It’s undeniable that good food is good food no matter the location. You can be ordering takeout from that Vietnamese restaurant down the block or enjoying a meal at the top of the Burj Khalifa, but it’s the connection between a room’s atmosphere and what’s on your plate that provides you with an elevated — and memorable — dining experience.
One aspect of dining out that is becoming increasingly essential to the experience is a restaurant’s interior design. So, what kind of work goes into a quality establishment’s design? Initially, one may assume it’s all paint colours and pretty artwork, but really, there’s much more to it. The entire aesthetic vision is considered. We talk a lot about things that we have no real input on, things like food presentation, menu design, music, service styles, etc… to ensure that everything that the guest experiences is consistent. Everything a customer experiences should hold the same message. When something is off, people can feel it. You may not be able to pick it out, but you can sense it.
Our skill set extends well beyond colour consultations. We are involved with the health and safety of restaurant design, the functional layout for production and dining and how the atmosphere is then communicated to the customers. We pull together the little details that are often forgotten, but are most often what finish the room.
It’s about understanding the psychology of the experience you are trying to create…. It’s why you are seeing big chains like Earls, McDonald’s and Starbucks reinventing their interior design.
So, does interior design really have to coincide with a menu? Well, it wouldn’t make much sense walking into Una (Italian Restaurant), only to find out that all they serve is shawarma, would it? No. You, as a diner, would feel a bit out of place. The room always has to complement the food and vice versa.
Next time you’re out for dinner at one of your favourite restaurants, take a look around — from the floors, to the walls, to the ceilings, to your fork — and ask yourself: “What do I love about this place?”
When it rains, look for rainbows