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Restaurant Layout Impacts the Entire Vibe Of Your Space

Posted on | November 1, 2013 | Comments

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License: Creative Commons image sourceThe Psychology Of Restaurant Layout and Design

How A Few Changes To Your Restaurant Layout Can Impact the Entire Vibe of Your Space

Good business often comes down to understanding human psychology well. The idea of a business of course is to create products or services that people want and to then sell them to those people at a price that is more than it cost to create them. That means you need to get into people’s heads in order to know what it is they want, to understand how to make your offering stand out and feel memorable and to make what you’re pushing seem like even more of a great option and even more great value.

This is true no matter the nature of your business and that includes running a restaurant and restaurant layout. When you run a restaurant there are countless little factors and unconscious signals that speak to a customer’s mood and that can impact their enjoyment of the experience and their chances of coming back.

To demonstrate this, let’s take a look at some of the ways that psychology plays a role in the restaurant design and restaurant layout. Understand these principals and you should be able to increase your business and your customer satisfaction.


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Colour psychology is an important consideration when designing any business décor. What you often don’t realise is that colours can make a big impact on the way that someone feels and this can even make them more or less likely to stay someone and to want to shop there.

For instance, one of the reasons that fast food chains often use lots of reds and oranges in their décor is that this colour can unconsciously cause our heartrate to raise thus making us a little less comfortable. This means that without knowing quite why, we are less likely to spend a long time in a fast food chain: and that means better turnover and more custom for the stores.

On the other hand, if yours is a nice ‘sit down’ restaurant that you hope people are going to spend a long time in, then you want to use neutral and relaxing colours. Blues and greens are particularly effective for this and will help to put customers at ease, thus increasing the chances that they will order something else after their main course.


In a theatre you will find that the heating is often kept relatively low and the environment is generally quite cool. Once again there is a rhyme and reason for this: this time it’s that keeping people colder means they are less likely to feel sleepy and more likely to stay alert and switched on. This means that they will be more involved in what’s going on and more likely to clap and cheer.

The opposite is true in restaurant layout. Here you want your customers to be warm and cosy, which will make them feel tireder and thus mean their bodies tell them that they need more blood sugar. When we feel warm and cosy we often want ‘comfort food’ and that could be the exact feeling that causes your customers to order a treacle pudding for desert or big pie instead of a small sandwich. Having the right music and the right seating can also help people to relax more.


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One of the worst things in a restaurant is feeling as though you are crowded and can’t move. This makes it hard to relax and enjoy yourself and often makes you anxious to leave.

This is why it’s important to ensure that your visitors have plenty of space – but more important than that is to make them feel like they have plenty of space. Face their chairs outwards into the centre of the room, and arrange chairs around tables so that they aren’t directly opposite each other, and avoid busy patterns that make people feel crowded, and all this will help to create the illusion of space and freedom. Mirrors can also be highly effective by increasing the amount of light in a room and by seeming to extend the space that you’re in. That said, make sure that you space your customers out evenly so that it doesn’t feel too quiet and dead either.

All these tips demonstrate just what a big psychological impact a few small things can make in restaurant layout. It’s time to get in the heads of your customers as well as their stomachs.


The author of this restaurant layout post, The Psychology of Restaurant Design,  is Billy Perez, a part of the team at Kap Furniture, leading suppliers of restaurant furniture. A foodie, Billy likes to experiment with food and visits restaurants that have something different and delicious on their menu.

About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, Certified Tea Professional, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.