Designing and building the perfect restaurant is a vital undertaking. Your customers should feel comfortable, welcomed, and happy to spend time and money in your establishment.
This feeling of well-being can be greatly affected by the interior design, including the materials, textures, lighting, sound, furniture and use of space.
So, before jumping into a new culinary venture, check out our list of considerations that go into building the perfect restaurant. Our Denver Commercial Construction team gives you a few tips on how to use design to your advantage whether building new or renovating.
Before Breaking Ground, Consider This Factor First
One of the most important considerations when building the perfect restaurant is its location.
Recently, commercial developers have started moving away from the traditional mall concept. With more retail transpiring online, developers are designing lifestyle centers or town centers. They’re exploring mixed-use, combining residential with retail, services and dining.
Restaurants have even become a prime solution for saving brick-and-mortar retailers. A new generation of consumers is not prioritizing retail stores when they go out. They are more likely seeking interesting culinary experiences which leads them to explore nearby retail shops.
Instead of the typical mall design with an enclosed spread of retail stores and a food court in the center, modern developments incorporate exterior space, even modeling or revitalizing old neighborhoods.
For example, the Denver Milk Market has brought back to life the historic Dairy Block with retail, restaurants and bars.
This design concept encourages natural exploration and allows ease of movement for customers. Restaurants, beauty salons, yoga studios, gyms, childcare and other everyday services are often the prime attractions of the modern retail zone.
Building the Perfect Restaurant in the Right Space
With your location nailed down, let’s talk restaurant design and construction.
Don’t Be a Sore Thumb
Keep your architecture in line with the area. Whether your restaurant is located in a new retail development or city street, it is best to stick to the style of the neighboring buildings.
Currently trending for 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.
Let Chefs and Owners Take the Lead
The creative heads of restaurants likely have a strong vision and 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.
Think About What Your Customers Need
It’s important to appeal to a wider market without sacrificing quality. In 2015, Americans finally 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?
Get Up to Speed on High-Tech Additions
When building the perfect restaurant, you can use technology to improve a diner’s experience.
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.
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.
Don’t Just Leave Your Restaurant Walls Bare
Incorporate artwork in your restaurant design and construction. Today’s customers, especially Millenials, want to be surprised and challenged by their surroundings
Unique art in your restaurant is 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 – but it must be authentic.
While these tips for building the perfect restaurant are fairly general and can be applied to nearly any restaurant (here in Denver or beyond), it’s important 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 designing for a changing market present major challenges when it comes to your restaurant. To discuss your design and construction needs with the local experts, contact Denver Commercial Construction. We specialize in building the perfect restaurant by offering value-added construction from concept to completion.