Boost footfall at your business by brightening up restaurant lighting
Lighting is one of the first ways in which a venue will make an impression on your customers. So, you want that impression to be a positive one. Restaurant lighting can play a huge part in the success or failure of your business – a survey found that 72% of people have left a venue earlier than planned because it was too brightly or poorly lit.
But, restaurant lighting is not a one-size-fits-all model. There are many different considerations to take into account in order to get the balance just right – and reap the benefits in terms of revenue and footfall.
Here, we look at how to make the most of your restaurant lighting and how to ensure your business is shining as brightly as it should be.
Lighting has a huge impact on so many factors, including our mood, enjoyment and even productivity. This is why restaurant lighting is so important. Most people won’t actually notice the lighting in a restaurant, until it is done badly and it spoils their experience. Then, it is too late to keep your customers happy. A survey found that the top consideration for a refit in such a venue is the effect and ambiance it would create with 67% of respondents putting this as a number one priority. So, carefully plan your entire lighting solution and then bask in the happiness of your customers.
Within one restaurant, you will probably want to create different zones and experiences, such as the bar area and a formal dining area. Lighting can play a huge part in how to differentiate the space. For example, a bar area may be bright and bold to support a fun and jovial atmosphere. However, a dining area may be darker, more intimate and relaxed. Interestingly, research has found that lighting can even impact on our desire for certain foods. One study found that people enjoy spicy chicken wings more in brightly lit venues. Now, there’s some food for thought.
LET THE SUN SHINE
Lighting in restaurants which are open around the clock need to take into account the natural lighting available at different times of the day. A commercial lighting solution does need to cover an entire venue – even if some areas bask in sunlight at certain times of the day or the year. Or, consider LED lights, light sensors or dimmers which automatically turn up or down during the day.
Think about the job each light has. It could be just for aesthetic reasons, such as to highlight a signature spot of interior design. Or, it could be outside lighting or signage to draw potential customers in and stand out amongst competitors. It could even be to make the food look as photogenic as possible, as more and more of us Instagram our food, which becomes a great marketing tool for the venue. One UK restaurant replaced all of its tables with white marble just because it looks better on social media.
SETTING THE MOOD
Restaurants are, of course, popular places for dates. So, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you may want to consider how to maximise that. Under-lighting, such as candles on a table, is more flattering than over-lighting from the ceiling, which creates shadows and can make you look tired.
However, some lighting will be purely practical – diners don’t want to eat in the dark, even if there is a trend for dining in the dark immersive experiences. Visiting restaurants is also obviously a social occasion. One study found that lighting plays a major part in a person’s well-being when in a restaurant. So, a lack of sufficient lighting can lead to sensory deprivation and impact on people’s enjoyment of the experience.
Just like every commercial venue, restaurants also need to consider lighting for safety reasons, such as in an emergency. Back-up lighting is needed in case of a power failure. External lighting, particularly in the darker winter months, also needs careful consideration to make customers and staff feel safe, as well as for security reasons to act as a deterrent to would-be burglars.
BACK OF HOUSE
The importance of quality lighting extends to the back-of-house as well, especially in areas where food is being prepared. Your staff also need to be able to carry out their jobs safely and sufficiently. Every premises where food is being handled needs high standards of hygiene. Lighting is an important factor in the accredited food hygiene ratings, which are assessed by local councils, and have to be publicly displayed to be legally compliant. So, lighting needs to be functional above all else in these areas.
In summary, although style is important when it comes to restaurant lighting, it should not replace the importance of substance. Don’t search around in the dark on how to get restaurant lighting right. Speak to the experts here at PLM who will switch on the possibilities for you and your business.
Find out about our lighting and LED project services here.
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Roystan House, Andover Road Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7RL
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Roystan House, Andover Road
Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7RL