Anyone who owns a restaurant knows that a comforting and relaxing restaurant environment plays a key role in the success of the business. However, creating the right atmosphere goes much further than the satisfaction of your guests – your employees need be considered as part of this process too, so how can you make sure the ambience is right for both sides of the business?
Here we’ve detailed some of the steps you can take to provide a suitable restaurant environment that will create the perfect ambience for customers and a comfortable working space for your staff.
Keep the space at a comfortable temperature
Investing in quality furniture and fixtures does play its part in a relaxing restaurant atmosphere, but so too does the temperature throughout the space. Without enough thought and consideration for the temperature in your restaurant, both your customers and employees could be left feeling uncomfortable from too much heat or too little, at that.
Finding the right temperature that’s ideal for customers and team members can be tricky, but with enough research and planning invested, you’ll soon find the optimum temperature for your restaurant. Ask yourself the following questions to make a start:
- How many guests and staff members do you typically have in the restaurants on an average morning, afternoon and evening? Changing occupancies can determine what temperature needs to be set throughout the day.
- What’s the average temperature outside at different times throughout the year? This will impact how hot or cold you need the temperature to be within your restaurant.
- What appliances are being used throughout the space? Chances are your kitchen and bar area will require a different temperature setting to the space where your guests will sit, in order to keep everyone comfortable.
- Are you planning on making any changes to the space in the future? Could they affect what temperature the space needs to be set at?
Ask yourself these questions and use them to make plans for optimising the temperature within your restaurant. A professional technician will be able to offer advice on where to place temperature control elements throughout the space, as well as what temperatures to set them at.
Top tip: Research found that an uncomfortable restaurant temperature is one of the top ten common customer complaints, so it’s certainly something to think about.
Implement the right levels of lighting in different areas
It goes without saying that soothing lighting levels play an essential part in creating the right environment for guests to dine in at your restaurant, so this is definitely something that needs thinking about.
Play around with the lighting to find the right ambience at different times of the day for you guests – lights that you can dim would prove beneficial in this respect. You could even add additional lighting elements in the evening, such as candles on each table when the evening guests begin to arrive. However, it’s vital that you don’t go too far the other way and make the space too dark for the guests to see their food! A happy medium is where your lighting needs to be.
You will also need to think about lighting for your employees at the same time. Lighting for them is not so much about creating a relaxing environment, but more to provide a safe space for them to carry out their roles. Make sure there’s enough lighting in the dining area for team members to navigate their way around, and provide bright lighting in the back of house space for an efficient working environment.
Control the level of noise from each area
Noise levels are another common complaint brought up by customers, but high level of noise can also impact employees and their ability to carry out their jobs as well. With that in mind, it’s well worth taking the time to consider how to control the noise levels from both the dining area and the back of house space too. Doing so will help to create a relaxing environment for your guests to dine in and for your staff to work in.
There are a number of ways you can look at reducing the noise pollution in your restaurant. Begin by considering each of the appliances you use in your restaurant and whether there could be an alternative that gives out less noise than the one you’re currently using or considering.
Think about having your restaurant soundproofed, to limit the amount of echo that comes from the hard surfaces across the space. You could even install carpets in areas of high traffic levels, as well as having your ceiling insulated to soften the blow of the noise within the space.
You could also think about where certain elements of the restaurant are positioned. Are the cookers too close to the entrance of the back of house space? How about the cleaning area – could that be repositioned to avoid clashing with the noise within the dining area? Sound systems should also be cleverly positioned in a way that doesn’t disrupt the goings on within the cooking area.
Keep odours in check to keep everyone happy
When operating a busy restaurant, there are bound to be plenty of smells emanating from the kitchen area as hundreds of dishes are created and served up. Chances are other odours can present themselves from the cleaning space and even from the toilets too. When all of these odours come together, it’s not always very pleasant.
Odour control is an absolute must in keeping customers and team members happy, and it’s extremely simple to apply. You will find a variety of odour control units available on the market, which work to neutralise the air within your restaurants and in a way that doesn’t pollute the air outside either.
Make sure to spend some time researching these odour control units, to find the best appliance for your restaurant. Professional technicians should be able to offer sound advice as to how many units your restaurant needs and where to position them throughout the space.
Other elements to think about
The four main elements for keeping customers and staff happy in your restaurant environment have been discussed above, but there are a few other things you can think about, to perfect your restaurant ambience and to improve the success of your business.
- Busy restaurants need an ample waiting area, to keep guests comfortable whilst they wait for their table to be ready, and to provide enough space for staff to carry out their role without crowds.
- Avoid cramming tables into the space, to give your guests a comfortable and personal experience at your restaurant and to provide plenty of room for your team to work their hospitality magic.
If you have any tried and tested words of wisdom for creating the perfect restaurant environment for guests and employees alike, please do share them with us and our other readers.