To ensure your restaurant, café, or bar is welcoming to customers instead of driving them away, consider the following tips to make your front of house areas and street-facing facades unmissable. With these tips, you will ensure that your dining area always stays busy.
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Use Colors Effectively
If your restaurant is located in a small space, or in a place that doesn’t offer a lot of natural light, consider using light-colored paint schemes in your front of house. For example, use white, cream, and soft pastels. This can help make a small space feel larger than it is. It will also prevent a small front of house from looking cramped, poorly lit, or unattractive from a distance.
Don’t forget that the balance of the colors you use is also important. Too much of one color can make your exterior or interiors boring to look at. So break up wide stretches of color with a few brightly colored highlights or flashes.
Additionally, if you have more space to play with, you have a wider range of colors to experiment with. What’s more, in a larger space bolder colors won’t negatively affect the atmosphere of your dining area. In fact, you can even create themed areas by combining different colors and furniture in different areas.
Remember, however, that the intensity of some colors can affect the mood you want to evoke in your front of house. For example, bright, vibrant reds and yellows convey a sense of urgency. Fast food restaurants commonly use these colors.
On the other hand, shades of blues and purples can be off-putting to a restaurant’s customers. In fact, these shades have been shown to decrease appetites.
Convey Comfort and Relaxation
We’ve all sat down somewhere that didn’t look particularly comfortable on first glance, but then found ourselves sinking into plush, luxurious comfort that we never wanted to leave.
Creating areas that provide this sense of comfort and exclusivity is a fantastic way to invite people into your business to sit for a while. An easy way to do this is to create dining nooks or private booth areas throughout your front of house.
As a matter of fact, you don’t need to build individual booths. Instead, you can create the same sense of privacy and seclusion by installing fabric walls. Other ideas are to create small shelters or to offer a spread of picnic benches or outdoor furniture in your front of house. However, be sure to provide ample distance between each station. In this way, customers won’t feel like they are on top of each other.
If you aren’t sure what furniture would work best with your front of house, make a rough sketch layout of your available indoor and outdoor space. Start by using a blank grid so you can jot down measurements approximately to scale. Then locate your nearest showroom for hospitality furniture and equipment and take a wander at your leisure.
This a great way to get a feel for the atmosphere certain materials and products can bring to your restaurant’s front of house. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to try out possible furniture and see what it offers in quality, comfort, and functionality.
Consider the Season
A large part of keeping your dining areas busy is to ensure that you cater to the current climate. No customer wants to walk into a place that looks warm and cozy on a hot summer’s day. Likewise, they probably wouldn’t frequent an ice cream bar in the depths of winter.
Additionally, if your front of house includes outdoor areas, make sure these areas have shelter available. For example, provide an awning over a terrace that can be pulled back on pleasant days but offer protection when needed from the sun or the rain.
However, if your front of house only has indoor space, consider adding extra air conditioning or cooling facilities for the peak of summer. This will be inviting to people who want to escape the hot sun and spend time somewhere cool with a refreshing drink.
Spruce Up Your Front of House to Invite More Customers In
Creating a unique space in your front of house is key to attracting customers into your dining establishment. This is true whether you’re advertising online or seeking to attract business from passing footfall.
However, don’t get distracted by trying to create something different without considering the bigger picture of functionality and comfort. Once you nail the basics of creating an attractive, welcoming space, you will be free to add decorations and unique characteristics to your front of house that will set you apart from neighboring hospitality businesses.