Before jumping into your new culinary venture, check out these five considerations for restaurant design and construction, brought to you by Denver Commercial Construction. Design and quality construction in restaurants are always important. Your customers should feel comfortable in their surroundings, entertained, and happy to spend time and money in your restaurant. This feeling of well-being can be affected by the interior design, textures, lighting, sound, furniture and use of space. Our team can give you some advice on how to use design to your advantage when building or renovating a restaurant.
One important consideration to make when constructing a new restaurant is its location. Recently, commercial developers are starting to move away from the traditional mall concept. With more retail happening online, developers need to focus on designing ‘lifestyle centers’ or ‘town centers.’ Restaurants have become a prime solution for saving brick-and-mortar retail. The new generation of consumers is not prioritizing retail stores when they go out. They are more likely to be seeking interesting culinary experiences, and the type of services unavailable online.
Instead of the typical mall design with an enclosed spread of retail stores and a food court in the center, modern developments will be made to incorporate more outside space, even mimicking historical neighborhoods. This design encourages natural exploration and movement of customers. Restaurants, beauty salons, yoga studios, gyms, childcare and other real life services are the prime attractions of the modern retail zone. Event spaces, farmer’s markets, and even community gardens can be incorporated to these new lifestyle centers.
Taking this into account, here are five considerations for restaurant design and construction:
- Keep your architecture in line with the surrounding area. Whether your restaurant is located in a new retail development or on a city street, it is best to stick to the style of the neighboring buildings. Currently on trend in lifestyle centers is the use of certain historical architecture to evoke a particular era and create a nostalgic feeling. While you may be tempted to make your establishment stand out from the competition with a radical external design, it can be seen as attention seeking and inauthentic by today’s customers.
- Allow for chefs and owners to lead the design process. Those creative heads of restaurants with a strong vision can impart their concept to the project manager and designers. Customers have high expectations and are no longer simply looking for a good meal; they are seeking a complete experience. To get ahead of the market, restaurant owners need to have a distinct personality, ensuring their individual characteristics are conveyed not just through the food but through the entire design and build of the restaurant. Don’t be afraid to break the design rules and give the creative head or chef some freedom if it allows the personal touch to come through.
- Appeal to a wider market without sacrificing quality. 2015 was the very first year that Americans spent more on eating out than they did on groceries, and this trend is set to continue. If restaurants don’t make quality dining experiences available and accessible to a wide market, they are not going to take advantage of this behavioral shift fully. Alain Ducasse, the French Michelin star chef, recently opened a new high-end restaurant in Paris. Each seating booth features helmet racks because so many of his clients arrive by motorcycle or bike. Priorities in dining are shifting at all levels of society. If you take the time to make sure your restaurant accommodates everyone, you’ll reap the rewards. What does just about everyone have in their pocket these days? If you said smartphone, you’re right. How about adding USB ports so your customers can charge their devices, take a pic of your food and post it to social media?
- Use technology to curate the experience of your diners easily. Lighting and sound can have a profound impact on the mood of your customers. Think about the tone you want to set, whether it be formal, playful, cozy, professional or romantic. Perhaps you want to have all of these options at your disposal depending on the time of day, week or year. Automated lighting systems have made it easy to transform the mood of a space at the touch of a button.
Acoustics can be easily manipulated with the right use of technology and materials. There’s a range of different products that absorb sounds, reducing noise pollution. This can be very useful in quieting the din created by chattering diners and allows you to control the audio environment of your restaurant more finely. As you can imagine, if your patrons can have a conversation at their table without shouting over excessive restaurant noise, they will likely stay a bit longer and come back again to enjoy your relaxing environment.
- Incorporate artwork in your restaurant design and construction. Today’s customers, especially Millenials, want to be surprised and challenged by their surroundings. Make sure your restaurant is not left behind. Incorporating art into your restaurant can be an easy way to satisfy that thirst for diversion and originality. Consider dedicating one wall of your restaurant to a mural, or commissioning a piece of recycled art to act as a focal point in your dining space. Remember, try to get the personality and vision of your restaurant to shine through the creative piece. You want it to be a talking point and authentic.
These five considerations for restaurant design and construction are fairly general and can be applied to many geographic areas and varying styles of restaurants. One important thing to keep in mind when building your restaurant is that you need to know your market. Think about how your target customers would react to each design element before you incorporate them.
Recognizing the expectations of your diners and complying with them in the way you build a restaurant should always be at the forefront of your mind. To explore other considerations for restaurant design and construction with a professional, you can contact Denver Commercial Construction. We specialize in restaurants and retail stores and offer value-added construction from concept to completion.