How to Use Color in Restaurant Design to Influence Customer`s Experience

Colour is one of the most powerful and strategic instruments that restaurants can use to give a pleasant culinary experience, attract clients and make them loyal. Therefore, it is very important to know everything about the way colours can influence the restaurant experience before making any decision regarding space design and costs that come along.

Why are colours the starting point in a restaurant’s concept and design?

When it comes to space, colours can be used to make the restaurant look bigger are smaller than it actually is. Also, colours have the power to control a space’s intimacy level. There are things you probably know

But colours succeed to overcome the esthetic barrier. They generate all sorts of psychological reactions and have the power to influence the amount of time a person spends in a restaurant, what and how much she orders, the way she gets emotionally involved and a large frame of emotions with effects on your cash flow.

Therefore, the more efficient we use the colour when it comes to our businesses objectives, the more successful the business will have long term.

Light colours like white, beige and mild grey determine clients to spend more time in the restaurant

For small spaces, painting the interior walls of the restaurant in any light and neutral colour will create the feeling of space. Also, the best colour for the ceiling of a restaurant is white or beige, for making the place seem more generous in height.  

You should also know that warm and light tones create ”instagram-worthy” angles that will work as a promo locomotive for your business.

Regarding the psychological effect of light colours, studies showed white or beige gives a sense of relaxation among customers, making them stay more, as more welcomed they felt.

Look out though, restaurants that have a daily big volume of customers should avoid using exclusively light colours, in order to reduce the time a customer spends in them. Solution? Use chromatin combos and colour accent. Also, exclusively using beige or white tones is not recommended because it will create an uneventful space. In exchange, coloured elements on the wall level – green plants or accent furniture will “break” the dull beige effect.

Red is just for fast food and well-balanced colour accents

Red fastens the heartbeats and stimulates compulsive consumption. Now you get why the biggest fast-food chains have created for themselves the brand image around this colour, right? The more people eat and move fast, the more profitable fast food gets.

Red can also be used for personality and even for the premium note of a restaurant. Explore below two examples.

Relaxing colours for the “green” concepts: green and brown

Dining is an excellent opportunity for unplugging from stressful daily affairs, and the colours we find in nature can help the customers relax and enjoy their friends or family company and not their phones that have become such an easy temptation. 

Green was and stays the natural colour and it creates a relaxing mood in the restaurant, encouraging customers to stay for a while. Green is an excellent colour for restaurants trying to communicate the freshness or the healthy environment options on the menu. As tendencies for healthy/ organic/ vegan food are growing, also the rate of using the colour got bigger.

Of course, tone, intensity and colour capacity are important aspects in order to keep the positive effect over the customer’s experience. Also, lighting is important, and we recommend as much natural light as possible. For instance, green can’t work very well in bars and pubs with weak lighting, because it becomes sombre and depressing. 

Green is often combined with grey or natural wood brown shades. Because we will dedicate a separate blog post for concrete, industrial style and the colour grey, we can now shift our attention towards brown. Wood manages perfectly to balance strong colours and give life to interior spaces, especially when it is in the furniture. 

Violet and blue reduce the appetite

Very few ingredients are blue or violet, the reason for our brain does not naturally associate these two colours with food. Although, research shows that blue makes people thirsty and is recommended for juice bars, for example.

For restaurants on the seafood spectrum or with maritime-themed, we recommend using the colour blue that takes people’s thoughts to the depth and purity of the sea and can induce a relaxation state. But the way the colours and textures combinations are used can make the difference between an awarded interior (as the Dancing Lobster Restaurant from Bucharest is) and one not welcoming at all. 

Orange, yellow and other warm shades

You just found out neutral shades and natural colours are the most appropriate for the interior of your design, and red is rather on a black list (although it can be used with success in terracotta nuances). You must also know that orange and yellow work excellent in a space associated with white, green or wood colour. These colours give a sense of happiness and make clients seem less guilty of their consumption of hypercaloric food.

Using warm nuances at the entrance of the restaurant makes customers feel the temperature a little higher than it actually is, while colder nuances send the opposite psychological impulse. 

We invite you to discover how we practice what we preach on colours in the hospitality industry. Dive in the GAS portfolio HERE.