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How Can Restaurant Furniture Design Influence Your Establishment's Success?

By Jamie Richardson | September 4, 2023

A fact that most people don’t know all that much about is that the vast majority of new restaurants fail to last beyond their first year. Have you ever wondered why this happens to be the case? After all, most of these failed eateries really seemed to be doing everything right, at least initially. Is there some secret to success that they didn’t really understand, or is running a restaurant really so hard that only the top 1% are able to do it without suffering numerous financial losses?

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There’s a lot to explore on this front, but we’d say that restaurant furniture design tends to have an outsized impact when it comes to influencing the success of your establishment. Bear in mind, we’re not just talking about the furniture itself here. Anyone can go out and buy some tables and chairs that are reasonably comfortably to sit on, but if you really want to go down in culinary history, you need to think a bit more deeply about design.

For starters, the design of your furniture can become a component of your marketing efforts down the line. When you start setting up some ads that will funnel new customers to your eatery, there are two things in particular that you would use for your promotional attempts. The food will obviously take center stage, but your furniture won’t be all that far behind.

Well designed furniture can stand out in your promotional materials. Potential customers will be able to take one look at your ads and tell whether or not you’re worth the trip based on the furniture alone! After all, it doesn’t really matter how delicious a steak is if the furniture isn’t up to scratch.

People can usually make decent quality food at home, but when they go out to a restaurant, they’re looking for something a cut above the rest. Ambiance is surprisingly important in this respect, for it can determine the level of enjoyment your customers can obtain over the course of their dining experience.

It’s incredibly important to match the furniture design to the aesthetic of your eatery. What this basically means is that you can’t just simple, minimalist furniture in an ethnic restaurant, nor can you use ornate woodworking in a high end eatery.

Customers need to feel a sense of consistency in your design, so one thing that you might want to do is pick the right color scheme. Avoid primary colors if you can help it, for these are usually used in lunch places or cafes for the most part. Muted hues are the way to go here, so you should start off by painting the walls in a specific color and then finding furniture that goes with it perfectly.

Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. You’d be amazed at just how well certain colors can coalesce based on their inherent characteristics. Thinking outside of the box can bring you to color pairs that no one else had come close to conceiving, and that will certainly help your restaurant to stand out in a crowd.

The main challenge you face in the here and now is how utterly saturated the restaurant industry has become as of late. Hundreds of restaurants are vying for the same limited group of customers, so you need to hit the ground running by buying a set of furniture that will set you apart without fail.

Furniture design can also allow customers to better understand what it is that you are offering. For example, a restaurant that serves Middle Eastern cuisine will need to procure art, lighting, and of course, furniture that that will meet the expectations of your customers. If they walk in expecting Arabic settings and see that you have gone for a more contemporary Nordic style as well, this will confuse them to the point where they might not be willing to stay to place an order anymore.

Now, you need to understand that the design of your furniture is about more than just aesthetics. It can also determine how many customers you can comfortably cater to, and before you start thinking about the largest tables out there, remember that it’s not quite as simple as that.

Instead of buying a smaller quantity of massive tables, you need to mix things up by using both types. Smaller tables can be joined up to facilitate a large party if need be, and if your customers are mostly groups of two to four people, you can space the tables out to create an airier and less claustrophobic atmosphere.

The shape of the tables can also be quite influential. Square tables will allow up to four people to sit together, but if you want to service large parties without changing the tables themselves, round tables can be your best bet. You can fit up to six people around them with strategically place chairs, which clearly shows you furniture design can impact your eatery in more ways than one.

You might also want to consider where the furniture will be placed. Tables and chairs that are situated in an outdoor area need to be resistant to weathering, otherwise they will look downright awful in no time. Glass is a great choice for outdoor settings, but you usually won’t use it indoors.

It’s all just a matter of figuring out what works best for you. Just because something looks good for a competitor doesn’t mean that it will fit your own goals. Finding your unique aesthetic can give your restaurant a true personality, one that customers would recall whenever they are trying to think of a place to eat for the evening.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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