When embarking on a new design project with a defined concept, one of the initial steps you might take as a restaurant owner is to assess what your competitors are up to. Your natural curiosity leads you to seek inspiration. You might observe what other venues are doing, particularly those that are bustling and take note of their choice of furniture, colour palettes, lighting, and overall ambiance. Yet, this creative reconnaissance mission has the potential to veer you off course and alter your original concept. Suddenly, you may start to question if your unique colour palette is too unconventional or if your choice of tables and chairs should align more closely with the trendy venues you’ve seen.

While we all aspire to run a popular business, it’s essential to recognise that emulating the popular crowd may not always be the best course of action. In this discussion, we’ll explore why it’s beneficial to stay true to your originality and why avoiding excessive trend-led design, is key to preventing your business from aging too quickly.

Go easy on the trends
Once upon a time, New York’s industrial-style lofts were all the rage in the catering world. Venues swiftly adopted features like bars fashioned from industrial scaffolding and exposed brick walls. However, fully committing your space to such a strong trend-driven design could inadvertently set a timer on the longevity of your business. When your competitors move on to new styles, you might find yourself with a restaurant that feels outdated.

Invest in timeless pieces
There are certain pieces of furniture and lighting that simply stand the test of time. Chesterfield sofas serve as a prime example, known for their enduring appeal. Additionally, wooden shelving units or built-in cupboards have a remarkable timelessness, as they can be easily updated. Prioritising high-quality pieces and materials has the power to shift your restaurant aesthetic from trend-driven to timeless effortlessly.

Be inspired by your buildings features (or lack of)
Period features, awkward spaces, low-light venues, ugly exteriors, exposed brick walls. Can all have their own challenges. Sometimes the venue you had in mind isn’t the one you end up with, and sometimes our dream aesthetic may not seamlessly translate into a different type of space. Get creative with what your venue does and doesn’t have. A lack of light may inspire a really creative lighting solution that you may not have thought of, or an awkward space might make the best cosy corner. When you engage with the existing elements, it compels you to think outside the box, infusing added intrigue into your venue’s ambiance.

Go original, break the mould!
Memorable venues are often the ones that defy convention, they take risks with their colour palettes, opt for interesting or bold themes, and they don’t need to worry if people are going to love it, because they wholeheartedly believe in the vision themselves.

If you find yourself at a loss and unsure of which direction to take your restaurant’s aesthetic, consider going for a classy approach. Dining out has become a treasured occasion, particularly given the high cost of living in the UK. On average, around 38% of individuals are opting to dine out less frequently. Choosing a classy approach with high-quality finishes is an excellent option. Elevate your venue’s ambiance to craft an experience that is truly special and unforgettable for your customers.

Our in-house design team boasts extensive experience in the commercial design field. Contact us today to discuss your ideas, and let us guide you.