By Ryan Loose
Something that always astounds me when watching Kitchen Nightmares is how much a few small changes can make someone’s restaurant look brand new. One of the main things the Kitchen Nightmares team does to achieve this transformation is play with the interior color scheme. Let’s take a general look at how color choice can affect the way customers perceive your restaurant, so with a few easy steps, even you can have a "new" restaurant too.
Light Colors - Light colors are often used to make a small restaurant look bigger and more inviting. Light, subtle colors like ivory, beige, white, pale yellow, and light gray also evoke a more leisurely and relaxed feel, encouraging customers to stay awhile, have something from the bar, possibly a dessert or two, (spend more money).
Dark Colors - Adversely, dark colors tend to make a large room look smaller. Deep blues, dark purples, crimson, and dark grays are often used in large dining rooms and banquet halls, to reduce the impersonal feeling of large group dining and create a more intimate, romantic feeling. Also, dark colors like black have the added benefit of masking structural eye-sores like ductwork.
Warm Colors - Reds, yellows, bright greens, and orange are examples of warm colors. Warm colors are often used to add dynamic, eye catching focus points to your overall restaurant decor through wall hangings, tabletop accessories, or even place settings. Points of focus help add to the overall excitement of dining at your restaurant by creating a more playful, easy going atmosphere.
Cool Colors - Blues, dark greens, purples, subtle metallics, and burgundy are examples of cool colors. Cool colors contribute to the overall elegance of your restaurant, if you’re going for a more refined, fine dining-esque decor. Cool colors are commonly used in structural pieces like awnings, accent walls, or even right on the table with charger plates, napkins, and table covers.
Bright Colors - Bright primary colors are most commonly used in food service establishments to encourage quick turnovers. For example, you’ll see a lot of bright colors like reds, yellows, oranges, or even fluorescents in fast food restaurants, cafeteria style restaurants, or other food service operations that need to turn tables fast.
Even in tough economic times, giving your restaurant a makeover is easy. A new coat of paint. Some colorful cloth tablecovers, new vibrant China plates, or zingy colored beverage napkins can make your restaurant look brand new and keep customers coming through the door.