Ambience is defined as the mood, character, quality, tone and atmosphere of an environment. It is the single most important word that people can use when describing a restaurant. I know what you are thinking. At first it is what I thought also. What about the food? What about the services? Aren’t these things important too? Yes, of course they are important but ambience is the most important part. The feeling that people get when they are in your establishment will make them return or not. A restaurant could use the best ingredients, hire only the most experienced servers and without the stage being set you have lost that customer forever.
When developing the space for seating within your restaurant take into consideration the size and placement of your tables. Are you going to use square tables or round? Chairs with high back that are soft or hard chairs with low backs? Do you want to be able to have quant quite tables for two or is your restaurant intended for bigger parties and families? Make sure that your space has maximum seating while maintaining the warmth and feel you are choosing to express in your restaurant design.
Noise also needs to be minimized. Make sure that the sounds that are heard within your restaurant are the sounds that you are meaning to be heard. Do you really think your guests want to hear toilets flush or pots and pans banging from the kitchen? Make sure those sounds are muffled and silence is limited. Make sure your music fits the ambience you are creating. Don’t play rock if you are going for an environment inviting to families just like you wouldn’t play Mozart at a bar. Little things like this are so important in the overall picture you are creating.
Something most business owners don’t take into consideration is the temperature of their establishment. Make it pleasing to the majority and make it a temperature that makes people want to stay and eat. Make sure your heating and cooling elements are not hitting customers directly. Also take into consideration that certain spaces will heat the establishment in different ways. Tables set by the kitchen will be warmer so take this into account when placing tables and vents. In order to have an even temperature you will need to have several different thermostats so plan accordingly.
Ambience is also created in the way restaurant facilities are kept. Make sure your cooking areas and restrooms are presentable and inviting to customers that will use them. Another thing you might need to do is rearrange your facility to accommodate for the position of wait staff areas and bathrooms. Customers enjoy sitting in areas where their privacy is maximized and that traffic is minimized. Most guests will not choose areas in the middle of the restaurant so make sure every seat feels like a cozy cove meant just for their party.
People are looking for certain things when they eat out. It matters how an establishments smells, looks and feels. It is important that a customer be relaxed and gable to get what they would like to out of the meal. It is important that if you are serving customers on paper plates and plastic cups your ambience is a backyard bbq. There is something about the way the seats are placed, the type of music that is played, the temperature and even where the bathroom is located. Ambience is the key to making a restaurant successful. Ensure you have the correct ambience for you clientele and the food and service will find their way.