Coordinating The Entire Look Of Your Restaurant

Every restaurant aims to make a mark with the food it creates, but how it portrays itself is almost as important. A cohesive look makes a powerful brand that sticks in the mind of your customers and enhances the whole experience.

Everything from the menu, lighting, decor, and uniforms help a restaurant tell their unique story. What memories will you create?

Look Of Your Restaurant

The Space

The building itself, the space the guests inhabit the moment they walk through the door, is the first part of the experience. People may judge the exterior, and that’s not always something you can change, but the interior can be an entirely different world.

The same space can fit any type of restaurant look, it just depends what you do with it.

The decor – from the door handles to the place settings to wall hangings and the overall color scheme – sets the scene. A traditional Italian restaurant may opt for old-world throwbacks while a high-end fusion restaurant may look to avant-garde stylings to dictate the feel.

Don’t ignore lighting either. That same Italian restaurant may be cozy with moody candlelight, but it will take on an entirely different feel with bolder, brighter lighting that may be right at home in the fusion spot.

People tend to make a lot of unconscious judgments as they enter a space, which is why you need to be conscious of how the space affects them.

The Uniforms

No restaurant space exists without people guiding the customer experience, and they need to have a look that coincides with the overall vibe as well. Although the interaction is heavily influenced by the personality of the host, server, or chef, there exists an underlying judgment based on how they’re dressed.

Basically, a high-end restaurant deserves a high-end uniform. For fine dining, the servers should be impeccably dressed, shirts tucked in neatly, bowties/ties not askew and tied with a perfect knot.

For a more neighborhood spot, say an open space with large windows and lots of light, a clean-cut look for your hosts and servers will suit the feel you are going for.

If you are trying to create more of a restaurant where people hang out and order bottles upon bottles of vino, you would want your hostess in something sexier that shows more skin but is also a fashionable look. It could be a dress that has a low drape neckline, and the servers should not have the same outfit but a variation on that theme. So, perhaps the same material but a different cut. Their uniform might be less fragile, as they are serving, but still have a “fun” appeal.

If you are creating a restaurant where you want the public to linger and spend money, make sure the staff looks like they are also up for the party.

Uniforms tell an even deeper story about your restaurant, not only of your style but of your quality and integrity.

The Menu

Last but not least is the aspect of your restaurant that the guests will be the most up close and personal with: the menu.

One could write an entire book about layouts, fonts, paper stock, and color schemes, but the adherence to your overall style is the same as before.

An Italian restaurant may opt for refined type, Italian dish names, detailed options, and hefty paper stock. It’s solid and classic. That fusion restaurant may go for simplicity in minimalism, out-of-the-box materials, and bold color choices. The possibilities are only limited by your overall aesthetic. Everything should serve that.

Proofreading is important too. All purposeful decisions aside, if your menu has grammar or spelling errors, your professionalism suffers.

The Taste

With all this talk of aesthetics, don’t forget why your restaurant exists in the first place: the food. That’s the core idea.

But, if you start with a great food foundation and outfit everything around it cohesively, you’ll have a powerful look that brings value to your restaurant before anyone even takes a bite.

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