Restaurateurs pay close attention to every detail to enhance the atmosphere of the restaurant, and secretly control the mood of the customer.
When walking into a fast food joint, customers expect the opposite experience than when dining at a high-end establishment. For one thing, ketchup packets are not conveniently placed at a self-serve counter at most sit-down restaurants nor are candles beaming on the tables at quick-service eateries. But what many diners don’t realize is that a lot of thinking goes into dining room layouts. From spacing the tables just right, to selecting the wall décor, restaurateurs pay close attention to every detail to enhance the atmosphere of the restaurant, and secretly control the mood of the customer.
EliteTraveler says that the combination of music, lighting, artwork, and spacing creates a comfortable setting for customers. The strategic placement of the tables in the dining room not only gives diners the elbow room to slice through their fresh salmon, but the size of the tables are purposely paired as to not overpower each other, making the customer more comfortable while they eat. Also, often the restaurateur will ensure the outside greenery blends with the interior walls if there are big open windows, and the pictures on the wall provide a tasteful point of interest for guests as opposed to looking at bare space. Even the type of music played in the background is compiled to set a specific mood. So next time you decide to eat out, here are some thoughtfully planned out details that may affect your dining experience.
Ever notice that nearly every fast food chain has yellow and red colors in their flashy logo? Turns out, that’s not a coincidence. According to Insider, fast food companies use color psychology to influence customers with what they are ordering. Yellow is associated with feelings of contentment, happiness, comfort and red illustrates desire, power and love. That explains why when so many people drive by a Chick-fil-A, they practically drive over the curb for a taste of their famed chicken (aside from the fact that the chicken is deliciously amazing). And apparently the combination of red and yellow are more than just a tasty experiment with ketchup and mustard, but they subconsciously influence people to stop what they are doing and grab a bite to eat.
Restaurateurs are onto something when they substitute bright overhead lights with cozy dim lanterns as centerpieces. FoodandWine says that dim lighting makes people eat slower, consume less and enjoy their food more. Softly lit rooms, like within many of the world’s top restaurants, make customers feel more relaxed. In a world where people prefer to dine from the comfort of their couches via DoorDash and GrubHub, making customers feel welcome and as relaxed as eating in their own home is important.
The louder the music, the more fun it is inside. That’s at least what some college students believe when they walk past a crowded bar with the sound of the five-piece band illuminating out the door. But many restaurant owners believe that the lower the volume, the better the experience for the customers. In fact, some restauranteurs opt out of playing music at all allowing guests’ conversations and the clinking of glasses and cutlery to be the noise. Depending on what type of evening you are looking for (i.e. dancing and singing along to Celine Dion in the highest pitch you can master, or having an elegant three-course dinner with a white cloth napkin tucked into your shirt), there is always a restaurant nearby to match your mood.
While the look and feel of a restaurant can determine whether your craving a greasy hamburger and fries or a savory filet mignon dish, it can also determine how you consume and enjoy the overall dining experience. So next time you’re in a bright, noisy restaurant and you realize that it took you less than five minutes to devour your chicken wings platter, chalk it up to the restaurant’s atmosphere.
About the Author: Courtney Ciandella has been the sole Marketing liason for Bielat Santore & Company since 2013. She is also the conductor behind the Who’s Who in the Restaurant Industry and Restaurant Tip of the Month series.