When you hear the words ‘fine dining’, what springs to mind?
For many people, the concept of fine dining is centred on the standard of the food and the way that the restaurant brings a chef’s vision to life. However, for the food to take centre stage and remain the hero feature throughout the entire meal, it’s important to get the setting right. And that’s where restaurant design comes in.
Interior design in the restaurant sector means marrying the menu with the service provided, the environment created, and the overall experience of every guest. For a fine dining service, it means minimising interruption for diners, creating an enjoyable environment with a balanced ambience and details such as sound, lighting, and temperature all considered and perfected. More than that, it looks at how the food you’re serving should be presented and aligned with the setting in terms of theme, presentation, and more.
With that said, what are the most important design considerations and strategies to focus on when creating a luxurious fine dining experience?
The main considerations for luxurious restaurant design
Guests who arrive at a fine dining restaurant or eatery expect the experience to start long before their first course is served, with factors including layout and navigation, the entryway, and interior schemes and colour palettes all playing their part.
Layout and navigation both fall under the same umbrella, and not only impact the way guests can move through the restaurant but also how seamless the service they receive is. Being able to see the kitchen or the bar is not necessarily a feature of fine dining, meaning that many of the service and workspaces of your restaurant need to be concealed or located behind closed doors. This is because, when it comes to luxurious experiences, guests and diners do not need or want to be as much a part of the action as they are in other restaurant settings. Much of the appeal of a fine dining experience is quality time spent with other guests, without the smells and sounds from a working kitchen – which is why fine dining restaurants often have separate dining rooms and private dining spaces for different parties to enjoy.
Colour psychology is one of the major players in interior design across all business settings and guest areas – however, when it comes to luxury fine dining, it’s not so much about what colours you use as how you use them.
A well known principle of high end and luxury design in the modern dining and hospitality sector is that ‘less is more’, and that modern colour schemes generally centre around the purity and simplicity of white. Not only does it denote perfection, but it is relaxing and allows you to inject pops of colour from your branding or restaurant theme in subtle yet definitive ways.
If white is your overarching colour scheme, lighting is what ensures that the setting remains warm, welcoming, and relaxing – rather than clinical and cold. A blend of individual candles on each table help to establish that sense of intimacy and luxury, while overhead and wall lights can all contribute towards the functional navigation of the restaurant floor.
The furniture in your restaurant can make or break the diner experience, with both aesthetics and comfort of equal importance when bringing to life your ideal guest experience. The materials you use across your restaurant should denote opulence, elegance, and subtle luxury -– with marble and glass excellent examples of materials which support a luxurious experience without trying too hard.
Remember, when building a high end setting, less is often more – both in terms of colour and design features.
How to capture the fine dining experience in your interior design
When creating a design strategy for your high end or fine dining restaurant, it’s important to remember that every element of the space impacts the guest experience in some way. In order to build and retain a reputation as an enjoyable and luxurious restaurant, you need to make sure that every element of your design has a positive impact on the guest experience.
So, what exactly does that look like? To help, we’ve created a short checklist below of just a handful of starting factors to consider, when first designing and bringing to life your luxury restaurant.
- How does the layout of your restaurant frame the guest experience? Is it a seamless journey from entrance to table to bathroom, without meeting or stumbling across any service areas?
- What emotions and feelings does the design of your space inspire?
- Do the furnishings throughout your restaurant tick the boxes for elegance and comfort?
- Is the lighting in your restaurant functional but also intimate and warm?
For more information and hands-on project support, the Carroll Design team are here to help. Reach out now to discuss your upcoming project.