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busy restaurant scene

So many times, online or social media reviews will say, “the food was great, but the place is so loud!” With so many options for eating out, guests often choose the food establishments they frequent for more than just the delicious menu options. The decor and overall ambience of your restaurant can make a big impact on the guest experience and restaurant success in general. Ideally, you want the atmosphere of the restaurant to enhance the food and overall enjoyment of going out to eat.

Settings can make a huge difference on the dining experience: is it a formal sit-down place with a hostess, where you order from a dedicated server, complete with linen napkins and place settings? Or is your eatery more of the order from a counter, find your own place to sit sort of spot? Knowing what your ultimate goals are as an eatery is key to making decisions on the atmosphere. Here are the key things to consider for your restaurant guests’ experience.


The amount of sound– either from overhead background music, live bands, or even just the acoustics from people talking- can have a huge impact on a guest’s dining experience. If the establishment markets itself as a spot for a romantic dinner or date night spot, having loud music is not the right compliment to themeal. Sound can be easily fixed, either in the mechanics of the actual speaker system, or by adding more furniture, textiles, and decor to absorb the chatter.

restaurant lighting decor

Bright, lights that allow your guests to see the food might work well in a modern, fusion restaurant where the food is artwork in itself, but not so well in a restaurant that markets itself as a laidback, French bistro. Whether it’s artificial or natural lighting, it’s key to the guest experience that no matter the time of day, guests should be able to comfortably see around the restaurant, and their food. Making sure there are adequate shades or curtains for morning or late afternoon sun glare is just as important as having good lighting for late diners.


The color palette and decor options can be a signature for a restaurant- think of all the national chain restaurants who are known for their wide variety of decor collections, whether it be sports, nature, or Hollywood-themed. Guests respond well to a space that is not too cluttered and not too bare, so artwork and wall hangings should be chosen thoughtfully and with care to compliment the meal experience.

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Kristen is a curious person with a love of pop culture, history, and the arts. Lover of all things food, tea, and books. Once a Season 5 blogger for Stratejoy in 2011, she can now be found around the internet @lifebykristenc and lifebykristen.com, her lifestyle blog.
Restaurant Insider