A restaurant is not simply a place where people pay for food and drink. A restaurant is not simply a place where diners go because they are hungry or thirsty. That’s a misconception. A restaurant is a place where customers go to have an experience, to create memories. It’s a place where their sensations are satisfied – and though quenching hunger and thirst is one important aspect, having great background music and beautiful surroundings, or enjoying high-end service and comfortable seating, is equally important.

The importance of the atmosphere of the restaurant should never be underestimated. Decoration plays a vital role in this. Here are the top restaurant decorating dos and don’ts.

Don’t be cheap

Customers see and understand what is real and what is fake, and distinguish between items made of low- and high-quality materials. Don’t try to fool them; you can’t – certainly not in the long term. Don’t be cheap with your décor. Invest in quality restaurant furniture, such as wood table tops which are still easy to clean and maintain.

Don’t neglect lighting

There are restaurants that want to make it bright and happy, and they end up looking industrial. There are also restaurants that want to make it intimate and cozy, but the place looks like a funeral parlor. Understand what you’re going for, and consult a professional (if necessary) to ensure that the lighting is just as you want it, and in line with your theme.

Don’t be loose with carpeting

It’s a floor. There’s no need for a specific pattern unless your designer recommends it. Don’t forget that dishes get spilled and that there will be cleaning required. Make it low-key, quiet, and muted, and durable and easy to maintain.

Do have divisions

It’s often worth it. You may have to sacrifice a small percentage of possible seats, but dividers do give people more privacy and that is usually greatly appreciated.

Do have subliminal music

You’ll need some music, but the keyword here is ‘subliminal’ – something soothing playing in the background that doesn’t interfere with conversation.

Do match your décor

It’s all about setting a theme, and your décor should not only match the menu and the kind of food you present, but it should also have a unifying and common premise.

One last thing to consider: make sure the temperature is right. Have air conditioning or heating set to a comfortable level for dining. In the kitchen it’s going to be hot, and your staff will be on the move, so make sure they’re not too hot! Your restaurant needs to feel comfortable for everyone. Make your consumers feel at home. Please all their senses. The secret to success lies in the experience you create for them.

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