Interior design sets the stage for a customer’s dining experience. While good food and great customer service are crucial for return business, the ambiance of a restaurant is also very important.
While fast-food joints – with their almost-cosy, utilitarian seating and fast background music – are geared towards equally fast eating; fine-dining restaurants are adorned with luxurious materials to helps customers settle in and keep ordering off the menu.
The Jane in Antwerp, Belgium | Designed by Piet Boon
The Independent picked his brains to find out more about how interior designers piece together a restaurant’s interiors and asked Tom Strother, co-founder and creative director of interior design firm Fabled Studio, that has helped top restaurants, some questions about the restaurants’ interior design.
Juvia in Miami, Florida | Designed by Alejandro Barrios-Carrero
According to Tom Strother, there are two crucial initial things for him that go hand in hand when first considering the restaurant design: the first of these is the concept and story behind the design and the second, the most important, are the operations of the restaurant. Making sure the operational layout works seamlessly and as effortlessly as possible for the operators of the restaurant is essential in making the restaurant a success and ensuring diners have an excellent experience. If a restaurant doesn’t work properly from a functionality point of view – it doesn’t matter how beautiful it is, it will never be a success.
Le Pain Frances in Gothenburg, Sweden | Designed by Stylt
From a psychological point of view, one of the key aspects of a restaurant’s design is the lighting. It has to be soft and flattering to make guests feel comfortable so that people are confident and relaxed and enjoy their stay in the restaurant.
The comfort level of luxury furniture is also often used to encourage different dwell times in restaurants. With more formal dining they design modern furniture to support and hold the guests comfortably for long dining experiences.
Colour certainly plays a large part in how people feel and behave in any space and it, paired with the lighting set the mood almost entirely in a restaurant and so should be fitting for the desired ambiance and the cuisine.
The biggest challenge for interior designers is to make sure every table is a good table – whether booked months in advance for a special occasion or a last minute walk-in at a regular favourite restaurant – people should never feel hard done by. It’s interesting to see which tables people prefer in restaurants. He thinks in a great restaurant, he wants to keep going back for a different experience in different parts of the restaurant.
It’s the small details that make a restaurant great and whilst they’re details that guests may not necessarily notice at first, they reveal themselves once you start to look in more detail and absorb your surroundings. It’s this approach that makes both the interior design and the process exciting for interior designers and hopefully for the diners in restaurant designs too!
What do you think about the importance of interior design?