Dining has become increasingly focussed on experience in recent years, with the latest trends seeing restaurants and eateries embracing entire themes across the menus, designs, and customer experiences within their establishment.
Of course, when it comes to marketing your business, encouraging diners to share their experiences, and inviting reviewers to come and create a write-up of your restaurant to help drive more diners through the doors, a major part of that experience and the way it is sold lies in the presentation of your restaurant.
That means what’s on the plate, and what surrounds the diner while they eat.
Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between cuisine and interior design, and how the two can come together to create the perfect end-to-end experience.
Let the menu inspire the design
It may feel like a chicken and egg scenario, but if you are set on the cuisine that you are going to serve then it makes sense to curate a menu and then allow that to influence the way you design and dress your restaurant space.
The first step of this is to consider the formality of your dishes. Very refined and elegant dishes require a refined and elegant setting, while playful and contemporary dishes may be better suited to a more abstract and lively design.
Find the concept which lies within your menu – be it family dining or couples romance – and use it to inform the kind of environment that you want to design for your guests.
Use lighting to your advantage
We don’t just mean the type of lighting here – although it is worth noting that fresh produce and local dishes are well suited to bright spaces filled with natural light, while cosy dining experiences and romantic dishes are complimented by candle lit areas and more intimate surroundings.
Using the lighting in your restaurant also means focussing on the intensity of light at different times of the day and in different areas; it means considering the impact of statement lamps and lights which hang from the ceiling or integrating candles or downlights onto each table; it means working out how the light moves throughout your space during the day and how it changes the atmosphere and ambience for lunch service and dinner service.
Focus on furniture
We’ve all seen Italian restaurants which boast checked tablecloths and wooden chairs, and we’ve all seen café bistros which try to recreate the feel of a Parisian street with ornate metal tables and fresh flowers. Well, while these may seem like overdone characterisations of authentic dining, what they do is demonstrate the power of the menu and cuisine in dictating the design and aesthetic presentation of the restaurant.
As well as considering the cuisine itself in selecting furniture, pay attention to the kind of diners that you are looking to attract – be they family groups, young families, couples, or business diners. This will help you to order the right furniture to meet every possible need from your customers.
Decoration and details
The best dining experience is one where everything feels well put together, like it all belongs together. And without the support of an interior design and build company, this is often more difficult than it sounds.
As part of the decorating and detailing section of an interior restaurant project, consider the impact that themed furniture will have and seek out ways of hinting at the cuisine and ideal experience without giving it away completely. A vegetarian menu could be supplemented by tons of indoor plants across the restaurant; a Caribbean restaurant might benefit from coconut shaped glasses and exotic music; a Japanese restaurant could blend perfectly within a space decorated with cherry blossom trees and intricate drawings.
A lot of the ideas listed in this blog are already out there in the world of restaurant interior design – so, if you’ve been looking for it, this is the sign you need to find something different and creative.
As the owner of your restaurant business, you are the best equipped person to create a brief for the interior design that will both compliment your menu and create the experience you want diners to have. From there, you can conduct and manage the interior design and installation for yourself or reach out to dedicated professionals like the Carroll Design team to bring it all to life for you.