right. It takes a lot of work to create ambiance while also providing your guests with a pleasurable dining experience. To help you make your establishment the best it can be, we've compiled a list of restaurant design tips and ideas that you can apply to your own concept. These include restaurant decor ideas that will brighten up any establishment.

Typography

Restaurant interior trends have come and gone over the years but typography has remained a firm favourite with owners and guests alike. This striking (and practical) detail allows you to show off your restaurant's brand while also conveying information. Some restaurants write their entire menu on the wall, while others use statement pieces to pass on useful information.

Neon signs and graffiti-style typography are particularly popular with restaurants looking to add an edgy touch to their layout. These typography features can also work as free advertising as your guests will more than likely post pictures of them on their social media accounts.

Walls murals and local art

As part of your restaurant location strategy, you should evaluate the local art scene at your location. If you have the space or a big gallery wall, a mural can be a fun and modern way to support local artists and build your reputation in the community.

When done correctly, big art pieces will delight your guests and give your local art community a worthwhile project. Trendy restaurants will often have a statement wall that will incorporate their brand and show their sensibilities.

Get green

If your restaurant has a big bright area, you may benefit from taking inspiration from the natural materials. Indoor plants are a huge trend right now among younger guests, and incorporating them into your restaurant interior could be a big draw if this is your target customer. If you run a sustainable, modern restaurant, you could even operate a small vegetable garden.

Keep things functional

No matter how interesting your restaurant interior is, it still needs to be operational. If you over-design your space, it can quickly become cluttered and uncomfortable. Your guests need to be able to eat their meal comfortably and your staff need to be able to move around the restaurant easily.

If you're unsure of how to strike the balance between function and form, you might consider hiring a restaurant designer. These professionals will help you utilize your space and provide interesting decor ideas so that you can get the most out of your restaurant design .

Choose the best POS for your business

Now that you have your restaurant design out of the way, it's time to optimize other parts of your business. A top of the line POS system like the Epos Now Complete Solution will change the way you do business for the better.

Epos Now offers both retail POS and hospitality POS so you'll always be able to find a system that works for you. Epos Now customers can take advantage of a range of helpful features including payment processing services, inventory management, and a suite of leading integrations.

If you'd like to know more about Epos Now, get in touch with our expert team below. 

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