Restaurant Lighting Guide
A lot of thought goes into restaurant lighting and the main reason for this is you, the customer. The customer comes first, this is so true and it’s not just the food, service and music that needs to be taken into consideration when opening a new establishment. How the restaurant looks and feels is a key factor for a positive dining experience. Lighting creates a great impact in restaurants. Whilst one of the most underestimated elements of an establishment it really does serve a purpose.
Here we’ll look at the key reasons why lighting in a restaurant is so important:
- sets the mood;
- increases sales;
- benefits kitchen preparation area;
- distinguishes areas.
Restaurant Lighting - sets the mood
Imagine its Valentines night, you’ve booked a meal for you and your loved one. You’re hoping for an intimate, private meal just the two of you. You sit down at your table and the whole room is awash in a bright glaring light. Your idea of a romantic meal is ruined, you can see everyone else around you enjoying their own meal for two and the food is looking a funny shade of blue. The brightness and colour of light must be looked at for each individual restaurant. For instance, a breakfast bar/café should have a lot of bright light to help customers read their morning newspaper. Imitating natural day light is key for this type of establishment as you want to help the customer wake up and have a bright and cheery morning. For dinner time, a moderate level of lighting is key, for places such as fast food restaurants where a faster turnover is needed. Evening meals and dining restaurants require a more subdued and subtle illumination. To allow your customers to unwind and relax after a hectic day at the office. Low level lighting also creates a more romantic and intimate atmosphere, which is ideal for customers wanting a romantic meal.
Restaurant Lighting - increases sales
How long the customer will dine for can be influenced by the level of lighting in an establishment which will therefore increase sales. A soft and welcoming ambience will create a calming dining experience for the customer. As a result, a relaxed diner will spend more time in one place, which in turn means they will spend more money. The correct colour of light will also make the food look more appealing, a blue light will be too harsh and give the food a grey/blue shade.
Restaurant Lighting - benefits kitchen preparation area
There’s no use having a great chef if his work station isn’t great. Practical lighting is needed in a restaurant kitchen for not just cooking and prepping, but also from a safety aspect. Spotlighting either recessed or on a bar or track will give a direct pool of light that can be angled over a specific area such as a work surface. Under cupboard lighting is also a great idea for giving a wash of light over work surfaces.
Restaurant Lighting - distinguishes areas
Different levels of lighting is needed throughout a restaurant to help distinguish and reflect the purpose of that specific area. Creating separate lighting atmospheres throughout will give a greater dining experience for the customer. For instance, waiting areas should be brighter than the main eating area, to help customers distinguish the reception area. Brighter light at the front of an establishment create a welcoming feel and will also help customers find the front entrance easily. Booth areas and sections of the restaurant that are for a more isolated and intimate dining should have more low level lighting. Introducing different areas of light will also give the illusion of a larger premises. Choosing a statement piece such as a chandelier at the entrance of the establishment will entice potential customers to visit.