4 Key Elements of a Good Restaurant Atmosphere

You have a restaurant that serves high-quality food and a group of regular customers that regularly eats at your establishment, but something is missing. Deep down, you already know what’s missing, as you look around the restaurant and realize it is bland and boring, with no ambiance of any kind.

You may have been to other restaurants that have a great vibe that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. So, the question arises, what are the four key elements of a good restaurant atmosphere? What tips could you use in your establishment that won’t cost you a fortune and require very little effort? Today, we will be going over these four key elements in detail.

Four Elements of a Good Restaurant Atmosphere

1. Restaurant Theme and Music

Your restaurant should have a creative theme that connects the environment with your menu and culture. If your restaurant specializes in BBQ, then have a rustic environment that creates the right atmosphere, while playing your favorite music in the background.

You have to remember that sound creates feeling and is connected to mood, and it can trigger emotions and build memories. Hearing is one of the strongest sensory functions we have, which means that sound can have a strong impact on our emotions, whether it comes from music, food sizzling on the barbie, laughter from other diners, or the gentle babbling of a fountain inside your restaurant.

There are companies that specialize in restaurant play lists, or you can create a suitable play list via Spotify or iTunes.

2. Lighting

We’ve seen that having a theme for your restaurant is important, but second to that is lighting. Lighting is incredibly important, as it sets the tone of your restaurant. If your theme is elegant or romantic, then it would be appropriate to have chandeliers. If your restaurant is family-oriented, then having a natural green light will lighten the environment for a positive perspective.

If you have a mixed theme, then you will want to change up your lightening by the use of dimmers, or possibly switch to using candlelight in the evening, as this creates a more intimate mood for your guests.

3. Colour and Texture

Colour that is used in your brand name or logo should also be used for your restaurant’s walls, floor and even furniture. Colours have been shown to change affect a person’s appetite. Warm colours like yellows, oranges and reds have been shown to increase appetite, where cool colours, particularly blue have shown to decrease the appetite.

As well as colour, texture also can enhance your restaurant ambience. The sense of touch can influence our mood; it may calm us down or make us annoyed. Conduct a touch test on your own and see how you feel. What is the texture of the napkins, menus, table tops and chairs you use? How do they make you feel?

4. Clean Environment

It’s important to keep your restaurant clean, so customers can tell you care about them and serve high-quality food. A dirty restaurant will create negative energy and show people that you don’t care. This is especially true of toilets, washrooms, storage areas and hallways or pathways that are publicly visible. This can impact the perceived quality of your restaurant and mean that customers won’t want to frequent your establishment again.

No one likes to go to a restaurant and see oil drums, large containers of cooking ingredients and dirty toilets even if the front of house is spick and span.


Being in the restaurant business can be tricky, as it requires not only being able to serve your customers with good cuisine, but also to provide them with a lasting memory, so that they want to come back to your restaurant repeatedly. By using these four key elements, you will be able to create the right restaurant ambience and persuade your first-time customers to become regulars.