Take a moment and think about your favorite restaurant. Perhaps it’s that whoosh of scent you get upon opening the front door, or maybe it’s the cozy atmosphere that draws you in. It may surprise you to know that how we choose our favorite restaurants goes beyond whether or not we like the food served there. Read on to discover tips for how to increase restaurant sales by changing your restaurant’s interior design.
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The Psychology of Décor
Did you know that most successful restaurant owners spend a great deal of time customising their décor, lighting, and seating to create a psychologically compelling place to eat? There are many ways to increase average spend per customer in restaurants. Setting up a restaurant with high-quality chairs, tables, and other furniture is a great first step to success, but in order to create a lasting impression in your customers’ minds, owners should have a good understanding of how their décor impacts their customers' behaviour.
What Does Restaurant Décor Have To Do With Customers’ Spending?
Perhaps you strive to create a restaurant interior that looks great on social media, but how does it function in reality? Are servers struggling to squeeze between tables, or are there long lines snaking their way through the restaurant during rush hour?
A carefully planned room can increase restaurant sales and lead to a more comfortable experience for your patrons. Adding more dining options, like an outdoor patio, can increase profits by 65%! Read on for more ideas to increase restaurant sales.
Architecture and Visual Design
The first step to creating a great restaurant interior — and ideally prompting your customers to stay longer, spend more, and spread the word about your establishment — is designing a great space. The way your interior looks goes a long way to tell people who you are.
Another visual design element to consider is whether you show your menus at the front: Customers may be overwhelmed by many choices and are more likely to buy when they see fewer options, as in this experiment with jam. Consider placing a menu at the front of the restaurant and organising the items — and not too many — by popularity.
Does the lighting match the décor? For example, if you are creating an elegant, upscale dining room, you likely won’t want to blast each customer’s table with high-wattage light (too dark is not ideal, either), and you may want to keep the décor and music on the quieter, more elegant side. Similarly, if you are designing a fun, colorful frozen yogurt café, you should create a look that matches your brand.
The general ambiance, including the overall feel of the place as well as how the lighting and sound interact to create your restaurant’s personalised vibe, factors into your customer’s first impression as well as their lasting experience with your space. Lighting should not be too bright or too dark, and music should similarly not be too loud or too quiet.
Sounds and Music
Can you use sounds as a way to increase restaurant sales? Many people are put off by silence: Can you imagine being on an awkward first date in a café that played no music? Many others are turned off by background noise that, simply put, won’t stay in the background where it belongs. If customers are not able to hear each other over your curated playlist, they may leave too soon even if they enjoy the food. Customers who have great conversations in restaurants usually stay longer — and pay you more.
Color and Decoration
The science of color and how people use it to impact psychology could fill books. What you need to know, as a restaurant owner, is that color is a powerful tool that you can harness to influence your customer’s perceptions of your space and your brand as a whole. Color can function as a marketing strategy. It can additionally make your customers feel comfortable, or it can make them want to leave as fast as they can. According to several studies, including one performed by the University of Loyola in Maryland, choosing a color marketing strategy and including it in your furniture cushions, walls, and umbrellas can increase the chance that customers will recognise your brand by 80%.
White walls aren’t appealing, whether they’re on-screen on a TV show or surrounding the table where you’re sitting. Yellow may make customers think of sunshine, which makes it great for breakfast or brunch settings. Red and other warm colors can make your customers feel invited, while black and darker shades convey a feeling of sophistication. Blue, on the other hand, may actually repel your customers: Biologically, it is not what we consider to be a color for food. Use it with caution.
When considering what your customers will see, taste, and smell upon entering your restaurant, don’t forget to take into account how they may feel! Their comfort, both mentally and physically, is of paramount importance when they determine how long they will stay.
The psychology of scent has been researched a great deal. In a study by Nike, adding scent to their showroom increased their customers’ desire to purchase their shoes by 84%. Though you will still need great food, a nice ambiance, and comfortable seating, scent greatly influences your customer’s decisions. For example, you may choose one of the following to greet your customers upon entering and read through the following to use scent as a method of how to increase spend per head in a restaurant:
- Vanilla or the smell of baked goods is inviting
- Lavender is calming
- Citrus is peppy and invigorating
Work With Us
At Restaurant Furniture Plus, we specialise in sourcing high-quality restaurant furniture from multiple manufacturers. Because we pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to create the perfect look for restaurants, cafes, bars, and even outdoor patios and seating areas, we have a great deal of experience and knowledge that we would love to share with you to help you make your dream establishment a reality. If you're looking for how to increase restaurant delivery sales as well as how to increase average spend per customer in restaurant settings, get in touch with us today to take the first step!