Nowadays, people go to restaurants not just to eat and drink — they also go to restaurants to have an excellent experience. Our restaurant experts will tell you that guests nowadays want to soak up the atmosphere, savor it as they have their meal, and enjoy the symphony of flavors, textures, colors, sounds, and smells. In fact, we’ve found there are many people who judge restaurants based on their ambiance alone; even if the food is good, these folks will skip a place if they hear that the environment is bad or just bland.
So, if you own or manage a restaurant or are planning to start/buy one, you have to create the right atmosphere and maintain it for your guests. Here are some tips from restaurant experts:
Identify your concept
What kind of dishes do you offer? Who are your target audience? How do you want them to enjoy your food and drinks? What do you want your guests to remember when they leave your restaurant? Answering these questions will help you define your restaurant concept and, once you have a clear idea of it, you can use it to shape your menu, your premises, and even your staff.
Match your menu with your premises
The type of food you serve should match the environment that your guests are in. If you want to emphasize fun and casual dining, for example, you’ll want to use comfortable chairs and tables and give your restaurant a vibrant ambiance through pops of color in the decor and lively music. If you want to stand out as an elegant fine dining restaurant, you won’t go wrong with buying posh furniture and furnishings and investing in expensive artwork.
Hire the right people
It’s difficult to build the right atmosphere if your staff are not behind you 100 percent. So, as early as possible, look for people who don’t only have excellent skills and experience in the hospitality industry but also have a personality that fits your company culture.
This can be difficult to do if you stick to the traditional hiring process, so you might want to get a bit creative. Try what hospitality entrepreneur Andy Masi is doing: hire the core people (e.g. chefs, managers, marketing experts) on your own, then let these leaders bring in the best people they know. It allows you to create an organic team, which means your staff will find it easy to coordinate with each other. It also helps you find employees with the right skills, background, and emotional intelligence for the job since they’re chosen by leaders who know these people on a personal level and who understand your vision and mission.
Pay attention to the little details
Creating a great ambiance is not just about the big picture; it’s also about the tiny details. The type of lighting in the premises, the volume of music in the background, the dishes and silverware you use, even the design of your menu — all of these can affect the atmosphere in your restaurant.
These are just some of the things you can do to create the right atmosphere in your restaurant and maintain it in the coming months and years. They can seem overwhelming especially if you’re still starting out, but don’t worry since you don’t have to take these steps on your own. By hiring restaurant experts, you’ll get a professional who’ll help you build and maintain the perfect ambiance for your restaurant guests.
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