Tight economic times have caused diners to tighten their belts. Less inclined to take a chance on new restaurants, they are instead spending limited dollars on old favorites or making do with meals at home. However, dinner out is still the preferred way to celebrate special occasions, close business deals, and take a break from the daily grind. For new establishments, appealing interior design ensures that when patrons decide where to eat, whether for a party, a meeting, or a rare treat, your location will be first choice.

Excellence in design communicates concept and cements your restaurant’s brand. Appropriate atmosphere is nearly as important as the quality of the food. When customers tell friends and neighbors about you, oversights in either will be among the first details discussed. Be certain to get rave reviews and repeat business by attending to the essential interior elements.

1. Low Cost, High Impact

Dingy paint and plain white walls give an unkempt, uncared for impression. A fresh coat will inspire confidence in the cleanliness of your kitchen, and a splash of color will make decor memorable. Updating paint is a quick and cost-effective way to achieve immediate and positive results.

2. Creating Ambiance

Your lighting decisions will have the greatest impact on the sort of clientele you attract. Be sure to choose options that match the tone and style of the ambience you would like to create. While fine dining is best captured with calm and elegant selections, family restaurants are better served by a bright and colorful light mixture. Those looking for a little romance will rely on a soft indirect glow, perhaps accented by candlelight.

3. Inventive Decor

No matter what their relationship to each other, your guests will thank you for conversation-starting decor. Any concept can be enhanced with appropriate art and interesting props to add to the illusion that real life was left at the door. Elegant framed antique maps would complement an upscale Italian eatery, while sports memorabilia is a reliable standby for bars and quick service locations. Find a new approach to ocean themes for your seafood restaurant, or incorporate mementos of local history into your old-fashioned diner. Creativity in all of the decorative elements, pulled together in a harmonious overall feel, will add to your customers’ comfort and promote positive word-of-mouth advertising.

4. Fabulous Furnishings

Selecting your furnishings is the greatest challenge, as you need each item to have multiple, sometimes competing characteristics. Seating must be strong and durable, with easy to clean upholstery fabric, and also be comfortable for an assortment of figures. Tables have to be steady, with legs that don’t cause discomfort to diners. Their shape will determine how many your establishment can seat, in what configuration, and the ease with which you can accommodate parties of varying sizes.

Remember that excellent interior design is as important as excellent food in creating a space that attracts customers, encourages them to stay (and spend), and keeps them coming back.

Author's Bio: 

Paula Morris-Dungan attended Art Institute of Pittsburg for Residential Space Planning and Interior Design. She is a full-time freelance writer who writes for blogs and a discount fabric store about various topics including paint, furniture, outdoor and upholstery fabric (including Duralee fabrics and Robert Allen fabrics), and interior design in general.