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Published On: Wed, Feb 17th, 2016

Where Everyone Knows Your Name: Furnishing Your Small Town Eatery

Many small town eating establishments fail. And, there’s a number of reasons why. One of those reasons is poor design and furnishings. If you want to avoid becoming another statistic, here are some ideas to help you attract more locals than the fire code will allow.

Keep The Decor Customer-Themed

Play up to the local crowd. Nothing sticks out in a small town more than a restaurant that doesn’t understand the locals. While you should try to differentiate yourself, sometimes the decor is not the place to do it. Before you decorate or redecorate, ask yourself what the people living in the community do for a living, for fun, and when they want to relax.

Incorporate that into your restaurant. Does your town have a semi-famous or community-supported sports team? Maybe you could invite that team to eat or drink in your establishment, pose with the players for a photo, and hang it on the wall. The, decorate the place in the team colors to show your own support.

You’ll win dedicated and loyal fans of the team as customers. Guaranteed.

photo/ danetti

photo/ danetti

Keep Continuity

Inconsistent decorations will make diners feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. In successful restaurants, the food and service are complimentary. And, nothing really feels out of place.

Successful restaurants also take care of their establishments. Got a broken table leg? Get new table legs. Lighting broken or non-functional? Buy new lighting.

Make sure the front of the house looks and feels similar to the main dining area and the kitchen – even if customers won’t be going back to have a chat with the head chef.

Fix The Lighting

If your lighting is bad, you need to get on this right away. An establishment that’s too dark or dreary can drive customers away. If you have table lamps or overhead lighting, make sure someone is cleaning and dusting them at least weekly, preferably daily. Customers will be grossed out if dust and cobwebs are falling into their soup.

Finally, make sure the lighting fits the theme of your restaurant or bar. If you run a bar, it’s going to be a little darker and relaxed than if you run a family restaurant. If you run a Mexican restaurant, customers are going to expect vibrant and “crazy” lights. If you run a five-star posh restaurant, you’ll want soft lighting that’s ultra-professional and formal.

Complement The Building You’re In

If your bar or restaurant is in an old historical building, keep that in mind when decorating. There are many restaurants and bars that take advantage of the general theme of the parent building and do a great job of it.

If your bar or restaurant is located underneath the city streets of an old stone building, for example, could you work that into the theme of your place? Maybe you could keep the supporting joists and pillars bare, if they’re wood or old steel, and use that in the design of the dining area.

If your restaurant is in a modern building, use it. Maybe you can furnish the place with high-end, modern-looking tables, glass, and steel for an industrial look and feel.

Guest Author :

Jade Anderson has worked as a marketing consultant since leaving college. Today she works solely with culinary based businesses, whether bakery or brasserie! Her marketing and branding articles appear on a range of business websites.

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