Decorating a restaurant or bar comes with an overwhelming number of decisions. You must choose the right ambiance for your brand. One that attracts your target customers and encourages them to purchase your food and beverages.
What do we mean by ambiance? Everything from furniture color to the hue you paint the walls, the lighting fixtures you use, and more.
If you want to attract and keep customers, you must place a premium on your restaurant or bar's esthetics. Keep reading to find out more about selecting the right colors, from walls to furniture.
Color Psychology and Ambiance
Before we dive into specifics such as furniture, let's take a closer look at why ambiance matters, whether we're talking about a restaurant or a bar. The colors you select for your foodservice establishment will have a significant impact on customers.
These colors will influence how long patrons remain at your establishment and how they feel while visiting. Colors have a profound psychological impact on people, and they can inspire emotions and even physical desires.
For example, certain hues make people happy while others make them hungry. The same goes for colors that elicit negative responses.
Why do colors impact people in these ways? It all stems back to the theory of color psychology.
Color psychology states that colors can affect how we think, act, and feel. Understanding color psychology will help you set the right mood at your establishment.
Lessons From the Color Psychology Playbook
Which colors elicit which responses? Let's briefly take a look at what color psychology tells us about the following hues:
Once you realize how these colors inspire different emotions, you can select the best colors and furnishings for your restaurant or bar.
Red: Earthy and Dramatic
Are you looking for a warm and earthy feel to your establishment? Would you like to make a bold statement? When you select the right shade of red, it's about as dramatic and warm as it gets.
For example, deep crimson shades communicate drama and passion. But rusty colors feel cozy and quaint. Red is an excellent choice in areas where you want energy to run high.
This intense color is also known for increasing people's blood pressures and heart rates. This stimulation of the circulatory system brings with it a spike in hunger.
No wonder so many eating establishments incorporate red into their interior decorating scheme. They include fast food establishments, casual restaurants, and restaurants or bars with a high table turnover rate. In other words, red complements high energy locations that people visit in the name of convenience and the ability to eat on the go.
Yellow: Exciting and Happy
What do people think of when they see the color yellow? It evokes happiness, sunshine, and vitality. It speaks of beach getaways and sunflowers, honey, and gold.
Shades of yellow are also renowned for their ability to inspire communication and creativity. That said, too much yellow can leave individuals feeling stressed out and anxious, so use it with care.
Where does yellow make sense as a restaurant decor element? This exciting and vibrant color works in ethnic eateries, bistros, cafes, and fast-casual restaurants. We don't recommend it for places wishing to inspire a sense of relaxation.
Orange: Vibrant and Energetic
Another fun, vibrant, and energetic hue is orange. Because it represents a mixture of red and yellow, it excites feelings of vivacity and warmth.
As with red and yellow, you should also use it sparingly in interior designs. Otherwise, this color can feel overwhelming and even anxiety-producing. For a unique take on orange that proves cozier and calming, consider terra cotta or a shade of peach.
What's the best application of orange when it comes to food service establishments and bars? Orange gives casual eateries, ice cream shops, and fast-food restaurants greater appeal.
Blue: Calming and Tranquil
Blue works well in areas where you want to inspire emotions of peace, tranquility, and serenity. It proves especially powerful in shades of sky blue or deep navy blue. In these cases, it takes on a virility that you won't feel with lighter shades such as powder or baby blue.
No matter the shade of blue you choose, it also comes with great versatility and can match up well with various other hues.
But it can also make individuals feel sleepy or even depressed. It also proves one of the best colors for appetite suppression.
Why? Because blue slows the metabolism. In the process, it curbs peoples' appetites, which might be great for their diet but not your restaurant business.
But there's a caveat to this. Blue increases customers' thirst levels and also has strong associations with the ocean. For these reasons, we recommend it for bars, cafes, and even seaside restaurants.
Green: Harmonious and Balanced
Green inspires feelings of harmony, nature, and balance. It also proves an excellent color for restaurants as it can increase appetite.
In shades of sage or light spring, green proves soothing and stress-reducing. It also improves mental focus and creativity.
The revved-up appetite people experience after seeing the color green is associated with healthy, guilt-free foods. This association makes it an excellent choice for organic, health-conscious restaurants like salad bars, vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and health food stores.
Purple: Spiritual and Inspirational
For centuries, people have associated purple with the color of royalty. It also has spiritual and inspirational qualities. Depending on the shade of purple you pick, it can communicate boldness and exoticism (rich plum) or feelings of lightness and tranquility (lavender).
Purple pairs beautifully with other shades such as oranges and grays. That said, researchers also point to its ability to curb peoples' hunger. They point out that millennia ago, blue, purple, and black represented "color warning signs," tipping prehistoric peoples off to potentially lethal food.
That said, purple holds an incredible appeal among pre-adolescent children. A whopping 75 percent of children say it's their color of choice. If you have a kid-friendly establishment, take a hint from Chuck E. Cheese and add a hefty serving of purple.
Pink: Calming and Welcoming
Do you want to excite a sense of feminine flair? Or would you like to soften the overall feel of a room?
Consider a shade of pink. Grayish pinks or muted shades of blush make a room feel instantly more welcoming.
Or, if you're looking for a dramatic pop of color, give magenta a try. That said, scientists claim pink is both calming and appetite suppressing. Kendall Jenner supposedly uses the shade in her home to stay on track with her diet.
For this reason, we don't recommend it in most restaurant settings, although it provides a nice accent color at ice cream parlors, confectionery and candy shops, and bakeries.
Black: Elegant and Sophisticated
People associate black with elegance, sophistication, and luxury. This color often gets featured as an accent in homes, providing a pop of luxury. But you don't want to overdo it, or people could feel overwhelmed by a sense of dreariness.
What's the best way to use this color? Consider matte black or glossy accents. This shade gives everything from appliances to furniture a timeless, chic quality.
White: Purity and Cleanliness
Customers associate white with a sense of cleanliness and purity, making it an excellent restaurant choice. In recent years, the growth in popularity of Scandinavian design has increased the popularity of this choice.
White interiors come with a sense of airy modernity and freshness. But if you don't couple it with the right accent pieces and accessories, your all-white establishment could end up feeling like a hospital.
If you're in the restaurant business, note that white encourages the brain to disconnect and wander. For this reason, it leads to eating more as well as mindless snacking.
White can also make spaces feel more expansive, but you'll want to add pops of color to avoid sterility. Which businesses work well with (a mostly) all-white scheme? Upscale eateries, banquet halls, wedding venues, small bistros, and cozy restaurants.
Brown: Coziness and Stability
Brown accents such as leather, wood, and other natural elements warm up a space. They make it feel cozy and homey in an instant. Shades of brown also prove highly versatile because of their ability to mesh with a wide variety of moods and design elements.
Some psychologists claim that brown represents another appetite suppressant. But it also comes with a sense of stability and support that can transform first-timers into repeat customers.
Which establishments should consider using this color? Brown works well in bars, coffee shops, bistros, and contemporary restaurants.
From Walls to Furniture: Color Schemes
As you can see, color psychology proves surprisingly powerful. It has a significant impact on customer behaviors and how much they purchase. Of course, you can't decorate an entire establishment in one color. Instead, you'll need to work within a color scheme.
What are some of the best color schemes for restaurants and bars? They include:
- Dark color scheme
- Light color scheme
- Earthy color scheme
- Pastel color scheme
- Warm color scheme
Which is the best choice for your restaurant or bar? Here's what you need to know about the psychology of each of these palettes.
Dark Color Schemes
Do you have a romantic bistro, trendy restaurant, or cozy bar? A dark color scheme represents the best way to create an intimate setting.
Think jewel tones coupled with furniture in rich shades of brown, whether wood, leather, or both. Colors that fit this scheme include brown, crimson, purple, navy, and dark green.
Light Color Schemes
If you need to make a cramped space feel larger, consider a light color scheme, relying on shades of ivory, beige, pale yellow, white, and light gray.
These colors evoke a relaxing and leisurely atmosphere. As a result, this color scheme works well in upscale bistros and restaurants.
These hues allow for plenty of options for furniture. You can even create a Scandinavian feel by sticking with shades of white or gray. Cafe restaurant chairs provide the perfect finishing touch.
Earthy Color Schemes
What does an earthy color scheme look like? It includes shades of olive green, beige, amber, dark orange, and brown. This palette creates a welcoming and relaxing environment.
Yet, it won't diminish the appetites of your visitors. In recent years, this earthy colors have increased in popularity, especially at trendy restaurants featuring health-conscious cuisine.
Furniture in wood tones and dark leathers complement this palette, creating a luxurious feel. Consider these Beechwood chairs, the ultimate complement to this palette.
Pastel Color Scheme
Pastel colors were trendy in the 1980s, but they can make an establishment feel dated today if you don't use the colors with care. Nevertheless, as nostalgia for the 80s has grown, more restaurants are embracing updated versions of these colors.
A pastel palette also works well for establishments showcasing sweets, desserts, and bakery items. With these hues, you'll do well to stick with white furniture in minimalist styles. Or consider bolt-down chairs in chrome and light or pastel colors.
Warm Color Scheme
Do you wish to evoke a sense of brightness and excitement with your restaurant brand? Go with colors like terracotta, yellow, orange, gold, and red.
This warm color scheme works best in high-volume eateries, fast food restaurants, and buffets. Just be careful not to overdo it, or customers could end up feeling stressed out.
As for furniture? You've got plenty of attractive options that'll provide a vibrant pop of color in keeping with your choice of colors. Check out these signature chairs for inspiration or these classic diner chairs.
Finding the Right Furniture Color for Your Restaurant or Bar
When it comes to your restaurant's best furniture color, you need to make selections based on the feelings and behaviors you wish to inspire. When choosing the perfect palette for your establishment, set a mood and vibe though your selections.
Are you ready to bring your restaurant design ideas to life? Contact us now to find out more about our wide selection of restaurant and bar furniture designed to complement your interior design beautifully.