For many restaurants, 2023 is going to be a tough year. Virtually every running cost has risen steeply, including labor. At a time when inflation means that customers are spending less. A survey carried out by Morning Consult in the first half of 2022, showed that 80% of Americans were eating out less often, and not going to bars as much.
There is little doubt that restaurants are going to find it hard to make ends meet. To stand any chance of staying in business they need to do everything they can to attract customers.
Securing good reviews matters for restaurants
Restaurants and bars have to focus on delighting every diner and encouraging them to leave positive reviews and ratings. Studies show that this makes a big difference to footfall, particularly at peak times. For example, Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder who are both professors at the University of California found that footfall rose by 19% for every half-star that a restaurant increased their rating by.
The link between good reviews and aesthetics
Most restaurateurs see securing positive reviews as important, so make doing so a target. They are very diligent about providing good quality food at a good price and ensuring their servers are attentive. Of course, this helps, but an awful lot of restaurant owners fail to realize that the aesthetics of their establishment is just as important.
Studies show that the ambiance is just as important as the food and the way servers behave. The more upmarket the restaurant is, the more important it becomes.
The fact that eating out is something special, a treat is partly behind this. As is the fact that people are increasingly seeking out experiences that lift them out of normal day-to-day life for a while.
In the Instagram age looks matter
When people dine out, particularly in the more luxurious restaurants, they expect to be wowed by their surroundings. They want perfection, something that looks fantastic in the social media photos that they post.
Getting the aesthetics right is complicated, there is a lot involved in doing so. That is what the rest of this article is all about.
The role of location and architect
Surprisingly, where a restaurant is located is a part of the picture. It has to be easy to get to and in an area that is considered to be safe.
Locating a restaurant in a trendy area considerably improves the way it is perceived. As does choosing a spot that has fantastic views. Especially the type of view most people cannot easily experience in their day-to-day lives. That is one reason rooftop or beachfront bars, and restaurants are so popular.
The architecture of the area contributes too. Creating a restaurant in a building that has a classy façade, a beautiful lobby or some sort of other stand-out feature also adds significantly to how special dining there feels.
Next on the list is the décor. The way a space is decorated has a massive impact on the feeling people get when they walk through the door and enjoy their meal.
The list of elements that go into this could fill the pages of a book. So, for this article, we will focus on the most important ones. They are:
- Lighting – people need to be able to see what they are eating, but as a general rule of thumb, softer lighting is best. But not so soft that people cannot see other diners and take snaps for Instagram.
- Style of décor – choosing a theme or a decorative style will help to ensure that the elements used do not clash, creating a more harmonious and pleasant feel.
- Artwork and Signage – for practical reasons, most restaurants now use digital signage customers prefer digital menus and they are good for displaying promotions. But it is vital that what is displayed on these screens fits in with the overall look and feel of the establishment. The same is true of any artwork that is used.
If you wish to find out more about the various elements of restaurant décor and how it affects the diner´s experience, you can do so here.
Adding in a touch of theatre
Diners like to be entertained and enjoy a touch of theatre. How this is done depends on the restaurant. In some cases, it could mean that staff uniforms and the dishes served to fit in with the theme of the restaurants. In others, it could mean using digital screens to provide diners with the chance to watch a sporting event or enjoy music videos while dining.
If you would like to find out more about the role of aesthetics in restaurant customer satisfaction, click here. When you do, you will be taken to an academic paper that has pulled together the various studies on the subject and summarised the main points from each one.
The ambiance of a restaurant is an essential factor that plays a crucial role in attracting customers. The aesthetics of a restaurant go beyond the food and service and create an unforgettable dining experience for customers. The ambiance creates a welcoming and inviting environment that encourages customers to visit the restaurant repeatedly.
The restaurant's aesthetics encompass a wide range of aspects, such as lighting, music, color scheme, furniture, and decor. These elements work together to create a specific atmosphere that reflects the restaurant's theme and cuisine. A well-designed restaurant interior and exterior can increase footfall and encourage customers to share their experience with others, ultimately leading to increased revenue.
The lighting plays a significant role in setting the mood of the restaurant. Dimmer lighting creates a romantic and intimate atmosphere, while brighter lighting makes the restaurant look more spacious and lively. The right lighting can also highlight the food, creating a more appealing presentation.
The music can also affect the ambiance of the restaurant. Soft background music can create a relaxing environment, while upbeat music can make the restaurant feel more energetic and lively.
The color scheme of the restaurant can create a specific mood. Bright colors create a vibrant and lively atmosphere, while darker colors create a more intimate and cozy environment.
The furniture and decor add the finishing touches to the restaurant's aesthetics. Comfortable seating and tasteful decor can create an inviting environment, making customers feel at home.
In conclusion, a restaurant's aesthetics play a crucial role in increasing footfall. A well-designed restaurant