Decorating Your Fast Casual Restaurant: The Basics

Fast Casual

Those who have been in the restaurant industry long enough will tell you that running a restaurant is very rarely just about the food. It’s also about creating an inviting and memorable experience for those who dine in your establishment. This is especially important in a fast casual restaurant, where customers typically have higher expectations than they would at a fast food restaurant.

Your restaurant's ambiance and aesthetics play a significant role in attracting and retaining customers. Read on below for the basics of decorating your fast casual restaurant to create an atmosphere that will encourage patrons to keep coming back for more:

1. Define Your Brand Identity

One of the biggest mistakes that restaurant owners can make when decorating their fast casual joints is not establishing their restaurant’s brand identity beforehand. This can lead to disjointed, chaotic decor that doesn’t make much of a memorable impression on customers.

Are you aiming for a cozy, family-friendly vibe, or perhaps a trendy, urban feel? These are a few examples of the questions that you need to ask yourself before decorating your restaurant. Your fast casual restaurant’s decor should align with your brand to create a cohesive and authentic atmosphere.

Consider the type of cuisine you serve and your target audience. For example, a Mexican fast-casual restaurant might opt for vibrant colors and rustic decor, while a sushi joint could go for a minimalist and contemporary look. It's all about setting the right expectations for your diners.

2. Choose the Right Color Palette

Color is one of the most powerful tools in interior design. It can evoke certain emotions and go a long way towards setting the mood for your restaurant.

When selecting your color palette, keep the psychology of colors in mind. Warm hues of red, yellow, and muted orange can stimulate the appetite and contribute towards a lively atmosphere, which is perfect for a bustling fast casual restaurant. Cool tones of blue, teal, and seafoam, on the other hand, promote relaxation and a sense of freshness.

It’s not just about what colors you choose to paint your walls with, either: the palette you choose should interact harmoniously with other design elements like lighting, furniture, and decor. A harmonious color scheme can create a visually pleasing experience that customers will associate with your brand.

3. Furniture Matters

Many restaurant owners make the mistake of choosing furniture for their establishments based purely on aesthetics. Remember: in a fast casual restaurant, you want people to be able to sit down comfortably and thoroughly enjoy their meals–it’s the secret to repeat visits! That’s why it’s important to choose seating that is both functional and comfortable.

The type of seating you choose depends on what your overall concept is: cozy booths are great for intimate gatherings, for example, while long, shared tables are best for communal dining experiences. Here at Wholesale Bar Stool Club, we offer a wide variety of wholesale tables and chairs that aren’t just comfortable–they’re also durable and easy to clean. Our selections include wholesale tables and chairs made out of wood or metal, which are the best choices for the high traffic that you can come to expect in a fast casual establishment. You can choose from regular height wholesale tables and chairs, go for bar height furnishings, or a mixture of both.

To ensure the smooth flow of foot traffic and accessibility during busy hours, you should also carefully consider how your furniture will be laid out in the dining area.

4. Lighting the Way

Lighting is yet another often-overlooked aspect of design–most people simply don’t realize how much it contributes to the atmosphere. The right lighting can create a warm and inviting ambiance, while harsh lighting can make customers feel uncomfortable.

Layered lighting is a concept in interior design that involves using multiple sources of light at different levels and positions to create a balanced, functional, and aesthetically pleasing lighting scheme in a space. It’s the best way to light any restaurant, promoting a cozy and intimate feel. Experimenting with different lighting fixtures and levels to find the perfect balance is always a good idea: consider pendant lights or soft, dimmable wall sconces indoors, and string lights or lanterns that give off a warm glow outdoors. Your lighting should, of course, complement your color scheme and overall decor.

5. Greenery and Natural Elements

Incorporating greenery and natural elements into your restaurant decor can have a calming and refreshing effect on diners. Indoor plants, such as succulents or potted herbs, can enhance the visual appeal of your restaurant, while improving air quality.

Natural materials like wood and stone can also add warmth and texture to your space. Whether it's wooden tabletops or stone accents on the walls, these elements can create a more inviting and earthy ambiance.

Decorating your fast-casual restaurant is about more than just aesthetics; it's about creating an atmosphere that complements your brand and enhances the dining experience. With the tips above, you can craft a space that keeps customers coming back for delicious food and a welcoming ambiance.