7 Ideas To Create the Ideal Restaurant Aesthetic for Your Space

A restaurant has many ways it can shape its aesthetic. Once you know roughly what your goal is for the restaurant’s look, you can achieve that goal through art, greenery and more.

The primary goal of each space should still be functionality. The places people will be walking, talking and eating need to be well lit and staff should be able to flow from table to table as needed. It always helps to think of the overall goal of the individual space and then foster an aesthetic that supports that goal.

Ideas for Creating the Ideal Restaurant Aesthetic

The following are a few ideas to improve a restaurant’s aesthetic:

1. Display Some Art

One of the more obvious ways to reinforce a restaurant’s aesthetic is to display some art. Art can have a major, immediate impact on a space. Consider how differently a work of flashy pop art might alter a space compared to a work of impressionism. 

Even if you’re not familiar with the specifics of art, you should be able to identify art that generally looks good and fits the aesthetic you’re aiming for. Don’t limit yourself to just prints and paintings. A good sculpture can help tie a space together and may allow a restaurant to stand out from its competition. Sculptures are much rarer in restaurants than wall art and not all sculptures are prohibitively expensive.

2. Add Greenery

Plants can be a great way to liven up a space, especially if the restaurant has outdoor or enclosed patio seating. The best plants to reinforce an aesthetic will depend on overall goals and location, but everything from flowers to succulents can help make a space feel vibrant. 

People tend to associate living plants with a feeling of freshness and cleanliness. Just make sure to care for the plants properly to keep them looking good and make sure any dirt stays in its proper place.

3. Consider Adopting a Theme

Restaurants generally benefit from theming, which isn’t to say they need to adopt a “loud” theme like those associated with the term “themed restaurant.” For example, even fine dining restaurants may adopt a light Italian or Roman theme to their decor. Meanwhile, some restaurants choose to go big, such as theming their establishment around vintage cars or outer spaces.

If you’re unsure where to begin, it can help to look at the competition. What type of theming do they tend to adopt? One doesn’t necessarily need to copy this theming, but it can help inform what is or isn’t likely to help. Oftentimes the core of the restaurant already leans into a theme based on the type of food served and overall dining tier (casual or fine dining).

4. Provide Entertainment

Many restaurants can benefit from providing entertainment to customers so their attention can be occupied by something interesting while their food is being prepared. Some restaurants might provide live music shows. Others might put simple board games on the tables. Many position TVs so customers can watch sports or other programs.

If none of these options fit the overall feel of your restaurant, consider how light background music can suit your restaurant’s overall aesthetic. In a fine dining establishment, you might play gentle classical music in the background.

5. Light Up the Space

A restaurant should be relatively well lit, but the lights shouldn’t be so bright that it feels glaring. Warm lights that can be dimmed as necessary are often ideal.

Keep the light’s focus in mind. Placing a bulb aimed too close to where someone might sit can be a nuisance, even if the light generated is fairly mild.

Notably, fluorescent lights are usually a bad way to light a space. Many people find the generally harsh white light annoying and it is rarely flattering to a space. Fluorescent lights are also somewhat notorious for making a low humming sound that can be grating and make a space feel dreary. Look into other lighting options instead.

6. Consider the Little Details

Developing an ideal aesthetic for a restaurant isn’t only about the big changes that radically alter the space. Little touches, like the napkins a restaurant provides, also influence how customers perceive a restaurant’s look and feel.

An example of a small change that can help the aesthetic relates to branding. Consider how adding the restaurant’s logo to certain items may be a nice flair that aids marketing as well. You can also assess how the font style, size and color used in the logo and other materials influence the overall aesthetic.

Small details like a restaurant’s menus and the napkin rings are unlikely to have a huge impact on their own, but they can still help or hinder the overall goal. Don’t overlook these smaller aspects when considering the bigger picture.

7. Keep Functionality in Mind

The ideal restaurant aesthetic doesn’t just look pleasing to the eye; it’s also functional. Consider how the design and layout of the restaurant may affect both customers and staff. Customers should be able to feel comfortable where they’re sitting. Staff should be able to easily flow from table to table while holding large trays of food. 

One of the biggest ways restaurants will affect both groups is through table placement. Tables take up significant space. Make sure they aren’t placed in such a way that navigating the restaurant feels cramped or awkward.

How Linens Influence the Big Picture

A restaurant’s aesthetic greatly shapes its brand and customer experience. Whether it’s a fine dining establishment, a quaint diner or a family-themed restaurant, the aesthetic a restaurant develops will either reinforce or detract from that intended identity. Once you establish the experiential goals, you can then work to reinforce them throughout various aspects of the space, including both large and small details.

Want a unified feel for your restaurant business? Alsco can help. Learn about the restaurant rental services we offer and see if we might help you achieve the aesthetic you’re aiming for. Through our linen rental services, we can ensure your napkins, tablecloths, towels and other linens support the overall goals of your business. Call us today to get started.

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