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The Psychology for Restaurant Interior Design

Restaurant interior design is a perfect science whose main aim is to tap the diner’s senses in the right direction. The psychology of restaurant interior design helps to recognise exactly their clientele and build a carefully engineered experience around their needs and desires. The lighting and color of a restaurant interior design must complement each other to get the best results. As quoted by the patron saint of architecture, design and urban planning,           

“ Light creates the ambience and feel of a place, as well as the expression of a structure”. His lessons impart good knowledge to restaurant interior design projects, as to how space is constructed and what should be the color of the walls and together create an excellent atmosphere of the restaurant. Light has a great impact on the colors used on walls, as lighting is the most important element of restaurant interior design to be right. Never opt for dim lights for such establishments, as it is difficult to even read the menu clearly. Let us now discuss the main types of lighting that are classified according to their purpose.

Ambient Lighting: This type of lighting has got its name because of the fact that they are responsible for the overall mood of a restaurant. This is a general type of lighting for any environment. When you are trying to create an intimate atmosphere for example a restaurant’s bar and lounge area, where your clients need some privacy, you have to choose low lighting. Although bright lighting is apt for a brisk and lively mood and well suited for casual establishments like a pizza joint.

Task Lighting: This type of lighting helps your customers as well as employees perform their tasks well, read the menu, being able to see what is laid on the table, food and drinks. Cooking in the kitchen is a task that needs special lighting that can be bright enough for all kinds of kitchen tasks. Pathways need good illumination as it helps to see reflections on restroom mirrors. The task lighting right above tables in restaurants is a common element for restaurant interior design.

Accent Lighting: This kind of lighting is supposed to be more decorative than functional, as accent lighting is used to draw the attention of guests to specific areas or objects thus creating visual interest. The focus objects like paintings, sculptures, fountains and bars are illuminated using accent lighting.

Another interesting concept to create atmosphere and perception in an upscale restaurant interior design is the usage of warm-colored low-intensity lighting that can clearly create a leisurely, intimate and relaxed atmosphere. Such lighting can enhance one’s mood when the wall lighting is created in restaurant interior design. The space around can be made to seem spacious by even distribution of high intensity lights. Do remember to use color sparingly as lighting can be a source of reinforcing branding, instead too many colors can put your restaurant at risk of looking gaudy or a nightclub look.

While creating restaurant design, one should know that lighting affects the behavior of the diners too, for instance during lunch hour at quick-service restaurants, bright lighting helps increase guest turnover thus facilitating customer traffic getting the best midday rush. One interesting fact about bright lighting at fast-food restaurants is that it stimulates guests by creating a tendency to eat more than needed. While in upscale establishments, the other way works, that is low-intensity lighting induces patrons to linger around for longer hours, relax in the comfort of dim lights and also increases the chances of ordering dessert, coffee or some wine too.

When it is dinner time, know that it is rush hour and there must be a relaxing atmosphere for guests to feel comfortable and convinced to stay. Bright lighted restaurants stimulate customers and help facilitate turnover, while a cool and calm joint with soft light would love guests to linger around for longer hours of the day over a coffee or pastry.

Sight has always been a very important means by which one can gather information or make judgements on any establishment. Colour has been a powerful tool for influencing a guest’s behaviour. Hence, a lot of effort goes into restaurant interior designing in order to reflect the right vibes.


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