Even if you love the old-school charm that your restaurant has built up over the years, that retro aesthetic may actually harm you in the long run. Unfortunately, as anyone who lived through the 1970s knows (or the 1990s, for that matter), not all looks are timeless.
And while the quality of your kitchen and bar staff matter immensely, a great restaurant is about much more than just the food. It’s all about the experience. If you don’t have an updated space, you may be losing customers. Here are four design elements that may add up to an outdated restaurant environment.
Take some time to look at the bowls and plates you serve your food on. Is it outdated? If it is, it might be time to upgrade. Choosing a basic, elegant white is perfect if you’re a casual restaurant. However, if you own a place that’s a lot more high-end, you need to invest in something a bit more exciting. Many restaurants are experimenting with bolder color palettes and unusual plating options. If your establishment’s overall aesthetic is bright and bold, don’t be afraid to choose bright colored plates.
After inspecting your china and replacing it if necessary, look at your glassware. Your glassware needs to complement your china, your decor, and your menu. If your wine glasses, for example, are discolored, dingy, and cloudy, it’s definitely time to upgrade. A simple switch of your 10-year-old wine glasses to something a lot newer can make all the difference. Likewise, while stemless wine glasses and mason jars were en vogue several years ago, new trends have since come along. Don’t be afraid to mix it up.
Do you have upholstery fabric that looks like it just popped out of the 1970s? Do your wood table tops have glass rings covering their surface? Unless your restaurant is based on a certain era, keep your commercial furniture modernized. The majority of respondents to a Furniture Today survey said they prefer furniture that lasts between five to nine years. But if your furniture is more than 10 years old, then it might be time for some new pieces, fabrics, and finishes. Get rid of those rickety, broken barstools and replace them with comfortable chairs. Not only will they look better in your restaurant, but your guests will be much happier sitting on something sturdy.
Your Dried Flowers
A dead giveaway that your restaurant is outdated is a trace of dried flowers. If you have those in any of your rooms, throw them out immediately. Dried flowers tend to collect dust and are extremely hard to clean. If you really love the look of flowers in your space, consider using the real deal. Just make sure to change them out when they start to die. Many restaurant owners ultimately come to the conclusion that live plants are more trouble than they’re worth. However, you can still incorporate small, fresh flowers into centerpieces and table candles for a touch of life in your eating space.
Whether it be your furniture, your flowers, or your china, there are so many things that can make your restaurant look outdated. Taking the time to update all of these elements can make a huge difference.