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Top 5 Restaurant Lighting Tips to Transform Your Guest Experience

Top 5 Restaurant Lighting Tips to Transform Your Guest Experience

We all know looks matter, but for restaurant owners, creating the right kind of atmosphere can be a make-or-break factor. One often overlooked element of restaurant design is the role that the right lighting plays in shaping your establishment’s desired look and feel and your business’s overall success.

Think that’s an exaggeration? Here is some food for thought:

  • Research shows there’s a strong connection between restaurant ambiance and consumer appeal, so much so that 9 out of 10 consumers say ambiance plays a key role in their dining choice
  • More than one in five consumers say ambience is one of the their top 5 factors for choosing a restaurant
  • In a survey involving 1500 people, 29% said they have walked out of a restaurant because of bad lighting

    So, how can you create welcoming and memorable ambience with architectural lighting? Here are the top 5 restaurant lighting tips.

    1. Use light in layers

    The trick to functional restaurant lighting is to use light in layers. First, make sure your ambient lighting is right and then make sure you layer it up with Task Lighting for tables, reception areas, and bars. Accent lighting, on the other hand, can help you highlight art work or cool features.

    1. Light different areas differently

    Different areas of your restaurant should have different levels of lighting. For example:

    Tables = Pendant lights and soft diffused lighting is a good option for tables. They provide enough brightness for patrons to comfortably read the menu and see each other but at the same time are subdued enough to create a private space and not cause glaring.

    Seating area = The sitting area should be a tad brighter than the eating area. This ensures the area has a warm, welcoming feel to it and allows the staff to easily communicate with customers.

    Salad bar = If your restaurant has a salad bar, the lighting in this area should be both aesthetic and practical. Dimmable spotlights can be a smart option for this area.

    Focal points = Single spot lights or track lights can help you highlight art pieces efficiently.

    1. Consider using different lighting for different times of the day

    Using different lighting for different times of the day can be a good idea.

    Breakfast = Experts recommend using bright lighting which mimics daylight early in the day.

    Lunch = During the lunch hours, moderate lighting is recommended by most experts.

    Dinner = Using lower intensity lighting can help create a leisurely, intimate atmosphere during dinnertime.

    1. Opt for a consistent lighting theme

    Having too many different styles can be confusing and create hot spots and cold spots. That is why experts recommend sticking to no more than 3 to 4 different styles of lighting. Doing so will lend the interior decor some consistency without making it too banal or generic.

    1. Choose functionality over aesthetics

    Avoid using lights simply because they look pretty. Instead, make sure they serve the purpose they are designed for because people often walk out of a restaurant due to bad lighting. We are sure this is the last thing you would want, isn’t so?

    With the help of these tips you can easily create a welcoming and memorable atmosphere that makes your customers feel comfortable and want to come back again and again.