So you have finally decided to set up a restaurant to exploit your legendary culinary skills and make them into a useful business proposition. Great! Now where do you start? Let us explore one of the most basic of your requirements – setting up the dining area.
This is the place where all your clients are going to spend their time. The immediate impact on entering has to be fabulous, as the saying goes “The first impression is the last impression”. So start working on it right away.
Start with the setting of the dining tables. They should be adequately spaced apart to allow movement to flow unrestrained. Waiters and guests alike should have plenty of room to move around without crashing into each other. While you would like to utilize your space to the utmost, do not neglect this important aspect. If necessary, go around and do a mock exercise to check out the problem areas.
Select a dining set to go with your overall settings. Have you chosen a theme for your bistro? Modern or classical, smart and exclusive or relaxed and luxurious, the choice has to be made as per the clientele you are targeting in your business plan.
For a day restaurant catering to quick meals popular with students and the working community, you can work on a set of round tables in an outdoor setting with a decent view to enhance the mood. Alternatively, if you are targeting family clients who would be spending the evening with you, the setting has to be more subtle and subdued to avoid taking away the glare from the moment your client has come to celebrate.
Other aspects that need attention are the selection of the dining chairs, placing of the cash counter and decorative facets. Make sure the dining room chairs are matching with the tables. The counter in most restaurants is mostly placed close to the kitchen door (as opposed to the exit in the case of most stores), enabling the counter manager to easily keep a tag of the orders. If you are opening an outdoor joint, the view will be the predominant attraction, and you need not spend too much on the interiors except for the basic neatness aspects. Decoration of an indoor eatery is a different ball game, however.
For decoration in an indoor restaurant, the lighting assumes a great degree of importance. Shaded lights are the norm to make the atmosphere romantic. You could even keep candles for your clients to enjoy that special feeling. Beautiful designer lamp shades are available in the market to suit every taste and pocket. Choose a lamp set to go with your settings, so the whole aesthetically designed room stands out and is enhanced by the lighting. If you are planning an indoor fountain to add to the ambience, a couple of miniature spotlights strategically placed can do wonders to augment its beauty.
Having selected the basic furniture and its settings, it is now time to work towards the selection of the crockery and setting up your kitchen. More on those aspects in my next article.