People visit restaurants to have a break from their everyday lives. A chance to indulge, catch up with friends, and let someone else take care of the details. But with all of this, many people expect a lot from the restaurant in return for their patronage; if your restaurant is beginning to look rundown or out of date, it could be keeping away return business.
These five renovations will help you recapture those patrons, by giving your entire facility a fresh, new look.
1. Update the Color of Your Facade
The exterior of your restaurant is the first thing that people see when they approach. And this first impression can have a lasting impact on how people perceive your brand, service, and even the food. Things like color can have a tremendous impact on how people see and experience things, which is why choosing the right color for your exterior is so important. Color also increases brand recognition by as much as 80 percent, and is responsible for helping people make decisions in the moment.
Consider painting your exterior to match your brand, and to increase feelings of positivity, as well as things like positivity, passion, or peace. The color red, for example, has been linked to an increase in hunger, so a bold red door may be a signal to incoming patrons that they would like to order and eat here.
Money saving tips
Consider just adding some accent colors such as painting the door, shutters, or a panel to save money. The cost to paint a door, for example, is around $100, but a bold pop of color in this area can still have a powerful effect.
2. Update Your Furnishings
Patrons at your restaurant will have a lot of time before their food arrives to pay close attention to their surroundings, and the furnishings they are using. If your tables, chairs, and benches are worn, consumers could associate this with lower quality food and service, resulting in under-ordering or less repeat business. Changing the color of your tables can also have an impact on how much people eat, and how they perceive the amount of food you’re giving them, which can increase their satisfaction and encourage repeat business.
Updating your furnishings by having your tables refinished and chairs reupholstered can go a long way toward increasing customer satisfaction. Refinishing costs range from $175 to $425 an item.
Money saving tip
Refinish furnishings as needed, rather than all at once. Begin in the most visible, brightly lit areas, and move furnishings that can wait a while to darker areas until you can afford to have them done.
3. Install New Flooring
Foot traffic, spills, and crumbs can take their toll on any floor. In a busy restaurant, though, you want your flooring to be attractive and low maintenance enough to hide those spills and stains. After all, flooring takes up the single largest expanse of space in any room, so it makes sense that you’ll want to have something that looks great, and that helps set the tone for the rest of the room.
There are many great floors that work well in restaurants. Natural cleft slate, for example, hides all manner of spills and stains, and has a rustic appeal that works well in many settings. Acrylic-infused engineered hardwood floors are virtually indestructible, and can give your restaurant an updated, more modern feel.
The cost of a new tile floor ranges from about $700 to $2,000, while a new hardwood floor costs between $4,000 and $5,000.
Money saving tips
Can’t afford to replace all your floors at once? Focus on those crucial first impression-based areas, such as the foyer, entryway, bar area, or waiting area. You want people to take a favorable view of your restaurant upon first entering, so focus here while you wait to redo the entire space.
4. Install New Lighting
Proper lighting is one of the most crucial elements of any interior design, and restaurants are no different. Good restaurant lighting should be done in layers, so that you can control exactly what your patrons see. After all, going out to eat is a sensual experience, and part of that experience is derived from what you can see.
Install lights throughout your restaurant that can have multiple impacts. Ambient lighting will help illuminate the room as a whole; keep this light warm in color, and just bright enough to make it easy to navigate easily.
Install task lights above or near each table. Task lighting illuminates only the tables, keeping each place setting intimate, while providing enough light to read by.
Use accent lighting to highlight artwork on the walls, the bar area, and any other special places you want to show off.
Installing recessed lights for optimum ambient light control costs around $780 for a set of six. Pendant lights and other accent lights cost between $100 and $300 on average; make sure to use a mix of all three lighting types to get the best results.
Money saving tip
Provide task lighting right at tables through the use of candles or small, battery-powered lamps. Task light just has to be bright enough to give some help with menu reading, and better illuminating the plates, so you don’t need to have a big fixture to do the job.
5. Make Your Bathroom Comfortable
While you will want to spend a lot of your efforts improving the main areas of your restaurant, it’s important not to overlook the bathroom. This important space will be used by nearly every patron that comes through your doors, and if it’s harshly lit, out of date, or just run down, it can bring down people’s opinions about the space.
While a full bathroom remodel can be expensive — about $125 a square foot — there are many things you can do to update the space without a full remodel or gut job. Start by giving the bathroom a fresh coat of paint for around $150 – $300, then put in a new mirror for around $120 to $150. Update your fixtures for between $50 and $1,000, and install some new, softer lighting to finish the job. All told, you can expect to get a fresh new look for under $5,000 improving the comfort and looks of the space.
Money saving tip
While you may not feel comfortable with a DIY plumbing job, but you can paint the bathroom and hang new mirrors or artwork yourself to save on installation costs.
Improve Your Restaurant
Restaurants are more than about the meals that they serve; they’re also about the experience they provide. These simple renovations will help you enhance that experience for your guests, improving their satisfaction and your business at the same time.
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