The quality of your dining experience is like a three-legged stool. The three key elements that affect your impression of a restaurant are; taste of food, the ambiance of the interior design, and the quality of the service. As interior designers, we don’t have a say in the menu selections or how the food is prepared but, our decisions have a significant impact on both the ambiance and the service.
How an interior designer affects the ambiance is probably obvious however, we consider the light levels, textures, and the color of the space. The comfort of the seats is all aspects that affect how you experience the restaurant. Although the music is selected by the staff, the acoustical design of the space affects the diner’s experience significantly. Bad acoustics can impair what a diner can hear the people with them as well as the music and what the server has to say.
Did you know that the interior designer’s decisions affect the level of service offered by the restaurant staff? Upon arrival, the placement of the hostess sets a diner’s first impression of the service of the restaurant. Efficiently designed kitchens have the ability to turn out food quicker, resulting in happy customers. Strategically placed server stations allow the staff to touch down, inputting orders, and grabbing necessary condiments among satisfying other requests.
Most restaurateurs have a pretty clear expectation about what works regarding the layout of their restaurant. However, we love hearing their priorities in how they envision their client’s experiences. We design with that end result in mind and make our selections accordingly. In good design, “form follows function” as originally coined by the late Louis H. Sullivan. We couldn’t agree more.