Every restaurant is managed a little differently. Whether you are an independent venue or are part of a franchised chain, the restaurant manager, staff, local customers, and the building itself will determine the unique environment you can create. One aspect of your building that can significantly influence your management style is the restaurant zoning. Whether you have an indoor and outdoor spaces, a separate bar, or a selection of dining rooms to choose from, each zone can provide your customers a unique ambiance for their dining experience.
Restaurant zoning can allow your customers to choose which area they want to sit in based on the experience they’re looking for. Or, if your guests are seated by the hostess, you can perfect your technique in guessing which area each customer would prefer most. The best way to define these separate zones is with a combination of lights, music, and decor. Even the staff can become a part of your customized experience by behaving slightly differently as they serve in one zone or another. With the right ambiance and restaurant zoning, you can draw the clientele you want or influence the energy of a room by subtly changing the environmental mood.
What Moods Can You Set in Your Restaurant?
Soft and Moody
Any restaurant that offers seating and dinner service should consider a soft and moody ambiance for at least one of your zones. By dimming the lights and playing soft instrumentals, jazz, and gentle rock classics, you can enhance the evening mood for guests who like a quiet and intimate environment to dine in. You don’t have to be a formal restaurant to create a soft and moody space, and you may even attract more classic dinner guests and adorable couples who love the food and want to speak softly to each other over dinner.
Energetic and Festive
An energetic dining area is great for the lunch crowd and for cheerful any-time diners looking for somewhere friendly to grab a bite. Energetic pop, rock, or themed music is almost always best when combined with brighter diffused lighting and plenty of room to move around between tables. When you set up a festive environment for guests who like to laugh and play with their dining companions, don’t be surprised if a few people get up to dance or even sing along to their favorite classic hits. Energetic music is also great for the staff because it’s fun to move quickly along to the peppy up-beats.
Casual and Relaxed
Of course, many venues prefer to set a very chill environment for customers who want to relax and chat with their friends over their sandwiches and drinks. Whether you’re fast-casual, a coffee shop, or even a fine dining restaurant, a casual ambiance is great for any daylight hours and creates a warm and welcoming haven after the sun has set. Many people who choose to eat ‘out’ will go somewhere that feels relaxed and inviting, especially if they plan to linger over dessert with a special someone or a good friend. A casual environment is best created with soft lighting and even softer chairs. Emphasize warm drinks and little details that remind customers of home to help them relax and enjoy the mood.
In the Kitchen
Finally, never forget that the ambiance in your kitchen and service areas is just as important as what the diners experience! Whether you are slammed or doing prep during slow hours, you can absolutely make work both easier and more fun with a little thought to environment and mood. Classic rock and current radio hits are a great way to go for your kitchen soundtrack, especially if you have a no-commercials option available. Bright white lighting is always a must in food prep areas and by making it diffuse, you can reduce eyestrain. And, of course, always keep the floors covered in rubber-backed mats so when your kitchen staff boogie up to the pass to your rock classics there’s never any risk of slipping.
Setting the Mood With Restaurant Zoning Has Never Been Easier!
Building the right environment for your restaurant is all about ambiance. With nothing but lights and music, you can influence how softly your diners speak or how excited they get throwing straw wrappers at each other. You can subtly bring down the mood of a room that has gotten too rowdy by dimming the lights and slowing your music tempo or bring up a ‘dull’ room by pepping up the environment. You can even build a name for yourself by having particularly appealing zones for teens, dates, study breaks, or business meetings depending on your target clientele. For more restaurant mood tips and techniques, contact us today!