How restaurant ambience contributes to profitability

How Restaurant Ambience and Profitability Relate

Most restaurant owners notice it when their customers aren’t returning, but very few care to find out the reason. Customers never notify you before they stop coming. They just vanish. This is the most dangerous thing that can happen to your business.

Several factors can undermine the profitability of a restaurant, the most notable of them being a bad atmosphere. As such, you need to pay keen attention to your restaurant ambience. When your restaurant is a more pleasurable place to be, with a lovely mood, customers will come in, hang out longer, and of course, buy more. Let’s look at some ways in which you can improve the atmosphere of your restaurant.

Here’s some design inspiration

Interior Design

The first thing that customers use to rate your restaurant, even before they smell your food, is the décor and colours surrounding them, and how they make them feel.

First, colours play an integral role in ambiance, since we relate and react to particular colours based on past experiences. The colours you choose should match your restaurant, and if possible, the food you serve. Warm colours stimulate positive feelings. Likewise, they are more exciting colours, which have been proven to improve appetite.

Hence, make sure you appropriately proportion warm colours. Don’t overpower your meals by having red walls and red fixtures in the same space. Neutrals make an excellent colour scheme because the colours make your customers feel calm. It’s also easier to integrate this theme with different furnishings, artwork, and flowers.

Ron Gorodesky and Eileen Madigan in a recent article also pointed it the need also to focus on how the restaurant works for your staff
“Keep the employees in mind when you design the restaurant. Create a design that facilitates their movements in and out of the kitchen. This will create seamless service that will make customers happy. It will also contribute to high employee morale. Internally market your design to your employees. ”


Another factor to consider in restaurant ambience, spacing goes hand-in-hand with design. You have to ensure that your customers are not cramped or feel trapped when seated. Like several other things in the management of a restaurant, getting the spacing just right comes with experience.

You may want your customers to feel relaxed, but you also need to even out the seating and do a proper analysis to make sure that at any given time, you are not turning away potential customers due to excessive spacing and too little seating availability.

Consider making the arrangement of your restaurant so flexible that you can easily juggle between these competing demands with regard to the season and day.

Lighting and Colours

Lighting is another factor that can affect the ambiance of your restaurant. It helps you create an atmosphere for each table because each table normally pays for their experience. Having the wrong lighting undermines the effectiveness of other elements you are using to improve your restaurant ambience.

On the commercial painting decorating blog, they note the effect of colour

“Restaurant owners can also use colors to define their brand personality. The use of certain color shades and styles can project your restaurant as an attractive choice for clientele from various socio-economic backgrounds. In most instances, restaurants that are well designed and decorated are often associated with providing a higher quality of service.”


Signage is another decorative aspect that you can’t ignore as far as ambiance is concerned. Signs and décor are an excellent way to attract attention to your establishment and communicate what your ambiance is. While décor is often used for ambiance purposes only, signage can be utilized both for decorative and functional purposes, like directing customers through your restaurant. Whether it is decorative or functional in nature, it is imperative that your restaurant signage is consistent with the other aspects of ambiance you’re trying to create.


These encompass music, talking, acoustics, and noise from the kitchen. They vary based on the restaurant type. If you are a lively, cheery restaurant, then there is nothing wrong with hearing people talking or having somewhat loud music or TVs. It all adds to the kind of atmosphere you intend to create. However, if yours is a more tranquil, romantic-feeling restaurant, then lots of sounds and loud noises are not welcoming.

How about music? Slower tempo music contributes to the relaxation of your customers, making them stay longer. Conversely, faster, more upbeat tempos are ideal for restaurant owners who are after a more rapid turnover.

Nonetheless, it’s imperative that you match music with the style of restaurant. There is no way a Mexican restaurant can play country music. The same applies to an upscale restaurant; it cannot play loud rock tunes. Furthermore, consider your average age group when choosing music and its volume. The most important thing is to ensure that your choice is consistent with both the restaurant type and the other aspects of ambiance you are trying to create.


Nothing can change the mood or ambiance of a room like changing the light. It’s a simple as flicking a switch or lighting some candle lamps.

Lighting can create dramatic, warm, cool, hard or soft atmospheres and is an essential element in restaurant design and profitability.

While there are other areas to consider, don’t overlook the impact of lighting on keeping patrons in your restaurant spending more.


You can increase your restaurant’s profitability by reducing expenses or charging more prices. However, focusing on only these two strategies can adversely affect your overall business. Serving great food and drink can contribute to the success of your restaurant, but you need to do something more that can also make a massive difference. You need to pay attention to the lighting and restaurant ambience. This is with the aim of creating an environment that your customers would want to return to again. With the above tips, you’ll be able to impact positively on your restaurant’s profitability.