Redecorate Your Restaurant

Redecorate Your RestaurantSo far this week, we’ve touched on cleanliness (Restaurant Cleanliness is Critical to Success) and clutter (Get Rid of Clutter in Your Restaurant), but what if the problem goes beyond a thorough cleaning and de-cluttering? What if it’s time to redecorate your restaurant? What if you’re not sure?

For starters, negative comments on review sites should be a red flag. It’s easy to pass off one negative comment about your décor, dismissing it as a mismatch in decorating tastes. If a second one pops up, it’s time to pay attention.

Restaurant Decorating Mistakes

If you’re not sure a facelift is needed or if you’ve decided to undertake a re-do of your restaurant, watch out for these mistakes listed in FoodEditorials.comSeven Mistakes in Designing and Decorating a Restaurant”:

  1. Furnishings: Make certain they don’t look cheap or tacky. The single-pole, square table isn’t terribly inviting, unless it’s in a deli or small café. Your furnishings are the basis for the ambiance of your restaurant or pub. Provide a variety of seating options, including the bar, tables, and booths. Test each for its comfort level. If you aren’t comfortable sitting there for more than a few minutes, neither will your guests be.
  2. Lighting: Your control of natural light may be a bit limited, but make certain you make the most of it, especially if windows look out onto a beautiful view. On the other hand, you have full control of lighting fixtures and have to strike a balance between bright-enough-to-read-by and not-so-harsh-as-to-be-distracting. Also, ensure your light fixtures are clean and free of dust and cobwebs. That’s often overlooked.
  3. Carpeting: When choosing carpet, stick with neutral colors and design. It’s a big investment and decorating tastes change. Don’t be stuck with out-of-date colors and designs covering your entire floor. Neutral is always “in.”
  4. Interior division: You no longer have to deal with smoking and non-smoking sections, but you should still break up your interior space to help reduce noise of large groups (separate rooms for them are ideal), kids, cell phone conversations, etc.
  5. Muzak: Like lighting, you have to strike a balance between too loud and not loud enough. Background music should be present but shouldn’t draw attention to itself, unless you are creating an authentic ethnic atmosphere. In that case, turn it up a bit, but not much.
  6. Temperature: Too cold is the major complaint. Sure your wait staff and kitchen staff are hustling and don’t want to break a sweat, but you don’t want patrons eating with their coats on either.
  7. Décor: Chances are that your restaurant or pub had a previous owner. Don’t let former décor bleed through to what you currently want to achieve in terms of the look and feel of your establishment. Get rid of ghosts from the past.

Redecorating the Kitchen

The look and feel of your restaurant or pub doesn’t stop at the front of the house. Don’t overlook the need for a fresh and well-decorated kitchen. It sets the mood for your staff, and that mood will quickly migrate to the front of the house. According to “Tips to Decorate Your Restaurant Kitchen” (, you want to select the right color to complement your restaurant’s theme, carefully decide placement of equipment and kitchen layout, and choose the best appliances.

Your kitchen should look like it belongs in your restaurant. Keep in mind that your wait staff is regularly transitioning from one area to the other. Of course you want the layout and equipment placement to be as efficient as possible, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore styling and details.

Choose paint carefully. Kitchen walls will continuously be exposed to grease and heat so select paints that are durable and will stand up to those conditions. For counters and surfaces, combine style (tile, granite, stainless) that look great and are easy to clean.

Don’t overlook the need for proper lighting. As with the lighting in the front of the house, you must strike a balance between effective task lighting and a certain degree of ambiance in your kitchen.

There’s plenty to keep in mind if it’s time to redecorate your restaurant. As with keeping your books, turning to a professional for help can ultimately payoff.