“Atmosphere – it’s of the utmost importance. It’s very key. The lighting has to be right. And table settings have to as well. It’s about trying to space tables out nicely so you have that atmosphere no matter how busy you are,” says Scott Andrews, operations manager at hotel and restaurant Gidleigh Park.
The Devon destination received two stars as well as four forks and spoons for comfort in the 2014 Great Britain & Ireland Michelin Guide. He explains just how much thinking goes into dining room layouts.
2.Focusing on your customers.
7. Dishes, silver ware, and linens.
Artwork also plays a part. Paintings hang on the walls of Gidleigh Park as they do at many restaurants. Andrews says: “It sets the mood to portray to your guests. It also gives them a point of interest. There’s nothing worse than staring at a bare wall. You do need a focal point in any room but nothing too overpowering.”
Tailoring to a customer’s needs reverts to the same principle of keeping things natural. Service is not forced and neither is a vibrant atmosphere. These restaurants strive to make the dining experience as organic as possible. They enjoy the best atmosphere because they understand ambiance is merely harnessed.
A romantic setting should be dimly lit. Try a nice chandelier or incorporate candles. If you run a fast-casual concept, use natural light through big windows (with adjustable shade options), or try a bright, upbeat color scheme. Finding the proper lighting will set the tone for your restaurant.
Lighting isn’t only essential for the guest experience during the meal. As we mentioned above, people want to take photos of their experience!
When it comes to photo lighting, some restaurants are going to great lengths to ensure their customers get the perfect photos. The second branch of steakhouse Boston Chops that opened this year features a special “Instagrammers’ table” complete with moveable, adjustable lights ideal for photos.