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Creating the ultimate dining experience for patrons takes more than offering excellent food and service. Most people who visit a restaurant do so because of the experience. As a result, creating a pleasant atmosphere and an engaging design is pivotal to success. Since there are numerous aspects to consider when creating the interior design of a restaurant, it is easy to make a mistake that will ruin the experience.

So to help you create outstanding restaurant designs, in our post today, we cover the most common restaurant design mistakes that can hurt your business and your sales. Whether you are in the process of redesigning or refitting your restaurant or just looking for ways to improve your restaurant’s interior design, this post is for you.

Creating the perfect restaurant design is a challenging task. Without careful planning and thought, it is easy to make a mistake that will ruin the experience. Be that in the form of inefficient design, bad lighting or a poor floor plan. While there is no magic formula to follow when creating successful designs, we can pinpoint a few common restaurant design mistakes that you should avoid. Let’s dive in.

Mistake #1 – Having an ambiguous concept design

One of the most common restaurant design mistakes we see restaurants make is not having a clear concept in mind. Lack of cohesion between your brand, cuisine, personality and the restaurant design can have deleterious effects on your success. It will not only lead to confusion and lost marketing opportunities, but it might also affect your operational efficiency. So what can you do to avoid this design mistake in your restaurant?

First of all, it is crucial to define the design concept in the early stages of the restaurant design or refit process. Make sure the concept reflects your restaurant’s theme, cuisine as well as your brand. Decide on colour schemes, materials, furniture and decor based on how you want to be perceived by diners. Give yourself time to consider various options, layout and concepts before you make your decision.

Mistake #2 – Poor floor plan and layout

Creating successful restaurant designs requires finding a balance between aesthetics and functionality. Thus, besides having a compelling interior, it is vital to have an efficient floor plan an layout in place as well. An inefficient floor plan can hurt your business on several levels. When the restaurant layout is not mapped out correctly, it can seriously impede both servers and customers. It will not only decrease efficiency but also make customers less comfortable.

If you want to avoid making this common restaurant design mistake, you need to focus on your floor plan early on. In order to maximise both design and functionality, you will have to create a detailed plan of the entire space. Decide how many customers you can comfortably serve in the available space, and map out the dining area accordingly. Choosing restaurant seating furniture and tables will be crucial in this process. By selecting appropriate seating, you will be able to maximise the seating capacity without making the dining room feel overly crammed.

Similarly, you need to pay attention to problem areas. While creating the floor plan for the restaurant, you might realise that certain areas are less attractive than others. In every restaurant, there will be tables where no one really wants to sit. To minimise the number of such tables, avoid putting tables in problem areas. Try to avoid setting up tables too close to the kitchen entrance or restrooms and create decor and designs that will help block the view to these areas.

Mistake #3 – Irrelevant restaurant decor

Restaurant decor is crucially important when creating great restaurant designs. Having decorative elements in the dining room that support your brand, cuisine and design goals is essential. They will help create a pleasant atmosphere and give the space character. Nevertheless, restaurant owners should be careful with how much decoration they use in the dining room. An over-decorated restaurant can do serious harm to your business.

Less is more when it comes to restaurant decor. If you want to avoid this common restaurant design mistake, make sure you choose decorative elements carefully. When creating the restaurant decor, it is crucial to establish a common theme first. This will help you choose the direction into which you can later take the decor. Selecting decorative elements to suit the theme and cuisine of your restaurant is what will allow you to create a comprehensive restaurant design.

Mistake #4 – An uninteresting exterior

We have said it many times and will say it once more: First impressions matter. And the first impression diners get of your business will be formed long before they first set foot in the dining room. Rather, it will be formed when they first see your restaurant from across the street. All elements of the restaurant exterior will be crucial to their perception of your business. Still, neglecting the exterior design of a restaurant is one of the most common restaurant design mistakes we see every day.

So what can you do? First, you need to understand what your restaurant’s exterior design should and should not look like. Ideally, the exterior of your restaurant should reflect your brand and give diners an idea about your business. A person seeing your restaurant from across the street should have a vague idea about what type of restaurant you are, and what they can expect.

So if you want to ensure that your restaurant’s exterior truly speaks to people, there a few things you can do. First, make sure your restaurant is easy to spot from even a distance, without ruining the streetscape. Make sure that the exterior reflects the interior, as well as your brand and cuisine. Paying attention to your logo and exterior signage can help you achieve that goal. Moreover, promoting the use of glass windows that allows people to see inside the dining room is key. It allows passers-by to see your guests enjoying themselves and makes your restaurant more inviting towards prospective customers.

Mistake #5 – Clutter in the dining room

One of the worst design mistakes a restaurant can make is having a cluttered dining room. When guests enter your restaurant, they instantly form an impression based on the design. And what could be more demoralising than a cluttered room? Irrespective of whether clutter means too many decorations, an overcrowded host station or a cluttered floor plan, you can be sure that it will not have a positive influence on diners.

One of the main goals when planning and designing a restaurant is creating an environment that helps diners relax and makes them feel welcome. Clutter in the dining room will definitely prevent you from achieving that goal. Therefore, it is important to make sure that all elements that are not part of the design are kept out of sight. Remember that less is more, so try to keep unnecessary decorations and clutter out of the dining room. Make sure you do not try to fit in more tables than space allows. And do not forget about good lighting design either.

Mistake #6 – Restaurant furniture problems

Restaurant furniture is incredibly important from the perspective of both functionality and design. While choosing furniture for your restaurant is exciting, many things can go wrong during the process. And choosing inefficient or sub-par furniture is, indeed, a common design mistake we see restaurants make.

There are many things that can go wrong when furnishing your restaurant. From choosing furniture that is too small or large to properly fit your restaurant, to compromising on quality. In turn, poor furniture quality will harm your business in numerous ways. Uncomfortable or poor-quality furniture will ruin the dining experience and cost you money in the long iron. So what can you do to avoid filling your dining room with poor quality furniture?

First of all, it is crucial that you truly work with the space that you have. Measure every inch of the dining room, and create an efficient layout. Plan how you want your tables and seating furniture arranged, then decide on the size of tables and chairs. Once you understand your needs clearly, it will be much easier to choose appropriate furniture.

You might opt for commercial furniture or tailor-made bespoke one. Irrespective of your choice, make sure that you only choose high-quality furniture that will resist against constant wear and tear. Choose furniture that is neither too comfortable nor too uncomfortable for your guests, depending on the time they usually spend in your restaurant. Last, but not least, make sure that the furniture suits your theme and your restaurant’s concept.

Mistake #7 – Terrible Signage

Attractive signage both inside and outside the restaurant is more important than people tend to realise. Besides helping diners navigate the space, signage is also one of the most efficient marketing tools. When done right, signage can help businesses grow enormously. But at the same time, there are a lot of ways in which signage can ruin the experience. Lack of signage or excessively bold of obvious signage is one of the most common restaurant design mistakes we see during our practice.

So how can create truly great signage in your restaurant? Again, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to signage design. But making sure that people and patrons can safely and easily find their way around the dining room is crucial. All interior and exterior signage should be easy to spot, but at the same time, they should not overshadow the decor or the design. Make sure that the typeface, colour and design of the signage suit your restaurant’s style, and help make your restaurant feel truly unique.

Feeling lost in the restaurant design process?

Creating great restaurant design is undoubtedly challenging. There are many aspects you will have to consider, and all aspects of the design need to come together seamlessly to create designs that are aesthetically perfect and highly functional. And when the stakes are so high, it is easy to make a mistake.

In today’s post, we talked about some of the most common restaurant design mistakes we experience during our practice. We hope that our article will help you avoid some of these mistakes and create truly unique designs. But if you still feel lost in the process, you can still contact our team at Contrast Interiors for help.

At Contrast Interiors, we have an experienced and professional team who are experts in creating outstanding restaurant interiors designs. Offering a wide range of restaurant design and refit services, we can help restaurants reach their full potential through clever design. So if you need help redesigning your restaurant, or solving some of your design problems, get in touch with us today. We are always happy to help.